Reviews

2017 Subaru Forester Walk Around


The Forester has never compromised to look all swoopy like other crossovers. It’s a tall, short, square wagon with the ride height of an SUV. Its design priorities include easy entrance and exit. That doesn’t make it not handsome.

It does step out a bit. The light sculpts on its sides, and the shape of its taillamps, are shared by the edgy Impreza. There are a couple of character lines on the hood, down the center and along the sides. Not everything is neat. On the turbo models there’s an aggressive airdam that reminds us of dewlaps on a lizard.

Interior

One thing we like about the Forester is that you can climb in it and work everything without having to refer to a 500-page manual in the glovebox, like, for example, with an Audi. In other words, it’s simple and intuitive.

The instrument panel is clean (shared with the Legacy sedan and Outback crossover. Audio and climate controls are logical and easy to use. The dash is located forward and low, to give front occupants more room. The information screen is mounted over the center console that flows back over bins and cupholders to an armrest.

The interior materials, improved in recent years, are a mix of matte and soft-touch surfaces with matte metallic trim, including a handsome Saddle Brown perforated leather with contrasting stitching for the Touring model. The 2017 Forester gets more sound insulation in the floor, an acoustic windshield, and thicker glass in the doors, all intended to reduce interior noise while underway.

The driving position is high and the window line low, so there’s an unsurpassed feeling of space in front, for a compact car. But the front seats leave a lot to be desired, with short, flat cushions and slim bolstering. Tall drivers will find their knees contacting the center console and door panels, which aren’t soft.

Ironically the rear seats have a better contour to them. There’s ample headroom and legroom, with a low driveshaft tunnel, as well as rear doors that are wide enough for easy entry and exit. Every model but the base has a 60/40 rear seat that folds nearly flat with a one-touch mechanism, creating a generous cargo capacity of 74.7 cubic feet. And there’s still a good 34.4 cubic feet behind the rear seat.

Request More Info