The 2011 Subaru Forester, as reviewed by our host Emme Hall, retains much of 2010’s model’s simplistic looks and drivetrain, save a few key differences.
For 2011, the Forester has an upgraded engine that boosts key areas in horsepower, torque, and gas mileage. The new engine is a 2.5 liter 4-banger that gets 170 horsepower and 174 pound feet of torque, making gas mileage 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. You can also choose to get a different trim with a turbocharged version of this engine, which will produce roughly 50 more horses and pound-feet. And all of these transmissions can come in either manual or automatic.
And of course, the Forester without question gets Subaru’s infamous all-wheel drive, letting the Forester hit the trails with ease. Handles are smooth and precise thanks to the AWD, and performs with aplomb. Not to mention its awesome 8.7 inches of ground clearance!
Inside and out, the Subaru is functional but not stylish. Its form won’t turn any heads, but what it lacks in aesthetics it more than makes up in practicality and user-friendliness. The space inside this crossover is roomier than one would expect, and the standard amenities are passable; trip computer, bluetooth & iPod integration, panoramic sunroof. As you ascend the trim levels, amenities start piling up, the more expensive trims feature rearview cameras, portable TomTom navigation screen, and more.
All in all, the Forester is a pleasant ride and definitely capable of holding its own in the crowded crossover SUV category, thanks to great fuel economy, a great sticker price, and fun, precise handling. All told, the Forester starts at $23,495, with our test car coming in at $26,384.
Host: Emme Hall
Vehicle: 2011 Subaru Forester
Base Price: $23,495
Price as tested: $26,384
Engine: 2.5L 4-cyl engine
Transmission: 5-speed manual standard, optional 4-speed automatic w/sport mode
Horsepower: 170 hp / 174 lb-ft torque
EPA: 21 city / 27 highway MPG