The Subaru Forester, a successful small SUV/wagon since 1998, was redesigned last year. This generation is larger and more similar to all the other car-based compact SUVs out there, including the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V. It seats five people and has standard all-wheel drive.
New for 2010
There are no significant changes to the 2010 Forester.
Where previous Forester models looked more like tall wagons than SUVs, the newer Forester more closely resembles a traditional SUV. The Forester is 179.5 inches long and 70.1 inches wide.
Ground clearance is 8.9 inches. Fog lights are optional, and turbo versions are distinguished by a hood scoop that funnels cooling air into the intercooler just under the hood.
- Roof rails standard
- Chrome exhaust tips on Limited and Premium
- 16-inch wheels standard on 2.5 X models
- 17-inch wheels standard on all other trims
- Rear spoiler on 2.5 XT Premium and Limited
- Standard rear-window wiper
The door openings are large, and the rear window is larger than on the previous Forester. A center armrest is standard for the backseat, and a retractable center tray is optional.
- Standard MP3 jack
- Standard sliding armrest
- Standard 60/40-split folding rear seats
- Standard tilt steering column (telescoping added to 2.5 XT Limited and Premium)
Under the Hood
Foresters are powered by a choice of 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engines and either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.
The transmissions come with different all-wheel-drive systems. According to Subaru, the automatic comes with Variable Torque Management, which shifts power to the front and rear axles by monitoring throttle position, battery voltage, generator rpm, wheel speed, brake status, lateral g-force and automatic transmission fluid temperature. The manual Forester has a simple viscous coupling that's reactive rather than proactive.
- 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 170 pounds-feet of torque
- 224-hp, turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 226 pounds-feet of torque
- Hill start assist for manual transmission
A rollover sensor can deploy the side curtain airbags to protect occupants and prevent their ejection in the case of a rollover.
Safety equipment includes:
- Side-impact torso airbags for front occupants
- Side curtain airbags that protect front and backseat occupants against head injury
- Active head restraints standard for front seats
- Antilock brakes and an electronic stability system with traction control standard on all trim levels
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