The Subaru Forester has, if my understanding is correct, been a sales winner for Subaru for many years now, and continues to sell well. It’s easy to see why in some respects, although the car is far from without fault.
Having owned this car since new, I rolled my eyes somewhat knowingly as Subaru finally joined the capped-price servicing bandwagon, albeit many years late. Servicing on Subaru’s can be expensive, but as with any new car, searching for a skilled non dealer mechanic willing to service correctly will save significant amounts of money without placing any warranties at risk, and without negatively impacting vehicle lifecycle.
The Forester is a really comfortable place to be – until you touch the front dash or doors, or propel along at more than 80kph. As is well document, the interior is plasticy. Hard and filled with clanky unnatractive hard plastic.
There is also a general lack of sound protection, making cruising speeds on highways loud, and on rough blue stone country roads, arduous. It’s probably just as well most people use their Foresters as urban commuter then. The seats themselves are supportive, and with the leather option ticked (inclusive of heated seats) very comfortable. There is a surprising amount of room and even taller drivers are unlikely to find themselves needing the seat pushed right back. I would talk about the entertainment and connectivity, but there is none. The Forester is dead last in class in this space.
Having driven most of the Subaru’s direct (and indirect) competitors at one time or another for at least a handful of days, there is no doubting the Subaru is a fine handling vehicle. Yes its noisy, and it’s also quite prone to clattering over larger surface imperfections, and a jittery unsettled ride on smaller ones, but, it always feels very planted, very secure and unflappably predictable.
As with any Subaru, when serviced appropriately, the Forester will probably keep on keeping on for a lot longer than any single owner will keep it. It’s more utilitarian than many competitors, but at the end of the day, that’s part of it’s charm – it’ll go anywhere, punching well above its weight off road, but provides a much more car-like experience than many similar vehicles.