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2009 Subaru Forester Review

The Subaru Forester, completely redone for 2009, is not the most refined offering among 2009 compact SUVs, but its spacious interior and comfortable seats make it a good choice for anyone looking for a practical vehicle.

Pros & Cons

  • Spacious, comfortable interior
  • Great cargo space
  • Good handling
  • Great safety scores
  • Interior less refined than competitors

Rankings & Research

The 2009 Subaru Forester's #7 ranking is based on its score within the 2009 Affordable Compact SUVs category. Currently the Subaru Forester has a score of 8.2 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 49 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.5
Performance: 8.2
Interior: 8.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.3
Safety: 9.8
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2009 Subaru Forester Overview

When it was new, critics said the 2009 Subaru Forester was greatly improved over its predecessor, and is a compelling choice for anyone in need of a sturdy, spacious and easy-going small SUV. It offers ample cargo space, and reviewers found its seats to be very comfortable, making the Forester a good choice for families. The Forester also has great safety ratings.

The Forester is available with either a four-cylinder engine that makes 170 horsepower or a turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 224 horsepower. Critics said the base engine is adequate for day-to-day driving, but said that turbocharged models are much more engaging and lively. All-wheel drive is standard, and an automatic transmission is available with both engines, while a manual is only available with the base engine. Fuel economy for a Forester with a base engine and manual transmission is 20/27 mpg city/highway, while automatic and turbocharged models average slightly less. That fuel economy is typical for the class.

Inside, critics said that while the Forester still doesn’t have the refined feel or materials quality of many of its rivals, its seats offer plenty of space and comfort in both the front and rear rows. The Forester can carry up to 68.3 cubic feet of cargo, which is very good for the class. Base models come equipped with cloth upholstery and a four-speaker stereo with an auxiliary input jack. Upper trims and option packages add features like leather seats, a power sunroof, power seats, automatic climate control and navigation.

See the full 2009 Subaru Forester specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you like the Forester, you may also like the 2009 Toyota RAV4. The RAV4 is highly-rated thanks to its peppy and fuel-efficient engine options and its comfortable, refined ride. It also offers one of the few third-row seat options in the class, and while critics said it isn’t especially roomy or comfortable, it could come in handy.

Another 2009 compact SUV to consider is the 2009 Chevrolet Equinox. The Equinox has a spacious, versatile interior and a comfortable ride. Critics also said that it rides fairly well and with either of its available V6 engines, has ample power.

Compare the Forester to the RAV4 and Equinox »

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