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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 153 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

Check Engine and hill assist light on first week!

By on Friday, July 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 400

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

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

"After letting go of my reliable 2006 Honda CR-V, I thought I made a good choice with a 2017 Subaru Forester. Well, I am sitting home stranded over the weekend with NO car, while my new car sits in the service lot. Won't get to my car until mid week. First and last Subaru."

One year in my 2015 Forester Touring I

By on Wednesday, July 20, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great driver view, interior layout"

Cons: "AC slower to cool, radio shuts off with engine, BT"

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

"Up Front: My first car review. Previous cars I have owned include, Jeep Wrangler (02&05), Toyota Matrix (09), Toyota Tacoma (05), I bought it new for Thirty K. The vehicle offers the best view for a driver of any car I have driven. Very, very few blind spots. Seats (leather) are comfortable and accommodate my 6'5" frame well. Seat heaters take a little bit to warm up, but are very effective in the "hi" setting. Console display is better than average and easy to quickly read. Turning and handling are much better than my old Matrix. Cabin noise is low, but noticeable at low speeds. Braking is moderately sensitive, but doesn't really start slowing down the vehicle until the pedal is over 70% depressed. It took me a little bit to get accustomed to starting my braking earlier. Acceleration is a bit slow in the 30-50mph range, but outside that range, it is not an issue. With AC running and driving 70-80mph, I averaged about 26-27mpg. City driving nets around 24-25mpg. Dual climate controls are a nice feature although the AC takes several, several minutes to reach maximum output. This wouldn't be much of an issue if I didn't live in the deep south. The Bluetooth audio system will only remember one device at a time. If you want to use another device, you must first delete the profile of the first device. Also, the radio shuts off as soon as the engine is turned off. Not a big deal, but for a top end model, it seems like it was overlooked. Sunroof is long and does not interfere with my driving when shut. The rear door automatic feature is a little tricky to operate. If you don't hold the button down for just the right amount of time, the door will not open. Its frustrating and seldom saves time. Using the FOB button is easier. I have had no mechanical issues to date. I have had 5 windshield chips from rocks which is very bad luck, an indictment of the road conditions in the Gulf-coast, or maybe a design issue. I never had this many in such a short time when I drove my Jeeps and those windshields are near vertical. Exterior (minus the windshield) has held up well. Minor scratches in the front and a few small door-dings are not noticeable from 5 feet away. Ground illumination from the side-view mirrors is a very nice feature and gives me ample lighting to see the ground around the car. Overall this is a solid vehicle for my daily commute and the occasional 6 hour trip to see the family. It is my first Subaru and I am pleased. If it holds up, I plan to keep this car for many, many years to come."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

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 4 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

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