2014 Subaru Forester

Redesigned for 2014, the Subaru Forester gets improvements in the fuel economy of its boxer engines but keeps all the performance, dependability and versatility its owners have come to expect. And like its predecessors, all Foresters have AWD.

That’s one of the main reasons we like Subaru. AWD is one of the best safety features available; it’s standard on all Subarus (except the new BRZ) and it’s an option for most other manufacturers.

The engines offered include a 2.0-liter turbocharged Boxer and a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated Boxer. The turbo develops 250 horsepower and the 2.5-liter is rated at 170 horses.

Mileage ratings for both are up in 2014; the turbo has EPA ratings of 23 miles per gallon in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, while the 2.5-liter gets 24 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the road. Those figures are with a CVT transmission, although a 6-speed manual is available.

The greenhouse of the Forester is larger for 2014, but the wheelbase of the vehicle is less than an inch longer at 103.9 inches. The rear seat is where most of the interior gains are, with legroom pegged at 41.7 inches. Maximum rear cargo with the 60/40 split rear seatbacks lowered is 74.7 cubic inches.

The 2014 Forester will be offered in Base, Premium, Limited and Touring versions. As the names indicate, levels outfitted with the 2.5-liter engine include 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5iLimited and 2.5i Touring. The 2.0-liter turbo engine will be on the 2.0XT Premium and Touring models.

There are also more standard and available amenities on the 2014 Forester’s high end models. All but the base model have a standard rearview camera system. New available features include a power lift gate, keyless access and starting, and the new EyeSight driver alert system. The EyeSight system uses cameras instead of radar to integrate adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and lane departure warning systems.

Ground clearance for the 2014 Forester is 8.7 inches, which makes it suitable for light off-road duties. Got some ruts in your gravel driveway? The Forester likely won’t bottom out. Want to drive down a deeply rutted deer camp road? There might be an issue.

The Forester’s AWD is particularly handy in inclement weather and is one of the best safety features you can put on a vehicle. A new enhanced Active AWD system paired with the CVT transmission includes Hill Descent Control and X-mode locking on high-end models for even better control in slippery conditions.

The 2014 model hasn’t yet been safety tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, but the 2013 Forester was an IIHS “Top Safety Pick” winner. In fact, the model has a well-deserved reputation for safety, winning the “Top Safety Pick” for many years.

The new model has all the safety equipment of the previous one, plus anti-whiplash front seats, a driver’s knee air bag, brake override and an impact-sensing fuel system cutoff. All models have standard front seat side impact air bags and side curtains. Intelligent dual-stage deploying front air bags use sensors to determine air bag deployment strength.

The 2014 Forester ranges in price from $21,995 at the low end, ranging up to $32,995 for a 2.0XT Touring model.

2014 Subaru Forester

2.0XT Premium

Engine:

2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder

Transmission:

CVT

Horsepower:

250

Test model base price:

$27,995 ($28,820 with freight)

EPA mileage rating:

23 mpg city / 28 mpg highway