Test Drive: 2011 Subaru Forester Review

I had the 2011 Subaru Forester this week and I always enjoy Subaru products.  It is easy to see why their sales continue to rise on a monthly basis.  They are simply putting out some great products these days.

I had the 2011 Forester XT Touring package in Marine Blue Pearl, which is a beautiful color.  Under the hood, the Forester has a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine putting out 170 horses.  It is linked to a 4-speed automatic transmission.

Subaru is perhaps best known for their patented symmetrical all-wheel drive system which has made Subaru the choice of vehicles for those in snowy climates for over two decades.  But the rest of America has discovered that the all-wheel drive system is also terrific for handling and performance.  This is one of the reasons Subaru is on a roll with increased sales over the past few years.

The Touring package comes with an impressive array of standard features, including leather interior, panoramic moonroof, a great audio system, 10-way power driver’s seat, and dual-zone climate control.  In addition, you get high-intensity headlights, power windows and door locks, Bluetooth connectivity, and steering wheel controls.

Forester also comes with a long list of standard safety features, including front and side airbags, side airbag curtains, anti-lock brakes, tire pressure monitoring system, and 4-wheel disc brakes.

The interior of the Forester is really nice and the dash is well laid out for ease of use.  The Forester rides very well, and handles superbly.  It is not hard to see why Subaru is doing so well.  To understand the value of a Subaru, and in particular the Forester, you really have to study the things you cannot see…primarily the all-wheel drive system which sets Forester apart from many of its competitors.

What I liked most:  Driving dynamics that make it really fun

What I would change if I could: I would hook this engine to a six-speed transmission for better highway mileage.

MSRP as tested: $30,768.

Fuel Economy: Rated at 19 city/24 highway.

Forester in a few words: Capable and comfortable.

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