Best Bet
  • (4.8) 17 reviews
  • Available Prices: $3,285–$10,497
  • Body Style: Sport Utility
  • Combined MPG: 22-25
  • Engine: 173-hp, 2.5-liter H-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel Drive
  • Seats: 5
2006 Subaru Forester

Our Take on the Latest Model 2006 Subaru Forester

What We Don't Like

  • Some turbo lag with turbocharged engine
  • Minimal offroad capability
  • No Low-range gearing
  • Ride comfort over harsh surfaces
  • Shifting into reverse (manual)

Notable Features

  • L.L.Bean Edition available
  • Standard AWD
  • More powerful turbocharged engine in 2.5 XT Limited
  • Manual or automatic
  • Carlike structure

2006 Subaru Forester Reviews

Vehicle Overview
Subaru says its crossover wagons have been moderately redesigned and refined for 2006. A new front fascia and fresh taillamp clusters have been developed. Body color replaces textured gray for the bumpers and protective body cladding on entry-level models. All models except the entry-level edition have larger body-colored side mirrors with integrated turn signals.

Subaru unveiled the 2.5 X L.L.Bean Edition in 2004. The L.L.Bean Edition continues into 2006 and features special embroidered floormats, leather-trimmed upholstery and an auto-dimming compass mirror. The rear seatbacks and cargo floor are covered with a water-resistant surface, and this Forester version flaunts a large glass moonroof. A new Momo wood and leather-wrapped steering wheel goes into 2006 models.

For 2006, the Forester 2.5 XT Limited is equipped with a turbocharged 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder, which has risen from 210 to 230 horsepower. A power moonroof and leather seating are now standard in the 2.5 XT Limited.

All models with the non-turbo engine are now dubbed 2.5 X, and engine output has increased from165 to 173 hp courtesy of a new i-Active Variable Valve Lift system. The 2.5 XS model has been dropped, but all of its features are included in the available Premium Package.

All-wheel drive is standard on all Forester models. Ground clearance has increased from 7.5 to 8.1 inches (7.9 inches for the 2.5 XT Limited). The optional four-speed-automatic transmission gains revised adaptive shift control. Reworked rear seats promise greater thigh support.


Exterior
The Forester features flared front fenders and blister-type rear quarter panels. Its appearance hasn't changed noticeably despite the 2006 face-lift. Features on the L.L.Bean Edition include a self-leveling rear suspension, a security system, a durable cargo floor and 10-spoke, 16-inch alloy wheels.

Interior
Sport bucket seats in the front and a 60/40-split, folding rear seat can accommodate up to five occupants. Subaru emphasizes the Forester's high seating position. A Hill Holder clutch on manual-shift models makes it easier to start the car on inclines.

Under the Hood
Subaru's Impreza series uses the same 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder as the Forester. The regular engine now develops 173 hp. A turbocharged version that yields 230 hp goes into the 2.5 XT Limited. A five-speed-manual gearbox is standard on all models except the 2.5 X L.L.Bean Edition, which gets a four-speed-automatic transmission. The automatic transmission is optional for other models.

Safety
Dual-stage front airbags, side-impact airbags, front active head restraints and antilock brakes are standard.

Driving Impressions
The frisky Forester XT is sensible and satisfying, especially with the turbocharged engine and the manual gearbox. There's a bit of turbo lag after pushing the gas pedal. Foresters ride pleasantly enough over smooth surfaces, but bumps and ruts can produce somewhat harsh reactions.

Space is ample in the front and adequate in back, with abundant head and toe room, though knee space is less bountiful. The front seat bottoms are short but nicely supportive. The gauges and controls are ordinary but sensible.

The easy-to-drive Forester maneuvers nimbly, handles with a light touch and yields a friendly, comfortable feel. Some driveline noise occurs while accelerating the turbocharged engine.


Consumer Reviews

(4.8)

Average based on 17 reviews

Write a Review

Safest vehicle I've ever driven

by Barbs from Dracut on November 1, 2017

My last Subaru was rear and side swiped by others many times. The last time blew the airbags. I walked away from it because the car is designed for saftey. It is mid range economical on gas, requir... Read Full Review

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3 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2006 Subaru Forester trim comparison will help you decide.
 

Subaru Forester Articles

2006 Subaru Forester Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

IIHS Ratings

Based on Subaru Forester 2.5X

Head Restraints and Seats
G
Moderate overlap front
G
Side
G

IIHS Ratings

Based on Subaru Forester 2.5X

G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
G
Overall Rear
G
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
G

Moderate overlap front

Chest
G
Head/Neck
G
Left Leg/Foot
G
Overall Front
G
Restraints
G
Right Leg/Foot
A
Structure/safety cage
G

Side

Driver Head Protection
G
Driver Head and Neck
G
Driver Pelvis/Leg
A
Driver Torso
G
Overall Side
G
Rear Passenger Head Protection
A
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
G
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
G
Rear Passenger Torso
G
Structure/safety cage
A
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers. IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests. IIHS also evaluates seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Subaru Forester 2.5X

Overall Rollover Rating

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Subaru Forester 2.5X

Overall Rollover Rating
Driver's
Passenger's
Side Barrier Rating Driver
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

Recalls

There are currently 2 recalls for this car.


Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $4,400 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Other Years