This week we’re driving the 2016 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5, one of six Forester models available and now enjoying success in its fourth generation.
Notable is Forester’s impressive entry level price, as consumers can park a base 2.5 AWD Forester in their driveway for just $22,395 with a current dealer incentive of 1.9-percent financing. On near identical 2015 leftovers, 0.9-percent financing is available.
Perhaps this new Forester generation’s (introduced in 2014) biggest improvement is the four and five MPG increase in city and highway fuel mileage, respectively. This comes about thanks to Subaru’s newly enhanced continuous variable automatic transmission (CVT), which replaced the outdated four speed automatic on the prior generation 2013 models. Presto, the Forester MPG increased from 20 city and 27 highway to a consumer friendly 24 city and 32 highway.
Although fuel increase numbers like this deserves commendation, there’s way more to the new generation Foresters that make them a better buy than the third generation, which began in 2009.
Now 1.4-inches longer in length and .9-inch more on the wheelbase, the new generation Forester also offers 3.9-inches more rear seat legroom and there’s a half-inch wider width that results in 6.4 cu. ft. more in cargo space.
Power comes from the fuel injected 170-horsepower 2.5 liter horizontal Boxer four-cylinder, which provides 174 lb. ft. of torque and moves Forester with ease via the legendary Active Torque Split AWD mechanicals. A turbocharged model is available for those that want more go at the cost fuel mileage, specifically 23 city and 28 highway. Still, these are good numbers for a 250 horse and 258 lb. ft. of torque turbo Boxer. (Prices start at $29,195).
Our Forester Premium CVT tester is a “middle of the road” priced Forester with a base price of $25,795. Our tester came with just one option, the highly recommended EyeSight, NAV and All Weather upgrade for $1,895 more. This high-tech safety/comfort option features Subaru’s pre-collision braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane sway warning and pre-collision throttle management system. For the money, these features will allow safer driving every time you start the engine and back out of your driveway.
Your dealer will explain in detail this option’s advantages, and how brakes are applied to help avoid a collision if you aren’t paying attention. Included in this package is GPS Navigation, 6.1-inch touchscreen, smart phone integration, Nav Traffic abilities and heated seats and heated outside mirrors. When you add the $850 delivery, the final tally comes in at $28,540 retail.
Forester Premium standard features are many including keyless entry, power panoramic moonroof, rear safety camera, excellent Starlink six-speaker multimedia stereo with Sirius XM, 10-way power driver seat, dual zone air, all the hands free and mobile attachment bells and whistles, and even Starlink Safety Plus emergency contact/assistance.
Forester for 2016 receives an overall “Five Star” government crash rating as it offers outstanding crash-worthiness. The new Forester models come standard with seven airbags instead of six, a rear vision camera, vehicle dynamics control, stability and traction control and 4-wheel discs with ABS and electronic brake assist.
Underneath, all Foresters feature fully independent suspension, 17-inch tires on aluminum alloys which aide in both traction and delivering agile handling. The ride is comfortable even on uneven roads thanks to the overall suspension setup and comfortable seating.
Forester’s automatic AWD symmetrical traction is designed for excellent control, efficiency and offers a quick response in snowy conditions. Power is delivered to all wheels at all times and provides superb control. Your dealer will gladly explain all safety features, including standard Vehicle Dynamics Control, upon your visit.
Important numbers include a wheelbase of 103.9 inches, 3,397 lb. curb weight, 31.5 to 68.5 cu. ft. of cargo space, 8.7-inch ground clearance, 15.9 gallon fuel tank and up to 1,500 lb. tow capacity.
A legend in the all-wheel-drive category, 2016 Forester Premium is a great vehicle as Subaru continues to be a top consumer choice in the small SUV category. Having earned its place in U.S. auto history, Subaru Forester again repeats as a Test Drive “Best Buy.”
2016 Subaru Forester Premium
Base MSRP: $25,295
As Tested: $28,540 (including destination charge)
Fuel mileage improvement
Legendary AWD status
Engine a little noisy
Price can move high with options
(Greg Zyla and his son, Tim, write a weekly ”Father/Son” review for BestRide.com, More Content Now and other GateHouse Media publications).