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2010 Subaru Forester

Overview
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2010 Subaru Forester Review

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With volatile gas prices compelling many large SUV owners to abandon their fuel-hungry rides, small crossovers like the third-generation 2010 Subaru Forester have never looked better. An agile vehicle built to handle practically anything man or nature can put before its tires, the latest iteration has a much more contemporary-looking exterior complemented by a more spacious interior and a smoother, quieter ride. And with a respectable four-cylinder Boxer engine under the hood and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive as standard, the Forester offers the capability of an SUV with fuel economy that won't break the bank. This segment has seen a lot of growth in the last few years, but the Forester can go places the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V and Nissan Rogue can't.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you like your SUVs to be true to the "Utility" in "Sport Utility Vehicle," while still being small enough to comfortably maneuver in a city, the Forester may be the vehicle for you. With a low starting price, standard AWD, proven reliability, more towing power than many others in its class and great visibility all around, there's certainly a lot to love.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you want a V6 engine, room for seven or rear-seat entertainment, the 2010 Subaru Forester may not be for you. And although a manual transmission is offered on some trims, a SportShift four-speed automatic is the only transmission available with the turbocharged engine.

What's New for 2010

A simplified model range now includes Standard, Premium and Limited for the 2.5X, and Premium and Limited for the turbocharged 2.5XT. All models receive a new instrument cluster while the Limited trim's optional navigation now features Bluetooth wireless connectivity.

Driving the Forester

Driving Impressions Off-roading in the 2010 Subaru Forester showcased the vehicle's stiffer suspension, direct steering and notable ground clearance, all of which came into play when traversing rocks and ditches. Also helpful...

was the Forester's standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system, capable of transferring up to 100 percent of the available power to the wheels with the best traction. Back on the pavement, we liked the added get-up-and-go provided by turbocharged models (who wouldn't?), but those with a more practical and budget-minded outlook will be just as happy buzzing around town with the normally-aspirated engine. Getting in and out of both rows of seats was a breeze thanks to wide-opening doors, and we found the all-around visibility from the driver's seat to be excellent; a boon when changing lanes, reversing, and exploring dirt roads.

Rear Visibility
Being able to see what's behind a vehicle when backing up, changing lanes, or even venturing off-road can make a big difference in how someone behaves while driving. The Forester's large back window allows the driver to see an object only 39 inches tall within 39 inches of the vehicle.

Panoramic Moonroof
Although not as large as others we've seen, this moonroof provides pleasant light to both the front and rear passengers, bringing a bit of the outdoors inside.

2010 Subaru Forester Details
Interior

The 2010 Subaru Forester features gauges that are colorful and easy to read, plus audio and climate controls configured in a logical, clear manner. A single cup holder is located next to the driver, while an additional bottle holder is situated in each door. Back in the second row, leg room is plentiful and the seats are wide and comfortable. In all trims except the 2.5X, the second-row seats recline. Cargo room in the back is a respectable 33.5 cubic feet, made all the more accessible thanks to a wide-opening rear gate door.

Exterior

The latest version of the Subaru Forester is a little less wagon and a little more modern crossover. Overall, the vehicle is taller and longer than previous generations, with up to 8.9 inches of ground clearance that comes in handy when the road gets rough. Up front, a large grille and "hawk eye" headlight treatment impart a more aggressive appearance, especially when paired with the available turbocharged engine's air scoop and fog lights. The optional chrome door handles and tailpipe add a bit of fresh bling to the Forester's exterior, while the wheelwells are filled with 16-inch steel or available 17-inch alloy wheels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The base 2010 Subaru Forester 2.5X comes equipped with a five-speed manual transmission, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, Hill Start Assist, 16-inch steel wheels and 8.7-inches of ground clearance. Notable interior touches include a height-adjustable driver's seat with adjustable lumbar support and auto-off headlights. Opting for the XT trim will add the turbocharged engine, SportShift four-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control, 17-inch wheels (helping to bump ground clearance to 8.9 inches), premium sound, fog lights and a telescoping steering column. To help keep occupants safe and sound, both trims feature six airbags, Vehicle Dynamics Control and anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Brake Assist.

Optional Equipment

Some of the 2010 Subaru Forester's most attractive options include a navigation system (Limited trims only), leather seating, power driver's seat, panoramic moonroof, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, premium sound, automatic climate control, satellite radio (choice of XM or SIRIUS), and cold-climate desirables like heated seats, heated side mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer.

Under the Hood

Powering the base Forester X is a 170-horsepower four-cylinder Boxer engine (a "flat" engine in which the pistons lie horizontally, an advantage of which is a lower center of gravity) with a five-speed manual transmission, available only in this trim. Moving up to the Limited adds a four-speed automatic transmission, while the XT trims come with a 224-horsepower turbocharged Boxer engine. Although the base engine is practical for around town driving, those looking for a little more power without a significant drop in fuel economy will likely appreciate all that the turbocharged version has to offer – if they don't mind paying for premium gas.

2.5-liter Boxer-4
170 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
170 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA Estimated City/Highway Mileage: 20/27 (manual), 20/26 (automatic)

2.5-liter Boxer-4 Turbocharged
224 horsepower@ 5200 rpm
226 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2800 rpm
EPA Estimated City/Highway Mileage: 19/24

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2010 Subaru Forester Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.1
Out of 10

Based on 250 Ratings for the 2009 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.4/10
    Quality
    8.2/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    8.3/10
  • Comfort
    8.0/10
    Styling
    8.1/10

I love my Subaru

By on Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Wonderful car.."

Cons: "gas milage, comfort, gas tank small"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have driven a Subaru since 1995, gave my Legacy to my son in 2009 and bought a new Forester. I keep my cars in immaculate condition as far as engine, tires. The Legacy is still on the road with over 200,000 miles. I just wanted to brag about my Suby and not trading it."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Very Solid

By on Sunday, July 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I have mostly been very pleased with this car. It drives well and has not had any mechanical issues. I have only two complaints. First, the car has a lot of plastic pieces inside and out that tend to fall off pretty easily. They aren't pieces that matter, but the car doesn't look right after they fall off. Second, there is an annoying feature with the gas cap. If you don't but it on (or leave it a little lose) the check engine light, as well as a number of other lights go on and then for some reason, it takes weeks to months of the gas cap being on for the lights to go off. This is always seems to happen to me around when my car needs to be inspected and it can't pass inspection with the check engine light on. Also, the cruise control lights is one of the other lights that comes on - so for that period of time you can't use the cruise control. I don't know why they can't just had a gas cap light... But besides that, I have been very happy with the car. Handles well in the winter also."

Great car for value and affodability

By on Saturday, July 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "great safety and value"

Cons: "Sunroof not tinted and pass seat not height adjust"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Great all around vehicle. Better than the Jeep Cherokee I had before. The Yokohama tires were not that good in the rain, but maybe in snow. I changed to a better, in rain, all season tire and am very happy with the change. The only negative item is the driver seat must be jacked up with the handle and the passenger isn't height adjustable. It's roomy with good visibility and comfortable. I wish the sunroof was tinted."

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Poor quality vehicle..and service department

By on Sunday, June 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"At start up engine sounds like garbage truck; dash board lights on/off intermittently. Serviced and told this was OK. USB in dash smoking; car towed to dealership; car returned with USB charger non-functioning. My Forester will be traded in for a Honda CRV."

6 people out of 15 found this review helpful

A great little SUV.

By on Friday, June 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Very practical, almost a 'do anything' vehicle."

Cons: "Engine and road noise."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Spacious interior. Excellent handling. Feels safe and secure in all weather conditions. My wife wasn't too excited about this particular car because we didn't get leather, heated seats, etc. Then she drove it over the mountains in the snow, and now she wants to look at Outbacks. My 2009 Forester was one of the first to arrive on the sales lot. Sales folks were not yet well informed, so we didn't get all the features we expected, such as premium sound. Also, like earlier Subarus, the head gaskets needed replacement at 60,000 miles. The standard engine provides plenty of power for our purposes, even when the car is heavily loaded - and with the rear seat backs down, we have loaded plenty."

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Versatile- Off road solid, commuter comfortable

By on Friday, May 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 124,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Commuter rough road capable, AWD, decent mileage."

Cons: "Auto is spongy accelerating"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I live down a mile of hilly dirt-gravel road and commute 30 miles of highway city mix to work. On weekends I drive logging roads and some wider 4 wheeler trails. 26-27 city a little better at 70mph +- on interstate. 2.5L 170 hp boxer with automatic transmission. nimble enough to commute milage drops if you push acceleration and don't coast to stops. Far from sporty or a rally car but is tough as a cob on logging roads and washed out trails. If you want a sporty pavement hugger stick with Mazda CX5, Honda CRV or Toyota Rav 4. You want an all weather commuter with a strong enough frame, drive train and heart get the Forester."

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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