2008 Subaru Forester


$4,492 - $6,813

2008 Subaru Forester Interior Review

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


Interior: 7.0

The 2008 Subaru Forester's five-seat interior is generally liked for its comfortable front seats and spaciousness, even if reviewers complain about rear seat comfort. Cargo capacity is also quite large for the Forester's petite size. "Compared to the typical mid-size SUV, Forester is a small vehicle, but it makes efficient use of interior space," says New Car Test Drive.

Interior cabin noise, however, is a major complaint. Edmunds cites "excessive road and wind noise" and even lists it as one of the Forester's few cons.


Reviewers generally agree that the Forester's front seats are well-suited for long rides. Edmunds calls them "comfortable and supportive." Kelley Blue Book asserts that "the Forester yields ample headroom in both front and rear," and U.S. News reviewer Rick Newman adds, "There is so much headroom in the Forester that all the occupants could wear football helmets and still not butt up against the headliner." The Forester's front cabin dimensions include 39.8 inches of headroom (39.1 inches with a moonroof), 43.6 inches of legroom and 53.5 inches of shoulder room.

The rear seats, however, receive much less praise. While Cars.com describes rear seat room as only being adequate, MSN notes that "a tall rear passenger will want more legroom if a driver moves his seat back a lot." Rear dimensions include 39.8 inches of headroom (37.0 inches with a moonroof), 33.7 inches of legroom and 53.6 inches of shoulder room. Edmunds says rear-seat riders are "apt to complain about the unsupportive cushioning and lack of legroom back here."

Interior Features

Overall, auto writers seem generally pleased with the Forester's long list of standard interior features and functional cabin design. About.com claims that though the Forester's dashboard "won't win any design competitions, it's simple and easy to use." In fact, reach from the driver's seat position is quite good. Kelley Blue Book adds that the gauges and controls are "ordinary but sensibly arranged."

The Forester 2.5 X comes outfitted with air conditioning, a six-way manually adjustable driver's seat (four-way manually adjustable front-passenger seat), manually adjustable driver-side lumbar support, cloth sport-design front seats and a 60/40-split flat-folding rear seatback. It also gets power windows and mirrors, 12-volt power outlets and a 100-watt four-speaker audio system with single-disc CD player. Additional standard features on the next model up, the Sports 2.5 X, include dual maplights, vanity mirrors, automatic climate control and a 120-watt seven-speaker audio system with six-disc CD changer/MP3/WMA player.

The 2.5 X L.L. Bean Edition adds an eight-way power adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, L.L. Bean-embossed leather-trimmed upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and compass, a wood and leather-wrapped MOMO steering wheel/shifter and a perforated leather-wrapped brake handle.

Lastly, the Sports 2.5 XT and 2.5 XT Limited add aluminum front-door sill plates, and a perforated leather wrapped steering wheel, shifter and brake handle to the mix. Also included with both of these trims is a 155-watt seven-speaker audio system with a subwoofer and six-disc CD changer/MP3/WMA player.


Most see cargo capacity as quite respectable for the Forester's size. It boasts 30.7 cubic feet with the rear seat in use and 68.6 cubic feet with the seat folded down. With the optional moonroof, capacity shrinks to 28.9 and 64.5 cubic feet, respectively. Edmunds calls the cargo area "surprisingly roomy and usefully square."

Reviewers at About.com note that "storage space abounds." Moreover, the Forester's high roof makes loading and transporting bulky items quite easy. About.com warns, however, that "its shorter length means its cargo bay can't accommodate as much as a mid-size wagon."

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