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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 144 Ratings for the 2014 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    8.0/10
  • Comfort
    7.8/10
    Styling
    7.9/10

First Subaru owned-5 weeks

By on Saturday, May 21, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 652

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Very happy, look forward to driving it in winter"

Cons: "Much larger than 2015 model., pref. that one"

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

"I bought the forester after months of research using both typical-internet reviews on numerous auto sites, and car forums, excluding those obviously biased, ie Subaru's own sites, or dealerships; and informal-asking family,friends, coworkers, and even approaching people in parking lots, as they exited their Subaru. This was not an easy decision, I'm ok with & accustomed to used cars, thanks to a friend i had who could fix almost anything auto related (from head gaskets to replacing the transmission for my beloved '95 manual Land Rover-died after 300+ miles) & that got me through 18 yrs, no car payments. Then ,my oldest son's car died in Jan. (3 words: used Jetta- diesel) 3 mos. after he bought it, so no money for another used car; as a mother, well I did what most moms will-gave him my little 2002 Saturn SL 5speed (great car-no electric windows, door locks, etc,none of the computerized extras, planned obsolescence, that seems standard in newer cars). At this point in my life. I wanted a reliable car, im a nurse, and we have enough used cars (middle son has a used 2002 Subaru Outback,he paid $2800 in 2014. Only needed brakes). I chose the Forester based on what i read and heard, it was consistent positive reviews, with supportive objective data; family & friends, and those subaru owners people were kind and very pleased to tell me their story, when i explained why i was asking. They're cars that people expected to last (with care & maintenance), and thats what i heard-the only reason an owner sold or traded in their subaru-was to buy a newer one, or change from SUV to a sedan; the loyalty is impressive- not one regretted getting a subaru, & for many, it was not their first. I didn't meet many with the 6 speed though. But dealers didn't have any older manual foresters to sell; I'm taking that as a good sign."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Very good all purpose vehicle. Good in snow.

By on Wednesday, April 27, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Forester fits our transportation needs perfectly."

Cons: "Wish it came with higher quality tires."

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

"Excellent compromise vehicle. Replaced a 4WD SUV and a compact sedan when we went to a one car household. Surprisingly, winter snow driving is as good as the 4WD and rides and handles better than the compact sedan. Very happy with our Forester."

9 people out of 16 found this review helpful

This is my 3rd Subaru.

By on Wednesday, April 13, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great price, loves going up mountains!"

Cons: "No ashtray!!!"

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

"I will not drive anything else. My husband had to talk me into my first. Since then - nothing else. I have had 2 Outbacks and now my Forester. I love this car. More comfortable than my Outbacks. More rooms. Better control. Love Love Love it!!!! 2 of my friends have recently bought Subaru's on my recommendations - 1 Legacy and 1 Forester."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Nice car

By on Sunday, March 13, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,500

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
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Power, drive system, xdrive, handling"

Cons: "oil consumption if not maintained analy."

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

"There are some things in the Limited that I find very nice. The x control really glues the car to the ground even on steep slippery terrain. The visors extend all the way across the windscreen. The heated seats are nice as is the drivers seat adjustments 10-way. I understand the oil problem but since I change it every 3-4000 miles my auto is not affected. Anyhow because some cars have the problem it now looks like we all get 8 years or 100K miles on the power train. Not bad. Keeping the oil changed is a good thing I have found out. My 94 troopers have almost 300K on them and I change the oil every 3K miles. It still looks amber not black. The flat 4 engine also can fool one into thinking the oil is gone because all of it doesn't drain back to the pan. Anyhow it is something to keep track of but not a big worry if you maintain the car. I like the tail gate and the high profile too. . I drive from Los Angeles to the high country in Arizona and back often and get to use both the AC and heater. It is not uncommon in the winter to go from 100 degrees in the desert to 10 degrees in the mountains on the same trip. I don't notice a big problem with either heat or cold. It does not warm up immediately but that means there is lots of margin in the design so it doesn't bother me and with the heated seats it doesn't matter anyway. The limited has reclining rear seats and that is nice. I also find the automatic tailgate to be handy. I did not get the nav package because I am sold on Garmin and I find the window slope makes mounting the unit a bit far away from my eyes. That is probably peculiar to me. Power OK, 4wd much better than most especially in x mode. center console pretty much useless and the center arm rest does not seem to lock in any place so it can move unexpectedly. Leather is good as I have dogs and the cloth seats would soon be hairballs. So overall this is a great little car that so far has fit my needs."

20 people out of 24 found this review helpful

I like it but don't love it

By on Sunday, March 13, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"Pros: good gas mileage, roomy interior, reliable, dependable, smooth ride, panorama sunroof, zoom zoom. Cons: speakers suck- everything sounds distant, the A/C and heating system take a good 5-10 mins to start fully working, exterior design, could use more cup holders/organizer space between front seats. Honestly, I would rather drive my 1997 4-runner than this car on a daily basis. I am looking to trade my forester in at the moment. I can't say I am very pleased with the car. Plus, don't ever ever buy black- seriously... worst decision ever."

7 people out of 10 found this review helpful

I've had 12 SUVs since 1986 and this is the worst

By on Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,500

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Gas mileage, roominess, reasonable price"

Cons: "Poor heat/ AC; terrible tires; weak battery"

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

"The 2014 Forester was highly rated by all the experts and had a good lease program so I got one. What a disappointment. It does have a lot of room, is reasonably comfortable, and gets 25 mpg but..............I had to replace the tires after 2 months because the car was all over the road if the pavement was even wet. Something about the drive system wears the tires badly too. I had to have a brake job at 21000 miles. The battery is a total wimp, and I have had to be jump started 6-8 times since last summer and now carry jumper cables full time. The heat and AC are both marginal at best, slow to come on and not very warm or cold. Be wary of Subaru parts, I broke a tail light and the replacement cost me $280. New interior air filters cost me $60. When it is time for an oil change you have to use expensive synthetic oil. If I was not stuck with the lease until Oct 2016, I would be rid of this car immediately."

11 people out of 24 found this review helpful

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