2009 Subaru Forester Tops Consumer Reports List


Consumer Reports recently reviewed a number of small SUVS, and the overall winner was none other than the all-new Subaru Forester, which we recently reviewed here. The Forester impressed CR so much it unseated the Toyota RAV4 as the magazine’s top-rated compact SUV by earning a slightly higher road-test score.

CR also tested the Nissan Rogue and Mitsubishi Outlander this time out. The company had previously tested the RAV4 and Honda CR-V, which ranked sixth among compact SUVs. While the Rogue scored well, it wasn’t “recommended” by CR. To get the recommendation, a car must either score above-average in reliability or have predicted high reliability. The Rogue is an all-new model and thus has no reliability figure.

In the case of the Mitsubishi Outlander, CR says it has shown outstanding reliability in its first year since its redesign. Because of a long history of solid reliability, the new Forester is predicted to also have above-average reliability and thus earns the “recommended” nod.

We always thought the Outlander was a sporty and affordable compact SUV, but worried about issues like reliability. Hearing such positive findings by CR definitely boosts its standing in the field. 

Subaru Forester leaps ahead (ConsumerReports)

By David Thomas | July 3, 2008 | Comments (8)

Subaru and L.L.Bean Part Company

2009 Forester L.L. Bean

After an eight-year relationship, Subaru and L.L.Bean, a retailer of high-end outdoor gear, have had an amicable split, Subaru spokesman Dominick Infante said.

"The decision to part was mutual. We both decided it was time and made sense to go our own way,” he said. “L.L.Bean is a great company, but we wanted to expand our own brand appeal."

The marriage of L.L.Bean's rugged-outdoors line of clothing and accessories and the equally strong rugged-outdoors image of an all-wheel-drive Subaru might have made sense in 2000, but it was time to attract a few more city slickers, Infante said.

"We have been doing very well on the East Coast and in ski states, but want to expand more into sunshine states like Texas, Florida and California," he said. We think Subaru has far outpaced L.L.Bean in terms of name identity among consumers.

So, starting in July, the L.L.Bean Outback and Forester will become Limited models instead. There will still be L.L.Bean editions of the Forester and Outback available at dealerships until all are sold. The redesigned 2009 Forester L.L.Bean went on sale just this past April.

By Jim Mateja | June 16, 2008 | Comments (8)

Weekend Athlete: 2009 Subaru Forester


Ever since New Coke, I’m leery whenever someone decides to "improve" something I like. So when Subaru said it was redesigning the Forester, I knew I had to drive it, but I was a bit afraid of finding out what had changed. The old car was a gem. I’ve rented one several times and it took me to many cross-country ski trails and races. The new model had a lot to live up to.

By William Jackson | May 29, 2008 | Comments (23)

2009 Subaru Forester Earns Top Safety Pick Nod


The redesigned Subaru Forester received the Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety today. To earn the Top Safety Pick, vehicles must rank “good” — the institute’s top crash rating in front, side and rear impacts. They also must be equipped with stability control.

There are a total of 37 Top Safety Picks. 20 are SUVs, but only two other small SUVs — the Honda CR-V and Honda Element — rank that high. Cars.com’s Kelsey Mays recently reviewed the new Forester and came away impressed.

2009 Subaru Forester Expert Review

By David Thomas | April 17, 2008 | Comments (1)

Subaru Closes Month With Small Tent Sale


Usually when end-of-month incentives sales are announced, they come with some pretty inflated rhetoric: The Year-End Event, The Tent Sale to End All Others, The Event of  a Lifetime (that’s our favorite), and so on. The hyperbole can get a little tiring.

Kudos to Subaru for avoiding that, calling its modest, 10-day incentives boost what it really is: kind of small or at least short. The Small Tent Big Event begins today, and until March 31 Subaru will offers customers 0.0% financing plus $1,500 cash back on the 2008 Outback, or 0.0% and $2,000 back on the outgoing 2008 Forester. Customers can also get 0.0% financing on a lease deal ($179 a month for 36 months) on the 2008 Impreza. The financing teamed with cash back is impressive, especially on these two models. The Forester is a Cars.com Best Bet and the Outback was our 2008 pick as Best Car for Weekend Athletes.

Subaru Small Tent Event (Subaru.com)

By Eamonn Brennan | March 21, 2008 | Comments (1)

Cars.com Reviews the 2009 Subaru Forester


After a full photo gallery and early driving impressions, Kelsey Mays delivers his full report on the redesigned 2009 Subaru Forester. The SUV is now more SUV-like and a bit more attuned to mainstream buyers, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a solid improvement over the outgoing model. Check out Kelsey’s full review to find out why this new Forester is a worthy competitor to stalwarts like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V.

2009 Subaru Forester Expert Review

By David Thomas | March 13, 2008 | Comments (4)

2009 Subaru Forester Photo Gallery


Last week Kelsey Mays delivered his first thoughts on the all-new 2009 Subaru Forester. For the most part, he was impressed. Today he’s put together a photo gallery from the test-drive event he attended. We’ll bring you his full review later this week. Until then, check out the 50-plus photos below. If you have any questions for Kelsey, leave them in the comments.

By David Thomas | March 10, 2008 | Comments (13)

First Drive: 2009 Subaru Forester


Despite being 6 years old, the outgoing Subaru Forester is still a Cars.com Best Bet. Naturally, we had high hopes for the redesigned model that debuted at January’s Detroit auto show. Subaru invited journalists to Southern California to put the SUV through its paces on- and off-road, and I can attest that the updates keep it as competitive as ever.

The engines — a regular or turbocharged four-cylinder — carry over with few changes. What’s improved is the highway experience: Efforts to quiet the cabin have paid off, and at 65 mph the Forester seems on par with most small SUVs for road and wind noise. That isn’t something I could say about the previous model.

Subaru says the vast majority of Forester buyers will get the non-turbo engine, and I can see why. Its 170 hp moves the SUV to highway speeds with acceptable oomph, especially with the smooth-shifting manual transmission. I actually preferred that engine’s gradual whine to the turbo’s choppy roar. The turbo engine’s extra grunt (224 hp worth) moves the Forester with authority, but its power comes and goes in patches. Prod the gas on the highway enough to prompt the automatic to downshift, and the SUV surges forward. Putter around town with anything short of concerted acceleration, and the extra power never feels apparent.

By Kelsey Mays | March 7, 2008 | Comments (22)

2009 Subaru Forester Pricing Announced


We first saw the all-new 2009 Subaru Forester last month at the Detroit auto show. Subaru has just released pricing for the new Forester, and the base model comes in $1,200 under the 2008 Forester’s base price.

Starting at $19,995 — not including a $665 destination charge — the 2009 Forester is larger than the outgoing model and has ditched its station wagon appearance for a more traditional crossover SUV look.

There are additional standard features on the 2009, including side curtain airbags and an electronic stability system. Sticking around are all-wheel drive and the turbocharged XT model. The base 2.5X ($19,995) comes with a manual transmission, while an automatic 2.5X starts at $21,195. Low-emission versions with Partial Zero Emission Vehicle status add $200 across the lineup.

The new Forester is expected to show up at dealerships in April. Keep reading for a full pricing breakdown.

By Joe Bruzek | February 27, 2008 | Comments (4)

2008 Detroit Auto Show Video: 2009 Subaru Forester

2009 Subaru Forester

Cars.com managing editor — and KickingTires’ own Suburban Dad — Patrick Olsen takes a close look at the completely redesigned Subaru Forester. There’s no longer any question the Forester is an SUV, not a wagon, but is that a good thing? Check out the video to find out.

By David Thomas | January 15, 2008 | Comments (0)

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