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Test Bench – Subaru Forester | True to form

To appreciate Subaru's Forester, you have to enter the circle of insiders. If it had been prettier, there might be more people jostling at its doors. Revisited for 2025, this utility vehicle arrives on a market that is still as buoyant, although notoriously crowded, and plays a score all its own. It takes the trouble to stand out with a more massive silhouette, but, as always, not very inspired.

The complex surfaces of its bodywork, a little too worked, mean that the Forester still doesn't look like much. “Too square” for some, “clumsily designed” for others, this Subaru utility vehicle, like the five generations that preceded it, favours being over appearance. Its customers are apparently grateful for that.

As part of this redesign, the sixth in its career, the Forester multiplies the effects to appear even bigger than it really is. The grille gains volume and gives it the face of a pure 4×4. This first impression is confirmed by the clear wheel arches, the significant ground clearance and the all-wheel drive. This is standard equipment, unlike some of its competitors. The discerning eye will not fail to notice that despite its somewhat heavy appearance, the Forester plays with finesse on the aerodynamic level. Additional proof, its fans will say, that this Subaru deserves to be judged beyond appearances. The front wings riddled with small openings promote the flow of air in order to improve the stability of the vehicle.

  • The interior of the Subaru Forester


    The interior of the Subaru Forester

  • The back seat of the Subaru Forester


    The back seat of the Subaru Forester

  • The trunk of the Subaru Forester


    The trunk of the Subaru Forester

  • The interior of the Subaru Forester


    The interior of the Subaru Forester

  • A detail of the Subaru Forester


    A detail of the Subaru Forester

  • The Subaru Forester engine


    The Subaru Forester engine


Known for its versatility, the Forester first installs its passengers in a bright space. Even more so when the panoramic roof is part of it. And airy thanks to its large side windows. Textured ambiance and varied materials distract the eye, which nevertheless remains more captivated (more accurate to write distracted here) by the immense vertical tablet screwed to the center of the dashboard. And not without reason. The system is sometimes slow to react and has many glitches, at least by attaching it to the CarPlay system (Apple). Subaru had the good idea to keep a certain number of physical controls, such as the radio volume. On the other hand, it is difficult to understand why the blower slider is integrated into the interface, but that the temperature control is duplicated (screen and physical controls). The front seats, for their part, received a visit from the design team, but they were unable to make them more comfortable over long distances or less sticky on hot summer days.

The interior and utility dimensions remain the same as those of the previous model. No one will find fault since the rear seats are among the most spacious in the category. As for the trunk, its wide opening and overall width are the envy of its rivals.

In the mood of time

Let's be clear, the 2025 Forester is more of an evolution of the previous model than a new model in itself. The architecture remains the same, only an additional quantity of adhesives ensures that it is more rigid (by 10%, according to its designers). That said, the Japanese manufacturer has revisited certain elements such as the steering and the suspension elements. These transformations certainly contribute to making the Forester more refined in terms of stability, comfort and quietness. On the other hand, they do not make it sportier or more exciting to drive. Only safer, and this, regardless of the weather conditions.

The chassis' qualities are largely overshadowed by the four-cylinder engine that this Subaru includes. It gains 2 lb-ft of torque compared to the previous version, but that doesn't bring it more flexibility, linearity and even less better fuel economy. The hybrid version (see the technical sheet) should theoretically give this Forester a little zest and greater sobriety. It remains to be seen whether it will also soften the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The latter contributes to making this engine rather grouchy during acceleration phases. In fact, when you accelerate, this box only makes the rev counter go crazy. You have to wait a while before the movement is transmitted to the wheels. The same scenario occurs during recovery. On the other hand, once cruising speed is reached, the engine and transmission regain their calm. The occupants of the Forester too.

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Subaru Forester

  • Price range: $33,495 to $44,995
  • Consumption: 8.2 L/100 km
  • CO emissions2 : 192 g/km

WE love

  • Ride comfort
  • Attention to detail
  • Visibility

We like less

  • Sluggish engine
  • No consumption gain
  • Slow and confusing infotainment system

Our verdict

  • The Forester rests on its laurels

Share your experience

The Press will soon be publishing reviews of the following vehicles: GMC Acadia, Infiniti QX80, Nissan Kicks, and Toyota Camry. If you own one of these vehicles or are waiting for one to be delivered, we would love to hear from you.

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See also:   Rigged test scandal | Toyota suspends deliveries of ten diesel models
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