$17,492 - $25,345

2016 Subaru Forester Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2016 Subaru Forester was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 7.9

Test drivers are pleased with the 2016 Subaru Forester's interior quality, but most think it's more designed for practicality rather than style. They write that the cabin is quiet and the seats are appealing and spacious. Critics like that the Forester comes standard with a touch-screen infotainment system, but they think it is too small for ideal use. The Forester has good cargo space for the class.

  • "Subaru's 2016 Forester SUV has a spacious and inviting cabin that is quieter and more comfortable than ever." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • The various textures and accents used throughout the 2016 Subaru Forester's interior deliver enough visual appeal to keep pace with other affordable crossovers, though the overall look follows Subaru's simplicity-is-better design philosophy." -- Edmunds
  • The same mix of hard- and soft-plastic interior panels is found throughout the cabin of any Forester, even the costlier models. Interior design hews more toward sturdy than stylish--all right for a serious sport-ute--but the Forester is a crossover that may draw consideration from shoppers who'll look at it as being something closer to a car." -- Consumer Guide (2014)
  • The interior bucks the predominant trend of materials that look premium but feel cheap, with surfaces that are soft to the touch, but blandly styled." -- Motor Trend (2014)

Seating

The 2016 Forester has seating for five and standard cloth upholstery. Available features include heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver's seat and leather upholstery. Auto journalists agree that the Forester has incredibly comfortable seats, plenty of rear legroom, good outward visibility and a quiet cabin. A few note that the front seats could use a bit more side bolstering.

  • "Most noticeable is the comfortable ride and low interior noise levels." -- AutoTrader
  • "Where the Forester really shines is in its functionality. Elevated stadium-type rear seating enhances thigh support and legroom and affords a better view." -- Edmunds
  • "Soft-touch surfaces lend a premium feel, and the wide seats offer excellent support plus are positioned high for superior visibility. Large, wide-opening doors ease entry and exit, and legroom in the 60/40 rear bench is good, even for adults." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • The front seats, while superbly comfortable, don't offer much lateral support, so you may be relying on your knee against the door panel or console for high-g support." -- Motor Trend (2014)

Interior Features

The Subaru Forester comes standard with Bluetooth, a rearview camera, a 6.2-inch touch-screen infotainment system, HD Radio, a four-speaker sound system and a USB port. Available features include a 7-inch touch screen, an eight-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, navigation, dual-zone automatic climate control and Subaru's EyeSight safety system, which include lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and pre-collision braking. New for 2016 are the STARLINK safety packages, which include emergency roadside assistance, automatic collision notification and smartphone-compatible remote controls for locks and lights.

Reviewers are pleased that the Forester comes standard with a touch-screen infotainment system, but they say it's too small and is difficult to see on a sunny day. They do note that the larger optional screen allows you to use finger-pinching gestures as you might with a smartphone or tablet. Auto writers say the audio and climate controls are intuitively placed, and they like that the available Harman Kardon audio system pairs to both an iPhone and Android device.

See 2016 Subaru Forester specs »

  • "Climate and entertainment controls remain well-placed and user-friendly." -- Left Lane News
  • "We are happy to see Subaru add its latest technology interface (Starlink) to the Forester. Even the base 2.5i comes with a touchscreen with smartphone app integration (including Aha, Pandora, iHeartradio and Sticher), while the larger 7-inch screen gets upgraded graphics and allows you to use intuitive pinch-and-expand finger movements to zoom in or out." -- Edmunds
  • "A new high-end Harman/Kardon surround-sound entertainment system is both iPhone- and Android-friendly and has voice recognition. However, its unshrouded touch screen is the same small, six-inch (measured diagonally) unit found in the new BRZ, which forces users to deal with aspirin-tablet-sized Chiclets, multistep station tuning, and screen washouts in bright sunlight." -- Car and Driver (2014)
  • The technologies housed in the center stack included two small screens. One was used for the navigation and satellite radio and the other charted out your fuel economy and provided average fuel consumption. The screens provided were pretty small and looked outdated to me, but everything worked and the navi/radio portion worked with knobs or as a touchscreen that was effective." -- AutoWeek (2014)

Cargo

The base 2016 Forester has 34.4 cubic feet of cargo space with all the seats in use, and 74.7 cubic feet of space with the rear row folded, which is good for the class. However, higher trims offer only 31.5 and 68.5 cubic feet of room, respectively. Reviewers think the Forester has ample cargo room, and they like that the available power liftgate can be opened and closed with the key fob. There is also a nice-sized glove box and other interior storage space, they add.

  • "The liftgate, which is power-activated on Limited/Touring models, simplifies loading and unloading." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "This sense of space is reinforced by a huge cargo hold that yields 34.4 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 74.7 cubic feet with the rear seatbacks folded. The latter is nearly 4 more cubic feet than the Honda CR-V, which has traditionally been at the head of this class. The caveat is that you'll need to stick to the base model if you want the big numbers, as models with the panoramic sunroof drop to 31.5/68.5 cubic feet due to a lower roof height." -- Edmunds
  • "Interior storage is good, with useful door pockets and a generous glove box." -- Consumer Guide (2014)
  • "Another handy shopping gadget is a power liftgate with memory function that can be opened, closed, and stopped at any point with the keyless remote." -- Car and Driver (2014)

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