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2014 Subaru Forester

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2014 Subaru Forester Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.5

Fully redesigned, the 2014 Subaru Forester enters its 4th generation the beneficiary of a comprehensive improvement program that makes this mainstay of the automaker's lineup an even more attractive choice in one of today's hottest segments. Available in several naturally aspirated (2.5i) and turbocharged (2.0XT ) trim grades, each with standard all-wheel drive (AWD), this compact 5-passenger SUV complements a new sense of style and refinement with numerous structural and chassis enhancements, more fuel-efficient powertrains, greater passenger/cargo space and significant new tech touches. Collectively, they help bolster the 2014 Forester's performance, safety and overall desirability in ways that should serve it well against key rivals like the Buick Encore, Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Nissan Rogue and Toyota RAV4. That's why we named the Subaru Forester one of the 10 Best SUVs Under $25,000 for 2014.

You'll Like This Car If...

Building on its well-established reputation for capability, reliability, practicality and longevity, the new Forester now delivers even more comfort and convenience while offering the added benefit of standard fuel-efficient all-wheel drive – and does it at an outstanding price point.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Buyers desiring a vehicle with more expressive styling, a pillow-soft ride, the flashiest telematics/infotainment system – or anyone needing a larger 3-row SUV with greater towing capacity – will still have to look beyond the new Forester to find their ideal travel mate.

What's New for 2014

Redesigned from the ground up, the 2014 Forester raises its practical and personable character to an even higher level, gaining a new sense of style, more space, additional refinement, better performance and improved fuel economy.

Driving the Forester
Driving Impressions

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. New, more efficient electrically-boosted power steering provides more positive feedback while the revamped chassis does an admirable job of keeping body roll in check under hard cornering. Tauter underpinnings on 2.0XT models add extra sportiness with minimal impact on ride compliance while the tri-mode SI-Drive feature on the turbo-spec CVT allows one to better exploit the 80-horsepower advantage this engine has over the one in its naturally aspirated 2.5i sibling – an edge that helps trim the 2.0XT's 0-60 mph times from 9.3 to 6.3 seconds. The X-Mode feature on upline Forester variants provides its own kind of multi-terrain confidence boost on slick paved roads or in the dirt at speeds up to 25 mph.

LINEARTRONIC CVT TRANSMISSION
Optional on 2.5i/2.5i Premium models and standard on all other Foresters, Subaru's Lineartronic continuously variable automatic (CVT) comes in two forms. While both contribute to significant fuel economy gains, the 2.0XT's uprated unit includes paddle shifters and Subaru's multi-mode (Intelligent/Sport/Sport Sharp) SI-Drive that can emulate both a 6-speed and 8-speed automatic.

X-MODE WITH HILL DESCENT CONTROL
Standard on 2.5i Limited and all higher-level Forester models, Subaru's new driver-selectable X-Mode integrates and optimizes operation of the throttle, transmission, AWD, Vehicle Dynamic Control, and Hill Descent Control systems to enhance the Forester's low-speed operational capabilities on inclines and when negotiating various low-friction surfaces.

2014 Subaru Forester Details
Interior

Impressively expanded, well-finished and well-appointed, the Forester's restyled passenger cabin is quieter and more comfortable than ever with lots more soft-touch surfaces as well as redesigned seats that offer improved support and have been repositioned to afford better sightlines. Larger, wider-opening doors ease access/egress for people and legroom in the 60/40 rear bench has been increased by a huge 3.1 inches. When cargo takes precedence, the backs now fold even flatter to stretch stow space from 34.4 to 74.7 cubic feet – a 9-percent overall increase. The larger liftgate, which is power-activated on Limited/Touring models, simplifies the loading and unloading process.

Exterior
2014 Subaru Forester photo

Still unmistakably Subaru, the Gen IV remake endows the 2014 Forester with more contemporary character. The visual recasting is most evident in 2.0XT models that feature a bolder front fascia treatment and subtle rear roof spoiler, and wrap 225/55 all-season tires around 18-inch alloy wheels where the 2.5i contingent is shod with 225/60 rubber on either 17-inch styled-steel or alloy rims. Slightly longer, wider and taller than the 2013 Forester, this latest iteration also has a more planted appearance thanks to wider track dimensions and nearly an inch more wheelbase. All models also provide an impressive 8.7 inches of ground clearance.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Progressing through its model hierarchy richens the Forester's equipment mix, but even the 2.5i features a full array of power assists, air conditioning, cruise control, a multifunction steering wheel, Bluetooth, and variable wipers. The 2.5i Premium gains a rear-vision camera, an enhanced audio system and the All-Weather Package (manual only) or panoramic power moonroof (CVT only). Key gains on the 2.5i Limited model include the Lineartronic CVT, leather upholstery, reclining rear seatbacks, automatic climate control, and a power liftgate. Moving up to Touring brings electroluminescent gauges, a touch-screen navigation system, a 440-watt harman/kardon premium audio with SiriusXM Satellite Radio/Nav Traffic, dual-zone climate control, and more.

Optional Equipment

Modestly scaled, the roster of Forester extras is based on model/trim levels. The Lineartronic CVT is available on the 2.5i/2.5i Premium, while the 2.5i Premium with CVT also can be had with the All-Weather Package (standard on Foresters with the 6-speed manual transmission). Both the 2.5i Premium and Limited offer a touch-screen navigation system with 6.1-inch display, HD radio, Satellite Radio, NavTraffic, and more. Touring-level 2.5i/2.0XT models can be fitted with the Driver Assist Technology Package that adds the EyeSight System (Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking, and Vehicle Lane Departure Warning), plus Keyless Access/Start and high-intensity-discharge headlights.

Under the Hood

The 2014 Forester offers two 4-cylinder "boxer" engines. Naturally aspirated, the carryover, PZEV-clean 170-horsepower/2.5-liter can be backed by a new 6-speed manual transmission that replaces the current 5-speed or a new efficiency-boosting Lineartronic CVT automatic from the Impreza. Forester 2.0XT models get a new turbocharged, direct-injected engine derived from the flat-4 used in the Subaru BRZ. Here, it develops 250 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, way up from the 225/226 output figures in the 2.5-liter turbo used in the 2013 Forester. The sole transmission for the turbocharged engine is a new High-Torque Lineartronic CVT with multi-mode SI-Drive that can emulate six or eight virtual gear ratios. All versions of the 2014 Forester boast significant fuel-economy gains over 2013 models and have a 1,500-pound tow rating.

2.5-liter horizontally-opposed 4-cylinder
170 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm
174 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/29 mpg (manual), 24/32 mpg (automatic)

2.0-liter horizontally-opposed turbocharged 4-cylinder
250 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/28 mpg

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2014 Subaru Forester Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.0
Out of 10

Based on 152 Ratings for the 2014 - 2017 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.4/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    8.0/10
  • Comfort
    7.8/10
    Styling
    8.0/10

great car with a few annoyances

By on Monday, July 18, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"I bought this car back in August of 2015 even though it is a 2016 model. The car is great except for a few annoyances. Cons: -No automatic lift trunk button on fob or on car. Mildly annoying when loading groceries -Clock does not keep time. Always seems to lose a minute or so per few months. I have reset it 3 times within a year. -The transmission is my biggest pet peeve. There is a noticeable lag of about a second between when you shift from park into drive or from drive into reverse, ect. It does not sound like much but it is definitely an issue. I pulled into a driveway to turn around. I check to see if anyone was coming, all clear, I shift into reverse and back into the street. A car comes up behind me fast as I shift from reverse to drive and that small amount of lag before I was able to move forward made for an unsettling feeling of an impending collision. -not having automatic windows on the passenger side. It’s automatic up and down on drivers side but not passenger side. -touch screen is nice but a pain because you don’t have an actual button to press. Makes it distraction to change radio stations while driving. Really have to look at what button you are pushing rather than being able to rely on feel. - Not the greatest gas mileage. My average is btw 25-27. Not the 28-30 as advertised. -alloy rims hold in the brake dust and the rims look really dirty and won’t come clean easily. -my model doesn’t have it but the eyesight is super annoying, so glad I did not upgrade and get that feature. Pros: -AWD -very roomy, and comfortable to ride in on long trips. -HUGE sunroof. Best feature. -fold almost flat rear seats -large trunk/hatch area -looks interior and exterior -high ground clearance and large tires -nice steering wheel control buttons -Ride quality and grip in in climate weather is great due to all wheel drive"

Extended Test Drive Only

By on Sunday, June 19, 2016

I don't own this car

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I own an '07 Forester with 150K on it. Drove a '16 loaner while mine was in for headgasket repairs, two day project. A lot to like about the new one; more technology but not bewildering. Same Great sightlines. Same outstanding safety reputation. Security of all wheel drive. Sun visors now have extensions, a nice convenience. Not to like are the seats. They have shortened the thigh support making the driving position uncomfortable, and I am an average size guy..5'11" 185lbs. Road and engine noise continue to be noticeable, as in my '07. Other demerits are the same tinny radio, and less cubbies than in my '07. Neutral is the handling and acceleration. I didn't find the CVT to be obnoxious, although I do like the automatic with gears. When/if I do buy a new Subaru, I'd probably upgrade to the Outback for a little more comfort."

10 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Uncomfortable on trips

By on Monday, June 13, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "Great Lumbar in Limited"

Cons: "Uncomfortable"

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

"Leg and Knee hits door panel causing cramping and pain on mid to long trips and is very uncomfortable! Poor gas milage in winter"

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Great car but wind and road noise bothersome

By on Friday, June 10, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "nice size, good features"

Cons: "noisy - road, wind"

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

"Great car but wind and road noise bothersome; a bit rough on rough roads/streets, which our area has lots of! Car drives nicely, gets 27 mpg combined, is roomy with roomy area behind second seat. EZ to drive and park. I am going back to the Outback for better ride and quieter cabin."

10 people out of 11 found this review helpful

2014 & 2016 Forester life saver and very pleased

By on Tuesday, June 7, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Safety and handling especially in snow"

Cons: "Starlink app"

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

"We initially owned a 2014 Forester. In December 2015 an 8-point Buck weighing over 200 lbs decided to jump in from of our vehicle causing us to hit it at 55 mph. We had no chance to respond, but thank God the car deployed all its airbags and stopped perfectly. Even though the car was totaled the wife only had bruises from the seat belt and I had a small abrasion from the knee air bag. With this type of accident and feeling safe lead to us purchasing a new 2016 Forester which we're still very pleased with it performance."

27 people out of 27 found this review helpful

Forester does it all! And, 31.3 mpg

By on Saturday, June 4, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,800

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great value and function everywhere."

Cons: "Rear cargo area light poorly located and weak."

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

"What's not to like about the newly designed Forester (2014)? Hardly anything: the shorter wheelbase creates a bit of a bumpy, firm ride. The CVT transmission revs up loudly when you push the pedal down to accelerate onto the freeway. That's it! But things to like far outweigh those. A true 31.3 mpg driving over thousands of miles in the mountains and on interstates at 70 mph. An interior that is huge and comfortable for all---even the backseat passengers. Tinted side windows that block lots of sun. A huge sunroof. Electric driver seat that moves forward-back, up-down, tilt forward-back, and the lumbar adjustable seat back that tilts too. An oil filter on top of the engine that's easy to change. Beautiful metallic paint. A price negotiable to under $25000 for the premium level trim. No repairs as of yet after almost 60 K miles. All-wheel-drive that handles Colorado's deep snows with 8 inches clearance. A fairly decent information monitor with lots of different data screens. (The newer ones are even better (2015 and 2016). Subaru has things all figured out with these cars. It's our second after the 1998 Forester's engine finally died at 273,000 miles."

16 people out of 16 found this review helpful

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