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Rankings & Research

The 2013 Subaru Forester ranking is based on its score within the 2013 Affordable Compact SUVs category. Currently the Subaru Forester has a score of 7.5 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 81 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

7.5

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.0
Performance: 8.1
Interior: 7.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.9
Safety: 9.0
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Subaru Forester Review

For good handling, standard all-wheel drive, and strong safety scores, consider a used 2013 Subaru Forester. Just note that it would sit higher in our rankings if its roomy interior used better materials and its reliability score were higher.

Pros & Cons

  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Roomy interior
  • Low-rent interior materials
  • Clunky four-speed automatic transmission

 

2013 Subaru Forester Overview

Is the 2013 Subaru Forester a Good Used SUV?

A used 2013 Forester is a decent choice for a compact SUV. It offers standard all-wheel drive, ample passenger space, and a base engine that’s good around town. However, neither transmission is well-regarded, the Forester’s fuel economy is low, and it has a below-average reliability score.

Used 2013 Subaru Forester Performance and Interior

The base 2013 Forester is powered by a 170-horsepower four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission. All-wheel drive is standard, and a four-speed automatic is available. The 2.5XT model comes only with a 224-horsepower, turbocharged engine and an automatic transmission. The Forester has sporty handling and a comfortable, carlike ride. The AWD system handles bad weather well, and it can even tackle some light off-road driving.

The Forester’s fuel economy numbers are low for the class. The base model with a manual transmission has an EPA rating of 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. The automatic transmission drops the highway estimate to 26 mpg. The turbocharged engine has a rating of 19/23 mpg city/highway.

Read more about Forester performance »

The Forester has a roomy passenger cabin that accommodates up to five people in two rows. Cloth upholstery comes with the entry-level model. Up front, the passenger and driver have six-way manually adjustable seats. Leather-trimmed upholstery, a one-touch folding rear seat, heated seats, and a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat are available in some Foresters. The tall, wide windows make all-around visibility excellent. The Forester has complete sets of LATCH child-seat connectors in the rear outboard seats; a middle-seat tether anchor is also included. The tether anchors are in the ceiling, however, so you’ll have to remove the second-row headrests for the best access.

Standard interior features are few; they include a four-speaker audio system with a USB port, Bluetooth audio streaming and hands-free phone connectivity, an auxiliary jack, and manual climate control. Six- and seven-speaker audio systems, HD Radio, a 6.1-inch touch-screen voice-activated navigation system, satellite radio, and automatic single- and dual-zone climate control are available. The Forester has user-friendly controls and a straightforward dashboard design. Its cargo space is average for the compact SUV segment, but its tall hatchback makes it easy to load bigger items.

Read more about Forester interior »

Used 2013 Subaru Forester Prices

The price of a used 2013 Subaru Forester ranges from about $13,100 for the base 2.5X trim to around $18,200 for the 2.5XT Touring trim with a four-speed automatic transmission. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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We Did the Research for You: 81 Reviews Analyzed

We do not base our used car rankings and reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we collect information like safety and reliability reports, total cost of ownership estimates, and the views of the automotive press. We analyzed 81 professional evaluations for this 2013 Subaru Forester review to help you make an informed buying decision.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our experienced team of writers, editors, and analysts has been ranking and reviewing the best cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007. We remain unbiased by refusing pricey gifts and trips from auto manufacturers and employing an independent agency to manage the advertising on our site.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Subaru Forester?

The 2013 Subaru Forester has a reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power, which is a below-average score for the industry.

See Forester reliability scores »

How Safe Is the Forester?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the 2013 Forester four out of five stars overall, with four stars for the front, side, and rollover crash tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Forester a Top Safety Pick. The Forester earned the IIHS’ highest score of Good in all conducted crash tests: front, side, rear, and roof strength.

The 2013 Forester has no standard active safety features. A rearview camera and rear parking sensors are available in some models.

See Forester safety scores »

Is the 2013 Forester the Best Model Year to Buy?

The 2013 Forester was the last model year of a generation that began with the 2009 Forester. You might save money purchasing a 2012 Forester instead. It’s similar to the 2013 model, but it lacks standard Bluetooth. A 2011 Forester could save you even more money, but you’ll miss out on a standard height-adjustable front-passenger seat.

Compare the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Forester »

Which Used Subaru Forester Is Right for Me?

The 2013 Subaru Forester has six trim levels: the base 2.5X, 2.5X Premium, 2.5X Limited, 2.5X Touring, 2.5XT Premium, and 2.5XT Touring. The XT designation denotes a turbocharged engine. The base trim has manual seats, a four-speaker stereo system, and cloth seats. The Premium trim adds items like a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, a tilting-and-telescoping steering wheel, and eight cup holders. The Limited trim has leather seats, heated front seats, automatic climate control, and a six-speaker stereo system. The top-of-the-line Touring trim offers high-intensity-discharge headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a rearview camera. The Limited offers the most features you’ll use on a daily basis, which makes it the best trim to buy.

Due to the Forester’s below-average reliability rating, you might consider a certified pre-owned model. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Subaru extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles. To become certified pre-owned, each vehicle must pass a 152-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Subaru warranty page carefully. The model's original sale date determines whether or not it is eligible for the CPO program.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »
Read more about the Subaru certified pre-owned program »

2013 Subaru Forester and Other SUVs to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Subaru Forester or 2013 Ford Escape?

The 2013 Ford Escape has attractive materials, a clean design, and a low total ownership cost. The Forester, however, provides a roomier interior. Its infotainment system – while basic – is much easier to use, and the Subaru has available active safety equipment like rear parking assist and a rearview camera.

Which Is Better: 2013 Subaru Forester or 2013 Honda CR-V?

With its near-perfect reliability, clean interior design, and below-average ownership costs, the 2013 Honda CR-V is among the best compact SUVs on the market. It has better fuel economy numbers than the Forester, as well as comparable cargo and passenger space.

Which Is Better: 2013 Subaru Forester or 2013 Subaru Outback?

The 2013 Subaru Outback is a wagon that holds a little more cargo and has slightly more passenger space than the Forester. What really sets the Outback apart, however, are its smoother transmissions and much better fuel economy numbers. It also has above-average reliability, while the Forester shows below-average numbers. Go with the Outback.

Compare the Forester, Escape, and Outback »

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