By David Thomas on January 24, 2013
Subaru's redesigned 2014 Forester goes on sale in March and is impressive for many reasons. The biggest is its price for standard all-wheel drive versus the competitors with front-wheel drive.
You can read the full review of the 2014 Subaru Forester here.
For shoppers, there's more than just the base model's low price to consider. There are two available engines and two transmissions totaling eight trim levels.
Here's our breakdown of each trim level to help you sort out which model to consider if shopping for a compact SUV.
The base 2.5i trim starts at $22,820 with a six-speed manual transmission. The continuously variable automatic transmission is an additional $1,000. All prices include an $825 destination charge.
The 2.5i comes equipped with Bluetooth for phone and streaming audio, a four-speaker stereo system, USB input, cruise control and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel with controls for phone and audio.
The next step up is the Forester 2.5i Premium at $24,320 for the manual and $25,820 for the CVT. It adds a power driver's seat, 17-inch alloy wheels, a six-speaker stereo system with HD Radio, body-colored side mirrors, privacy glass, backup camera and roof rails.
The manual-transmission version comes standard with the All-Weather Package that includes front heated seats; the package is a $500 option on the CVT-equipped Premium. The CVT version comes with a panoramic moonroof and an adjustable center armrest standard; the manual does not.
A navigation system ($1,100) with Aha smartphone integration, satellite radio and traffic, and iTunes tagging is also optional.
2.5 Limited models are only available with the CVT at $28,820.
This trim adds the X-Mode system, which delivers better control in some driving as well as adding hill descent control. It also has the All-Weather Package, automatic climate control, automatic headlights, chrome exterior trim, cargo tray, fog lights, leather seats, power liftgate, rear spoiler and reclining rear seats.
The navigation system remains optional.
This Touring trim is priced at $30,820 and only available with the CVT.
It adds the navigation system as standard along with dual-zone automatic climate control, a 440-watt Harman Kardon stereo system with eight speakers, one-touch folding rear seatbacks and a power liftgate with automatic closing and height memory features.
An advanced safety system called EyeSight is an option on Touring models only. It's part of a Technology Package ($2,400) that includes keyless access and start as well as high-intensity-discharge headlights. EyeSight has a lane departure warning system, precollision warning and braking, and adaptive cruise control.
2.0 XT Premium
The Forester also offers a high-performance model, the XT with a 250-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an upgraded CVT with manual shifting and steering-wheel paddles.
The first XT trim level is the Premium, and it costs $28,820. It includes all the same equipment as the 2.5i Premium but adds a sport-tuned suspension, larger brakes with ventilated rear rotors, dual stainless-steel tailpipes, rear spoiler and the X-Mode system with hill descent control.
2.0 XT Touring
The Touring trim level of the high-performance model starts at $33,820. It includes all the same equipment from the 2.0 XT Premium as well as the equipment from the 2.5i Touring model.
The EyeSight system is also available on the XT Touring trim.
Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David