$20,108 - $30,772

2018 Subaru Forester Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 8.2

The 2018 Subaru Forester has a no-frills interior design – though it still has a nice look – and a mix of high- and low-quality materials. The seats are comfortable and supportive, and there is more cargo space than in nearly every class rival. There are plenty of available safety features, and most of the climate and audio controls are user-friendly.

  • "The 2017 Subaru Forester's cabin provides enough visual appeal to keep pace with other affordable crossovers, though the overall look follows Subaru's simple-is-better design philosophy." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "Soft-touch surfaces already helped make the Forester feel upscale, and the newly upgraded interior on the Forester Touring models ups that ante considerably. They add some refinement to an interior design that was already excellent thanks to its generous visibility and sensible design." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
  • 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 Forester seats five on cloth upholstery. Available features include heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver's seat, and leather upholstery.

There's good visibility from the comfortable front seats, and the rear seats have a good amount of legroom. Both rows of seats have ample support, and the doors open wide, so it's easy to get in and out of the vehicle.

There are two full sets of LATCH connectors for installing car seats. Be careful when securing the seat; the tether anchors can be confused with other hardware, and the lower anchors can be tough to maneuver around because they're mounted deep in the seat.

  • "The 2-row/5-passenger interior design is excellent thanks to its generous visibility and sensible design. The doors open wide, there's good rear-seat legroom…" -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Forester continues to shine when it comes to functionality. Elevated stadium-type rear seating enhances thigh support and legroom and affords a better view. This sense of space is reinforced by large windows all around." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "Most noticeable is the comfortable ride and low interior noise levels." -- Autotrader (2016)

Interior Features

The Subaru Forester comes standard with Bluetooth, a rearview camera, a 6.2-inch Starlink touch-screen infotainment system, a four-speaker sound system, and a USB port.

Available features include a panoramic moonroof, a 7-inch touch screen, an eight-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, navigation, dual-zone automatic climate control, and adaptive headlights. Subaru's available EyeSight safety system includes lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, rear automatic braking, rear cross traffic alert, and pre-collision braking.

The dashboard controls are within easy reach from the driver's seat, and the controls themselves are intuitive to use. That includes the standard touch screen, though the larger available touch screen is a better choice because of its higher-quality display and the way it responds to smartphone-style gestures.

See 2018 Subaru Forester specs »

  • "Improved this year, the available EyeSight system uses two color cameras to view the world ahead, allowing advanced safety features such as pre-collision braking, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control and more." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
  • "… even the base 2.5i comes with a touchscreen that includes smartphone app integration, 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 (2017)
  • "Climate and entertainment controls remain well-placed and user-friendly." -- Left Lane News (2017)

Cargo

The Forester has 34.4 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up and 74.7 cubic feet with them folded. That's an excellent maximum capacity for a compact SUV. Be aware that if you want the available panoramic moonroof, you will lose a few cubic feet of cargo space, though the Forester will still have a higher capacity than many rivals. Higher trims are available with a power liftgate that allows you to open, close, and stop the hatch at the proper height with the key fob or a button on the liftgate.

  • "… there's a ton of cargo space: over 30 cubic feet behind the rear seats, and around 70 cubic feet with the seats folded." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "This sense of space is reinforced by large windows all around and a huge cargo hold that yields 34.4 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 74.7 cubic feet with the rear seatbacks folded." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "Interior storage is good, with useful door pockets and a generous glove box." -- Consumer Guide (2014)

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