2018 Subaru Forester Review

2018 Subaru Forester photo
  1. Original MSRP$22,795 - $36,090
  2. Fuel Economy (MPG)22/28 City/Hwy
  3. Body StylesWagon

2018 Subaru Forester Review

  • Overview
  • Specs
  • Safety
2018 Subaru Forester photo
  1. Original MSRP$22,795 - $36,090
  2. Fuel Economy (MPG)22/28 City/Hwy
  3. Body StylesWagon


By Charles Krome (Last Updated 12/20/2017)

Most small SUVs are built strictly for urban and suburban use. The 2018 Subaru Forester has the goods to venture beyond paved roads, and it owes this skill to its standard all-wheel drive and high ground clearance. This capable Subaru also impresses with its wide range of available safety technologies.

The 2018 Subaru Forester is a compact SUV that seats five passengers, and it’s sold in the following trims: 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited, 2.5i Touring, 2.0XT Premium and 2.0XT Touring. A naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine is standard for the 2.5i trims, and the 2.0XT models feature a standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

For 2018, the Forester debuts a Black Edition package that bundles features such as adaptive LED headlights and 18-inch black alloy wheels. Also, the available EyeSight Driver Assist Technology package expands to include reverse automatic braking and automatic high beams, and Touring models now come standard with this package.


The 2018 Subaru Forester brings some interesting details to its exterior design, which shows off a sophisticated front grille, a stylish upturn for its rear side windows and C-shaped headlight accents. Base models feature 17-inch steel wheels.

Standard features include halogen headlights and daytime running lights. Customers can order the Forester with upgrades such as fog lights, 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels, heated exterior mirrors, a panoramic power sunroof, a power rear liftgate, roof rails and adaptive LED headlights.


In the cabin, the 2018 Subaru Forester’s front row faces an expansive, multi-piece dashboard. A strong center stack is a highlight here, and it incorporates a deeply recessed information display at the top plus a large storage cubby toward the bottom. The Forester comes with 60/40-split folding rear seats as standard equipment, and a one-touch folding mechanism is available. Cargo capacity for the Forester varies slightly with and without the sunroof. In models without, there’s 34.3 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats in use and 74.7 cubic feet total; with the panoramic roof, capacity is rated at 31.5 and 68.5 cubic feet, respectively.

Base models come with cloth upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column and cargo-area underfloor storage. Available features include leather upholstery, heated front seats, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and dual-zone automatic climate control.


The Forester provides handling that is capable and composed. A 2.5-liter naturally aspirated flat-four engine is standard, and it produces 170 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. The 2.0XT trims rely on a 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-four engine good for 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Both a six-speed manual and a continuously variable transmission are available, and the Forester has a maximum tow rating of 1,500 pounds.

All-wheel drive is standard on all models, and the 2018 Subaru Forester achieves mileage of up to 26/32 mpg city/highway.


The Forester offers an impressive array of technology features. Base models come with Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, a 6.2-inch touch screen, HD radio, USB connectivity, a rearview camera, an auxiliary jack and a four-speaker sound system.

You can upgrade your Forester with available features such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward collision mitigation with automatic braking, reverse automatic braking, blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, navigation, satellite radio, a 7-inch touch screen, hands-free text messaging and a premium Harman Kardon sound system.

Specs & Features


  • Available colors

  • Ice Silver Metallic
  • Crystal Black Silica
  • Dark Gray Metallic
  • Crystal White Pearl
  • Jasmine Green Metallic
  • Quartz Blue Pearl
  • Venetian Red Pearl
  • Body style

  • Wagon
  • Wheel and tire type

  • Wheel Diameter: 17.0 X 7.0 Inches
  • Tire Type: 225/60r17 98h
  • Available exterior features

  • Rear Bumper Color: Body-color
  • Mirror Color: Black
  • Exhaust Tip Color: Metallic
  • Grille Color: Black With Chrome Accents
  • Window Trim: Black
  • Headlight Bezel Color: Black
  • Rocker Panel Color: Black
  • Front Bumper Color: Body-color
  • Door Handle Color: Body-color
  • Dimensions

  • Width Without Mirrors: 70.7 Inches
  • Ground Clearance: 8.7 Inches
  • Angle Of Approach: 23 Degrees
  • Width: 80.5 Inches
  • Length: 181.5 Inches
  • Height: 66.4 Inches
  • Wheelbase: 103.9 Inches
  • Break-over Angle: 21.0 Degrees
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 4480 Pounds
  • Rear Track Width: 61.1 Inches
  • Curb Weight: 3322 Pounds
  • Angle Of Departure: 25 Degrees
  • Front Track Width: 60.9 Inches


  • Comfort/convenience features

  • Air Filtration
  • Floor Mats: Front/Rear
  • Power Locks: Auto-locking
  • Shift Knob Trim: Urethane
  • Dash Trim: Metallic
  • Front Air Conditioning
  • Steering Wheel Trim: Urethane
  • Front Air Conditioning Zones: Single
  • Floor Material: Carpet
  • Floor Mat Material: Carpet
  • Telematics systems

  • Electronic Messaging Assistance: Voice Operated/With Read Function
  • Satellite Communications: Voice Guided Directions
  • Wireless Data Link: Bluetooth
  • Entertainment

  • Radio Data System
  • Auxiliary Audio Input: Bluetooth/USB/IPod/iPhone/Jack
  • In-Dash CD: MP3 Playback/Single Disc
  • Total Speakers: 4
  • Antenna Type: Mast
  • Speed Sensitive Volume Control
  • Radio: AM/FM/HD Radio/Touch Screen Display
  • Internet Radio App: AHA/Pandora/Stitcher/IHeartRadio
  • Infotainment: STARLINK
  • Seats

  • 6-Way Manual Driver Seat Adjustments
  • Bucket Front Seats
  • 4-Way Manual Passenger Seat Adjustments
  • Split-Folding Rear Seat
  • 60-40 Split Rear Seat
  • Upholstery: Cloth
  • Dimensions

  • Passenger Volume: 108.3 Cubic Feet
  • Max Seating: 5
  • Front Hip Room: 53.9 Inches
  • Front Shoulder Room: 57 Inches
  • Rear Hip Room: 53 Inches
  • Interior Volume: 142.7 Cubic Feet
  • Rear Legroom: 38 Inches
  • Cargo Volume All Rear Seats Down: 74.7 Cubic Feet
  • Front Legroom: 43 Inches
  • Front Headroom: 41.4 Inches
  • Rear Headroom: 39.8 Inches
  • Standard Seating: 5
  • Seating Rows: 2
  • Cargo Volume: 34.4 Cubic Feet
  • Rear Shoulder Room: 56.5 Inches


  • Drivetrain

  • 4WD Type: Full Time
  • Axle Ratio: 4.44
  • Center Differential: Viscous
  • Suspension

  • Rear Suspension Type: Double Wishbone
  • Front Suspension Type: Lower Control Arms
  • Rear Suspension Classification: Independent
  • Front Stabilizer Bar
  • Front Shock Type: Gas
  • Rear Spring Type: Coil
  • Rear Stabilizer Bar
  • Front Suspension Classification: Independent
  • Rear Shock Type: Gas
  • Front Spring Type: Coil
  • Front Struts: MacPherson
  • Rear Struts
  • Engine

  • Engine Type: 4 Cylinders
  • Displacement(liters): 2.5
  • Horsepower: 170
  • Torque: 174
  • Towing Capacity

  • Maximum Towing Capacity: 1500 Pounds
  • Transmission

  • Transmission Type: 6-speed Manual
  • Type: M
  • Gears: 6
  • Performance Specifications

  • Aerodynamic Drag: 0.33
  • Turning Circle: 34.8
  • Fuel Economy

  • Fuel Type: Gasoline
  • City (MPG): 22
  • Highway (MPG): 28
  • Combined (MPG): 24


  • Warranty information

  • New Car Basic Warranty: 36 Months/36,000 Miles
  • Powertrain: Drivetrain/Powertrain: 60 Months/60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion Perforation: Rust: 60 Months


NHTSA Ratings

  1. Overall Rating

  2. Frontal Crash

  3. Side Crash

  4. Rollover

Safety Features

  1. Child Safety Door Locks
  2. Electronic Stability Control: Standard
  3. Energy Absorbing Steering Column
  4. Rearview Monitor: in Dash
  5. Side Impact Airbags: Standard
  6. Child Seat Anchors: LATCH System
  7. Crumple Zones: Front/rear
  8. Camera System: Rearview
  9. Impact Absorbing Bumpers
  10. Body Side Reinforcements: Side Impact Door Beams
  11. Anti-lock Brakes Four Wheel: Standard
  12. Front Driver Airbags: Standard
  13. Impact Sensor: Fuel Cut-off
  14. Daytime Running Lights: Standard
  15. Rollover Stability Control: Not Available
  16. Front Passenger Airbags: Standard
  17. Safety Brake Pedal System
  18. Anti-lock Brakes Two Wheel: Not Available
  19. Brake Assist: Standard
  20. Side Curtain Airbags: Standard

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