2008 Subaru Forester

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2008 Subaru Forester Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Subaru Forester was new.

The Forester ranks in the top half of its class for delivering excellent acceleration and a surprisingly fun driving experience, along with proven safety and reliability. However, it's bested by the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, which offer smoother ride quality and edgier, more modern styling.

Pros & Cons

  • Base and turbo engines offer quick acceleration
  • Full-time all-wheel drive standard on all models
  • Excellent crash test scores
  • Automatic transmission is slow to downshift
  • Exterior styling has a bland, aging design

Research & Ratings

Currently, the Subaru Forester has a score of 8.4 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 51 pieces of research and data.




Critics' Rating: 8.3
Performance: 7.8
Interior: 7.0
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2008 Subaru Forester Overview

Reviewers generally see the 2008 Subaru Forester as a very good value for a fun, family-friendly SUV. While most complain about its bland exterior and stubborn transmission, the Forester's positives outweigh its flaws. "The Forester should make a lot of people's lists as an all-around capable vehicle. Older buyers, especially, know a good deal when they drive one," says the Boston Globe. For 2008, the Subaru Forester adds a few new features to its many trim levels. Turbocharged models with the automatic transmission get a tweaked all-wheel-drive system and now come standard with electronic stability control. Also notable is that the top-of-the-line L.L. Bean model no longer comes with self-leveling rear suspension.

The Forester comes in several trims -- the 2.5X, Sport X, Sport XT, 2.5 X L.L. Bean Edition and 2.5 XT Limited. All models come standard with full-time all-wheel drive.

  • "Although the Forester is aging, it remains a comfortable little truck, not just to occupy but in all aspects of its personality." -- Car and Driver
  • "The difference between the Forester and the newest breed of tall wagons is that the Forester always was a genuine all-wheel-drive people hauler. It never pretended to be a jungle-conquering, off-road sport-utility vehicle, or anything else." -- Washington Post
  • "Forester may not impress the neighbors, unless they appreciate the Subie's quality and practicality, but it will get the job done with a minimum of fuss." --Arizona Republic

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