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Subaru Forester

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Subaru Forester Review, For Sale, Colours, Specs, Models & News

The Subaru Forester was somewhat late to the small SUV party when it debuted in Australia in 1997, a full three years after the Toyota RAV4.

That said, it managed to co-lead the small SUV charge regardless, thanks to its combination of a car-like driving experience, the space of a small station wagon and a decent amount of off-road ability.

Current prices range from $37,890 to $49,340 for the Forester 2.5I (awd) and Forester Hybrid S (awd).

Because of its long suspension travel and higher ride height, the Forester certainly had the measure of the standard sedans, hatches and wagons when the going got tough, whether on Australia’s rough roads or beyond them. Its car-like driving experience is because the Forester is based on the Impreza sedan and wagon, which debuted here in 1993. These days, the Forester continues the same formula, growing larger, safer and more powerful through successive generations.

Subaru Forester Models Price and Specs

The price range for the Subaru Forester varies based on the trim level you choose. Starting at $37,890 and going to $49,340 for the latest year the model was manufactured. The model range is available in the following body types starting from the engine/transmission specs shown below.

Year Body Type Specs Price from Price to
2023 SUV 2.5L, ULP, CVT AUTO $37,890 $49,340
2022 SUV 2.5L, ULP, CVT AUTO $31,900 $53,460
2021 SUV 2.5L, ULP, CVT AUTO $29,920 $49,390
2020 SUV 2.5L, ULP, CVT AUTO $28,490 $45,980
2019 SUV 2.5L, ULP, CVT AUTO $25,520 $41,910
See All Subaru Forester Pricing and Specs

Subaru Forester Q&As

Check out real-world situations relating to the Subaru Forester here, particularly what our experts have to say about them.

  • What's a good hybrid car to buy?

    The default purchase for somebody looking for a mid-sized hybrid SUV is the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. But if that’s too big, there’s the Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid, C-HR Hybrid and even the Corolla Cross Hybrid which sounds like the marketplace is getting crowded but is really just a reflection of the appetite right now for cars like these. And that’s the catch; the waiting times for a brand-new example of some of these cars is out to many months and even years. So your plan to shop second-hand makes plenty of sense, but don’t expect any bargains in a market currently being dominated by lots of demand and less supply.

    Beyond the Toyota brand (which has been doing hybrids longer than just about anybody else) there’s also the Mazda CX-30, Subaru XV Hybrid, Haval Jolion Hybrid, Kia Niro, Subaru Forester Hybrid, Nissan Qashqai e-Power, MG HS, Honda HR-V e and more. For something a bit bigger, try the Kia Sorento or Hyundai Santa Fe hybrids. There are others out there, too, that are probably bigger or more expensive than you need, but it's very much a growing scene in the Australian marketplace.

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  • What options do I have after my 1998 Subaru Forester suffered loss of power?

    Okay, let's tackle your questions one by one. The advice you've been given by two repairers doesn't really gel. For a start, you have a mechanic telling you it's an electrical problem, and an electrician telling you it's a mechanical problem. Sounds like neither of them know what's up here. There's a big difference between an engine that has no spark and an engine that needs a complete rebuild, in both dollar and effort terms, so you need to get an independent assessment of what's really wrong with the thing and go from there. If, for instance, it's a simple case of needing new spark plugs or coils, then it's worth fixing. If the engine is indeed toast, then a new one is probably going to cost more than the value of the entire car.

    Which brings us to your second question. Given that a 1998 Forester is probably a $3000 to $5000 car in good working order, you're not sitting on a gold-mine. While you could potentially make more by wrecking the car and selling it in pieces, you have the hassle of physically separating the car and selling it piece by piece with cleaning, packaging and mailing the parts one by one. Then there's the fielding of hundreds of emails and phone calls, not to mention the hassle of having a dead car in your driveway for as long as it takes to sell all the bits. Even then, you'll eventually have to have the carcass taken away. The alternative is to sell the car to a wrecking yard to handle that side of things, but you'll be lucky to be offered more than a few hundred dollars to have the car picked up and removed.

    The option, to answer your third question, would be to have the car electronically scanned, find out precisely what's wrong with it and make an informed decision from there. If the thing is fixable, great. But if it needs a new engine, it might be time to think about a replacement car as spending thousands on a 25-year-old car that will certainly be showing wear in other areas, doesn't really stack up.

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  • Does my 2012 Subaru Forester have a timing belt or timing chain?

    Subaru's EE20 diel engine is an interesting one as it was claimed to be the world's first turbo-diesel engine with Subaru's trademark boxer layout (where the cylinders run in pairs, opposed to each other (like an air-cooled Volkswagen).

    The brand has switched from timing belts to timing chains and back at various points in its engineering history, but the EE20 in your car is from the point in history where timing chains were in vogue at Subaru. As such, the timing chain should last the life of the engine and not require periodic replacement as a timing belt does.

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  • What type of oil should I put in my 2022 Subaru Forester petrol engine?

    The recommendation from the trade is to use a fully synthetic 0W20 or 5W30 grade oil. As the grade suggests, this is quite thin oil, but it allows the oil to flow easily when it's cold and, therefore, reduce wear. Modern engines like the Subaru's have many intricate, tiny oilways associated with the variable vale timing mechanisms, so a thinner, easier-flowing oil is often what's needed.

    The flip-side is that modern engines with low-tension piston rings (for better fuel economy) are apt to drink a little oil between oil-changes. So you need to keep an eye on the oil level on the dipstick to avoid running the engine low on oil. This isn't a Subaru-specific thing, but applies to many modern engine designs. What you'll spend on oil will be more than offset by the fuel savings a modern engine can provide.

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See All Subaru Forester Q&As
Disclaimer: You acknowledge and agree that all answers are provided as a general guide only and should not be relied upon as bespoke advice. Carsguide is not liable for the accuracy of any information provided in the answers.

Subaru Forester Colours

The Forester comes in 10 colours including Crystal White, Crimson Red Pearl, Horizon Blue Pearl and Autumn Green Metallic.

  • Crystal White Pearl
  • Ice Silver Metallic
  • Magnetite Grey Metallic
  • Crystal Black Silica
  • Crimson Red Pearl
  • Brilliant Bronze Metallic
  • Autumn Green Metallic
  • Horizon Blue Pearl
  • Cascade Green Silica
  • Dark Blue Pearl
To confirm current colour availability, please check the manufacturer's website.

Subaru Forester Accessories

The entry grade in the Forester range is called the 2.5i and it lists for $35,990 and comes with dual-zone climate control, an eight-inch media touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 6.3-inch display for vehicle info, and a smaller 4.2-inch screen in the instrument cluster, cloth seats, a proximity key with push-button start, plus tinted rear windows, LED headlights and daytime running lights and 17-inch alloy wheels.

The next grade up is the 2.5i-L for $38,390 and frankly it’s identical to the 2.5i except for one hugely important difference – it comes with more safety tech. If it was my money, I’d skip the entry grade and go straight to the 2.5i-L. It also comes with heated seats.

The 2.5i Premium is the next up the ladder at $41,140 and comes with all the features in the grades below but adds 18-inch alloys, premium cloth seats, sat nav, powered front seats, and a power tailgate.

Hang in there, we’re almost through this.

The 2.5i Sport for $42,690 has the Premium’s features but has 18-inch wheels with a black metallic finish, there are orange highlights to the exterior and interior trim, water-repellent cloth seats and a power sunroof.            

The 2.5i-S is the fanciest grade in the range at $44,190 – it’s the one I tested in the video at the top of this review. Along with all the features of the lower grades there are also silver 18-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, an eight-speaker Harman Kardon stereo and X-Mode, which is an off-road system for playing in the mud.

Subaru Forester Accessories

Subaru Forester Towing Capacity

The Subaru Forester has maximum towing capacity of 1800kg for the latest model available.

Year Body Type Braked Capacity from Braked Capacity to
2023 SUV 1200kg 1800kg
2022 SUV 1200kg 1800kg
2021 SUV 1200kg 1800kg
2020 SUV 1200kg 1800kg
2019 SUV 1200kg 1500kg
See All Towing Capacity for Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester Dimensions

The dimensions of the Subaru Forester SUV vary according to year of manufacture and spec level.

Year Body Type Height x Width x Length Ground Clearance
2023 SUV 1730x1815x4640 mm 220 mm
2022 SUV 1730x1815x4640 mm 220 mm
2021 SUV 1730x1815x4625 mm 220 mm
2020 SUV 1730x1815x4625 mm 220 mm
2019 SUV 1730x1815x4625 mm 220 mm
The dimensions shown above are for the base model. See All Subaru Forester Dimensions

Subaru Forester Boot Space

The boot space ranges from 498 litres (hybrid) to 509 litres (petrol).

Subaru Forester Boot space Subaru Forester Boot space

Subaru Forester Wheel Size

The Subaru Forester has a number of different wheel and tyre options. When it comes to tyres, these range from 225x60 R17 9 for SUV in 2023.

Year Body Type Front Tyre Size Front Rim Rear Tyre Size Rear Rim
2023 SUV 225x60 R17 9 225x60 R17 9
2022 SUV 225x60 R17 9 225x60 R17 9
2021 SUV 225x60 R17 9 225x60 R17 9
2020 SUV 225x60 R17 9 17x7 inches 225x60 R17 9 17x7 inches
2019 SUV 225x60 R17 17x7 inches 225x60 R17 17x7 inches
The dimensions shown above are for the base model. See All Subaru Forester Wheel Sizes

Subaru Forester Fuel Consumption

The Subaru Forester is available in a number of variants and body types that are powered by Hyb/ULP, — and ULP fuel type(s). It has an estimated fuel consumption starting from 6.7L/100km for SUV /Hyb/ULP for the latest year the model was manufactured.

Year Body Type Fuel Consumption* Engine Fuel Type Transmission
2023 SUV 6.7L/100km 2.0L Hyb/ULP CVT AUTO
2023 SUV 7.4L/100km 2.5L CVT AUTO
2023 SUV 7.4L/100km 2.5L ULP CVT AUTO
2022 SUV 6.7L/100km 2.0L Hyb/ULP CVT AUTO
2022 SUV 7.4L/100km 2.5L CVT AUTO
2022 SUV 7.4L/100km 2.5L ULP CVT AUTO
2021 SUV 6.7L/100km 2.0L Hyb/ULP CVT AUTO
2021 SUV 7.4L/100km 2.5L ULP CVT AUTO
2020 SUV 6.7L/100km 2.0L Hyb/ULP CVT AUTO
2020 SUV 7.4L/100km 2.5L ULP CVT AUTO
2019 SUV 6.7L/100km 2.0L Hyb/ULP CVT AUTO
2019 SUV 7.4L/100km 2.5L ULP CVT AUTO
* Combined fuel consumption See All Subaru Forester Pricing and Specs for 2023

Subaru Forester Interior

Leather upholstery comes in on the top-of-the-range 2.5i-S.

Subaru Forester Seats

The Forester has five seats. 

Subaru Forester Seats

Subaru Forester Speed

The 0-100km/h time is about 9 seconds.