2011 Subaru Forester User Reviews
2.5X Touring shown
- $16,640 - $21,979
- No trim specified for this review
- AWD system, Comfortable, roomy, interior touches, handles well, smooth ride
- Engine/transmission combo, cheap interior, MPG could be better for the power
Purchased As New
Bought a 2009 Forester 2.5X Premium in 2008 when it was a new model.
Besides the engine and transmission combination, I love the way this car drives. It feels planted, handles well, delivers a lot of road and steering feel without any vibration (a trait that BMW prides itself on) from the road. The car also rides well on any road surface and smooths out imperfections very well...much better than our Mazda.
The engine itself is fine - it's smooth to redline and sounds nice, with that classic Boxer growl. The transmission, however, really hinders the engine. 4 speed transmissions were old news in 2009 and are unacceptable now. The car downshifts too much and hunts for more power going up any incline, especially with four passengers and gear on board. Also, passing at highway speeds is a gamble at best. At 65 the transmission will downshift into 2nd with a jab of the throttle, resulting in a LOUD 2-3 second long redline of the engine that doesn't achieve any actual speed. Seconds later it then shifts into 3rd and lower RPMs and takes forever to really get going. A 6-speed transmission would solve all of these problems. Having said that, it has some guts off the line and gets to 60 quickly enough. Subaru is the only company still holding on to the good ole' 4-speed, and without good reason.
The interior is roomy and comfortable, with LED mood lighting in the roof (bathes the cabin in a subtle blue hue at night - very cool and very Infiniti-like). The rear seat is luxurious: it is comfy, reclines, has a wonderfully squishy fold-down center armrest and flip-down cup holders that also light up in blue. The upholstery also has blue accents and expensive-looking double stitching. A full array of airbags and safety features comes standard. This is one of the safest cars on the road.
I love the AUX/USB inputs and the huge panoramic sunroof as well. Many of the interior plastics, however, are cut-rate. There are several rattles throughout the interior and the headliner and plastics used for parts of the door panels and dashboard look and feel like children's toys. Build quality, on the other hand, is first-rate.
What I love the most about this car is the AWD system. Quite simply this car is a beast -- in the snow, on dirt, crawling up rocky, stream-covered, muddy roads, etc. ALWAYS corrects itself properly with any sign of lost traction. This car gives you a sense of security off-road that I've never experienced. Subaru really has their symmetrical AWD system nailed. The engine and transmission seem calibrated for it, as the Forester has good torque down low and can handle just about anything. I live in CO and have taken it to the end of the South Colony Lakes road -- google image search that and you'll see what I mean.
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