The unofficial mainstream compact SUV of dirt and snow
Disproportionately popular in colder areas of the country - and with the outdoorsy set - Subaru's compact SUV has been completely redesigned for 2014. The 2014 Subaru Forester is now more competitive with small SUV stalwarts like the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape, but it still offers a superior all-wheel drive system - as standard equipment - that makes it especially appealing to those who experience traction deficiencies on a seasonal basis.
The new Forester matches a low step-in height with credible ground clearance. And its low center of gravity (relative to other compact SUVs) has a payoff in stability, as noted in our 2014 Subaru Forester full review: "Boasting a stronger, more rigid central structure, wider track dimensions, longer wheelbase and a retuned suspension to complement Subaru's signature Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, the 2014 Forester deports itself most impressively and predictably on or off road."
Build and Price
Forester pricing starts at under $23K for the 2.5i manual (add $1K for CVT automatic), and can exceed $36,000 if buying the 2.0XT Touring. Regardless of investment, Subaru's historically high resale values ensure you'll get a good chunk of your money back. Build your own 2014 Subaru Forester right here at KBB.com and we'll help you pay the right price.
Like most entries in the Compact SUV category, the Forester's mid-level 2.5i Premium trim is the most popular among Forester's customer base. With 17-inch alloys, panoramic moonroof, power driver's seat, rear vision camera and enhanced entertainment package with connectivity, the Premium is a relative no-brainer among Subaru's six Forester trim levels.
All-new for the 2014 model year, we don't expect any big Forester changes over the next few model years. Subaru is introducing its first hybrid powertrain in the XV Crosstrek, however, and there's a possibility that drivetrain might eventually make its way into the Forester.
Subaru owners often bridge the chasm between 'fan' and 'fanatic'. And this customer would seem - at the very least - to be a fanatic-in-training. "This was the only SUV in its class that had the engineering that I wanted. Also (features) pretty large cargo space!! Only real downside is the not-that-great NAV system, but it's still better than the one(s) in many other 2014 vehicles." Read more consumer reviews of the latest Subaru Forester.
Getting it Dirty
In our 2014 Subaru Forester video review we explore the interior, go off road and taunt cows and a hitchhiker.
Your Other Choices
The Subaru Forester also offers a better-than-most AWD system, but most compact SUVs are as capable as most buyers will ever need them to be. Check out our 2014 Compact SUV overview to see all your choices and get up to speed in a hurry.
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