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2011 Subaru Forester Review

It may not be the most refined 2011 compact SUV available, but the 2011 Subaru Forester, with its generously-sized interior and standard all-wheel drive, is a great choice for anyone looking for a comfortable, well-rounded SUV.

Pros & Cons

  • Spacious interior and ample cargo space
  • Comfortable seats
  • Not as refined as some competitors




Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.9
Safety: 8.8
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2011 Subaru Forester Overview

The Forester is available with one of two engines that designate model level: the 2.5X has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 170 horsepower, and the 2.5XT has a turbocharged variant of that engine, good for 224 horsepower. Critics said either engine is adequate, but preferred the turbocharged models for their added power and torque. The 2.5X models are available with either an automatic or manual transmission, while turbocharged models are automatic-only. The 2.5X models achieve 21/27 mpg city/highway, while 2.5XTs manage 19/24, which are about-average ratings for the class.

Inside, critics said that the Forester’s fit and finish isn’t as good as some of its competitors, but most were pleased with its roomy cabin and comfortable seats. Forester models without a sunroof can carry up to 68.3 cubic feet of cargo with the rear seats folded, which is good for the class. Base models come standard with cloth upholstery and a four-speaker CD stereo with an auxiliary input jack. Upper trim levels add features like a panoramic sunroof, Bluetooth, satellite radio, a USB port, backup camera, navigation and leather upholstery. A removable TomTom navigation system was optional on all but the base trim.

See the full 2011 Subaru Forester specs »

Other Cars to Consider

Another 2011 compact SUV you may be interested in is the 2011 Honda CR-V which won our 2011Best Affordable Compact SUV for Families award. Reviewers liked the CR-V for its spacious interior and voluminous cargo capacity. They also said it has a comfortable ride and good all-around fit and finish. 

If you need a vehicle with a third-row seat, you should take a look at the 2011 Toyota RAV4. Its third row is one of the few available in the class, making it a great choice for growing families. Critics also liked its available V6 engine, which gives the RAV4 a boost of power that several of its competitors lack.

Compare the Forester to the CR-V and RAV4 »

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