The New York Times
For Subaru’s popular compact SUV, “the time has come to start throwing some punches.” Last reworked in 2008, the Forester stood still in recent years as sales slowly eroded and rival after rival improved performance, luxury features, and fuel economy. But the 2014 Forester has finally answered in kind. With its new power train and larger, better-equipped cabin, this versatile all-wheel-drive family car is once again a “serious contender.”
Car and Driver
On the outside, the Forester has gotten “a nip here and a tuck there,” plus “a blockier, more SUV-like nose.” The rear seat now provides “limo-esque leg- and headroom,” and interior gadgetry includes a backup camera, a Harman Kardon sound system, and a power liftgate. Fuel economy improves across the line, hitting a highway number of 28 mpg in the XT, which weds a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine with a continuously variable transmission.
Manual shifting is available only with the 2.5-liter base engine, which “seems snappy and energetic” at first but feels merely adequate at higher speeds—especially compared with the “seriously quick” XT. Still, both models deliver where it matters. “There may be cheaper or handsomer options in the class, but the Forester remains a solid all-arounder.”