2007 Subaru Forester


$4,709 - $7,171

2007 Subaru Forester Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2007 Subaru Forester was new.


Performance: 7.5

Though the 2007 Forester is generally hailed for its quick acceleration and all-weather capability, a transmission seen by some as stubborn prevents it from earning almost universal praise for its performance. Even so, New Car Test Drive boasts, "Forester is much better than nearly any SUV that comes to mind for driving the way most people drive most of the time."

Auto writers generally agree that the Forester is a quick ride for a small SUV. Though only available as a four-cylinder, higher-end trim levels come equipped with a turbocharged engine -- standard. While the X trims are very competent, it's the XT trims that reviewers often rave about. "Simply put, the Forester XT's are very fast, and the power is so steady and even that there's almost no clue that you're wrangling a turbocharged engine. It's so much fun that you'll want to floor the gas pedal at every opportunity, just to feel the exhilarating rush of acceleration," says New Car Test Drive. MSN claims that the turbocharged Forester's ability to go from 0-60 miles per hour in 5.9 seconds (with manual transmission) makes it a "hot rod crossover." Kelley Blue Book boasts that its "snappy" and "youthful" acceleration makes it an "eager and frisky performer."

Acceleration and Power

The Forester 2.5 X, Sports 2.5 X and 2.5 X L.L. Bean Edition are all powered by a 173-horsepower, 2.5-liter, four-cylinder boxer engine and make 166 pound-feet of torque. The 2.5 X and Sports 2.5 X are available in both a standard five-speed manual and optional four-speed automatic transmission. The 2.5 X L.L. Bean Edition, however, is only offered as an automatic. According to Subaru, all three 2.5 X trims maintain an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) city/highway fuel economy of 19 miles per gallon in the city and 26 mpg on the highway (manual) and 20 mpg in the city and 25 on the highway (automatic).

The Forester Sports 2.5 XT and XT Limited are significantly more powerful than all three 2.5 X trim levels. Powered by a 224-horsepower, 2.5-liter, four-cylinder turbo charged boxer engine, they make 226 pound-feet of torque and are available in both a standard five-speed manual and optional four-speed automatic transmission. Fuel efficiency for XT trims registers at an EPA-estimated 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway (manual) and 18 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway (automatic). While both Edmunds and New Car Test Drive agree that such performance makes the Forester's fuel economy "good" for its class, New Car Test Drive cautions that "XT's require more expensive premium fuel for maximum performance."

With such power, it's no wonder that an Edmunds auto reviewer described his experience test driving the 2.5 XT Limited as "the funnest SUV I've ever driven."

Handling and Braking

Although consensus concerning the Forester's acceleration is clear, handling is not. While many reviewers, like Cars.com, agree that it's "easy-to-drive" and "maneuvers nimbly," others complain that stubborn shifting detracts from overall ride-quality. The Arizona Republic describes the four-speed automatic as seemingly "harsh" and "generally confused, holding gears too long before upshifting and downshifting unpredictably." The Washington Post adds that for the manual transmission, "working the clutch in this one [2.5 XT] took some getting used to." MSN describes the Forester's handling as "car-like," but still complains of "heavy" steering detracting from its overall "quick and accurate" capabilities.

Standard on every 2007 Subaru Forester is a four-wheel independent heavy-duty raised suspension system with stabilizer bars in both the front and rear. While each of the five trims come equipped with Subaru's standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system, only the Sports 2.5 XT features Traction Control (TCS), Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) and Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) systems to ensure both optimum road traction and safety. According to the Arizona Republic, "Forester won't be mistaken for a tough off-roader, with its drive system designed for wet, snowy or graded-dirt roads." Still, MSN notes, "The solidly constructed Forester is surprisingly capable during fairly rugged off-road driving."

While the 2.5 X and Sports 2.5 X are equipped with standard front-wheel ventilated disc/rear-wheel drum brakes, the 2.5 X L.L. Bean Edition, Sports XT and XT Limited all come stocked with a four-wheel disc/ventilated front braking system. Moreover, all 2007 Subaru Foresters are outfitted with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), as well as a four-channel, four-sensor anti-lock brake system (ABS). Among the many features included in the 2.5 X Premium Package is a four-wheel disc/ventilated front brake system.

Although reviewers at MSN claim that "the brake pedal is almost too soft," they agree that "its linear action allows smooth stops." New Car Test Drive adds, "The brakes are excellent. We experienced no apparent fade after three consecutive full-on stops from 65 mph, and Forester comes to a halt in short order."


All five trim levels of the 2007 Subaru Forester maintain a maximum towing capacity of 2,400 pounds. As New Car Test Drive explains, that's "enough for personal watercraft or a snowmobile but not enough for a car trailer or weightier boat."

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