Subaru Forester 2015 Review: A Staple Choice in a Competitive Market

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Subaru Forester 2015 Review: A Staple Choice in a Competitive Market
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Video 2015 subaru forester review

Two years ago, the Subaru Forester caught the attention of many car enthusiasts. Its chunky midwest American styling and decent cabin quality made an impression. But it was the driving experience, ample space, and attractive price that truly delighted drivers, especially on the country Victorian roads. The Forester held its own against other medium-sized SUVs, though it eventually faced tough competition from the new Honda CR-V.

Now, Subaru is offering even more value with price rollbacks in Australia, making the Forester even more appealing. The Japanese company’s strategy of leveraging currency wins and import duty cuts results in trimmed prices for popular models like the XV, Impreza, and Forester. Among the Forester lineup, the starting-price 2.0-liter petrol model stands out as a personal favorite, priced at $29,990.

However, in this review, we’ll focus on the heavily loaded 2.5i-S variant, which adds more than $10,000 to the bottom line. The extra cost is justified by the additional features, such as upgraded wheels, a multimedia system, and the Eyesight safety system. The Eyesight system, which includes automatic braking, radar cruise control, and lane-departure warning, has become essential for achieving a five-star ANCAP safety rating.

The Subaru Forester is available with a 2.5-liter petrol engine, and for those seeking greater fuel efficiency, a diesel engine option is now also available. Although the Forester’s styling may not have initially appealed to everyone, it has grown on enthusiasts, thanks in part to the car’s successful targeting of US buyers who desire a vehicle that stands out among the larger, heavier utes dominating American roads.

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When it comes to the interior, the Forester excels in cabin space and offers a practical boot. However, there have been some mixed reviews regarding the comfort of the front seats. Some find them a bit flat, while others appreciate their design. Handling-wise, there have been complaints about a slight jerkiness in throttle response, a somewhat “tippy” feeling in corners, and air conditioning that struggles during hot weather. Interestingly, the Hyundai Santa Fe, parked alongside the Forester in the reviewer’s driveway, receives praise for its overall niceness rather than its larger size.

One area where the Forester falls slightly short is its constantly variable transmission (CVT), which prioritizes fuel economy over driving enjoyment, resulting in reduced responsiveness. Additionally, the suspension is not as comfortable as those found in competing models from Kia and Hyundai, which have benefited from special tuning for the Australian market.

A longstanding complaint about the Forester revolves around its headlights. While the low beam is sufficient, the high beam performance has been lackluster. For a vehicle marketed with a strong emphasis on safety, this continues to be a disappointment.

Looking at the bigger picture, the Forester has been surpassed by rivals in recent years. Nissan has made significant improvements to its SUV lineup, including models like the Qashqai and Pathfinder. Korean manufacturers have also stepped up their game in the Australian market, and Renault aims to impress with the successor to its Koleos and the introduction of the new baby Captur.

As the reviewer spends more time with the Forester, other models begin to occupy their thoughts. The Eyesight system, while a good feature in theory, requires fine-tuning to match the benchmark systems found in European vehicles. Some drivers find it oversensitive and prone to unnecessary interventions, such as warning about lane departures due to painted road markings on twisty roads.


1. What is the starting price of the Subaru Forester 2.0-liter petrol model?
The starting price for the Subaru Forester 2.0-liter petrol model is $29,990.

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2. What safety features does the Forester offer?
The Forester comes equipped with the Eyesight safety system, which includes automatic braking, radar cruise control, and lane-departure warning.

3. Is the Forester available with a diesel engine?
Yes, Subaru offers a diesel engine option for the Forester.


While the Subaru Forester maintains its staple qualities, it faces increasing competition in its segment. The 2015 model offers good value, especially with Subaru’s price rollbacks. However, some compromises, such as the CVT’s impact on driving enjoyment and the headlights’ performance, have held it back. The introduction of rival models from Nissan, Hyundai, and Renault has also raised the bar in terms of features and overall appeal. Nonetheless, the Forester still holds its own as a reliable choice, particularly for those seeking a spacious and practical SUV with impressive safety features.

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