2011 Subaru Forester 2.5XT Touring new car reviews

A Subaru in its natural habitat: dirt.

Better than: Many other crossovers
But not as good as: Forester STI
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 84.46

For most of recorded history--okay, maybe just the last decade or so--the Subaru lineup has been dominated by three models: various versions of the Impreza and Legacy as well as the Forester. That last one can be described as a tall wagon.

The Forester received an optional turbocharger a few years ago, and there was much rejoicing. Subaru redid the Forester line for 2008, and that turbocharged Forester XT is still with us. The vehicle hasn't gotten overstuffed, though, as the latest one is only about 4 inches longer than the original.

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David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

We used this as a support vehicle for our recent trip to the Pikes Peak hill climb, and it may have been the perfect vehicle:

• Big enough to carry three of us plus all of our stuff: cooler, chairs, camera gear, backpacks, food, etc., etc.

• Small enough to be easily parked.

• It's also small enough to easily navigate downtown Denver. I know, it's not New York, but they have plenty of tight parking spots.

• Enough ground clearance to drive off road.

• A chassis that soaks up the highway miles, especially after 16 hours on a mountain.

• A light, airy, comfortable cockpit. Seriously, this was a joy to drive.

• Comfortable seats.

• More than adequate tunes. Thanks, too, for the easy-to-figure out iPod input.

• Plenty of cubbies for our junk.

• Rubber floor mats. It's like the people at Subaru know us.

What's not to like? A stick shift isn't available with the turbo engine, but considering how much time we spent in Pikes Peak traffic the auto was perfect.

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Comments

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Luke
Luke UberDork
7/26/11 6:01 a.m.

WTB(erkeley) is a chicken house?? :P

Nice review. While I think the current crop of Subies are the ugliest yet, it's good to know they haven't lost their practicality and driver appeal.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/26/11 9:57 p.m.

That was a loaner from the press pool, but I'd check if they're in the area rental fleets. It was perfect for our visit to Colorado.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/10/13 12:00 a.m.

For most of recorded history--okay, maybe just the last decade or so--the Subaru lineup has been dominated by three models: various versions of the Impreza and Legacy as well as the Forester. That last one can be described as a tall wagon.

The Forester received an optional turbocharger a few years ago, and there was much rejoicing. Subaru redid the Forester line for 2008, and that turbocharged Forester XT is still with us. The vehicle hasn't gotten overstuffed, though, as the latest one is only about 4 inches longer than the original.

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