2012 Forester

Consumer Reviews

2012 Subaru Forester

$7,938 - $17,782  MSRP Range
2012 Subaru Forester

Review Score

4.2 out of 5 stars

4.2

56 Reviews
86% of drivers recommend this car
Score Breakdown
4.3 out of 5 stars Comfort
4.3 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
4 out of 5 stars Interior Design
4.5 out of 5 stars Reliability
4.1 out of 5 stars Performance
4.2 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

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What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 10 of 56 reviews

5 out of 5 stars

Excellent!

by NewSoob from Connecticut on Thu Apr 19 2012

This is my first Subaru, and I am sold on the brand. The vehicle rides smooth, and handles bad weather like a champ. We had a few inches of snow here in CT this winter(Which isn't much!), and while everyone else was sliding all over the road, I was solidly in place, driving up steep hills and stopping and going with no problems. The interior is alright- a previous poster stated that the seats were terrible, and I can definitely say that is NOT the case. I am 6'2" and weigh 180 pounds, and the seat is just fine for me. I think maybe there is a difference in the 2011 to the 2012 seats? Not sure, but it is definitely comfortable for me. That poster also talked about the radio- they are about right on that mark. The stereo is weak compared to others. It will play a CD or MP3 player decently, but switch to the radio and you have the weakest sound I have heard in a vehicle in a long time. I will definitely be replacing the head unit. The all-weather package is a must, too. Love the heated seats and heated mirrors. The gas mileage is alright- I drive about half high way and half city, and I am averaging 24 mpg, which is what I expected. The visibility is amazing. The engine is pretty responsive- not the most punchy car, but enough to get around a truck on the highway or get up to speed on an on ramp. Overall, an amazing car. Best vehicle purchase I've ever made.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

18 out of 18 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Great Car

by Emden 08 from Staten Island, NY on Thu Jan 05 2012

I've only driven my new Forester 222 miles, but I can still say a few things. It has excellent visibility, front and back, which is key to accident prevention. The engine has plenty of pep (I have the base model with a manual transmission). It handles very well and is fun to drive. Passengers have plenty of room in the front and the back, and there is spacious cargo capacity. Miles per gallon is good and same as advertised, and everyone comments on the handsome styling. I wish I'd bought it a couple of years ago.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Champaign Car on a Beer Budget!

by Forester Fan from Dallas/Ft. Worth on Mon Feb 20 2012

Luxury car features at a much lower price. Has rear view video monitor, wonderful sound system, leather interior, great ride, & I have had success in having the Bluetooth hands-free work flawlessly. It holds the road like it has claws. Very short turning radius - can zip into any parking place at the last minute. Dual-side Heater/AC works great. Instrument panel is logical and has bright display (but is dimmable if needed). Has surprisingly good storage with the seats down (Automatically!) I have had it a month, and I like this vehicle.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Forester 2012.

by Sportsman from Milford. Mi. on Mon Jan 16 2012

Great vehicle for the $$ great in the snow and just enough room for packages. The dealer added 2 year free maintenence.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

My 5th Subaru

by jmemcse517 from Steamboat Springs, CO on Mon Apr 09 2012

Where I live AWD is not an option ? 7000 ft. altitude in Northwest Colorado, USA. That, and the great reliability I?ve always enjoyed with Subaru are two of the reasons I purchased the 2012 Forester. I had been buying Outback?s, but went with the Forester this time because: it is a little higher off the ground, better visibility, easier to get in and out of, less snow jamming in the wheel wells. Although I didn?t buy it for outstanding gas mileage, I am happy nonetheless with what I am getting ? 24 MPG mixed use, and 28 MPG on the highway. If I?m really carful and keep it under 65 MPH I can get 32 MPG on the highway. I think people who get less than 20 MPG with this vehicle must have a ?lead foot?. My wife, 11 year old, and I just took a 600 mile road trip and all of us found the comfort level perfectly acceptable ? including the seats. I think if you?re around average height you?ll find the seats comfortable too. The Forester is certainly not as quiet as my dad?s Cadillac, but I didn?t buy it for a quiet ride. I will change to Goodyear winter tires this fall and leave them on year-round. Other than that I will just drive this Forester for 2 years in hopes that a 4th generation debuts in 2014 with a 6 speed automatic transmission.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

GREAT CAR

by Subbieluver from Palmetto Fl on Mon Apr 02 2012

This is the best car I've ever owned.yes,it's new,but my last car(Honda element) did not impress me nearly as much at 3 months. Handles beautifully,comfortable,roomy...an awesome sized moon roof,plenty of room in the rear and a decent ride for a car this size.So glad I bought this over a Rav4 or Tucson. overall a great product.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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4 out of 5 stars

best visibility of any similar car

by sense-ible driver from Bloomfield, MI on Thu Aug 23 2012

I was disappointed in the newer small SUV's on the market because they all sacrificed visibility for style. All the Lexus wannabes have a sloped roof and the larger rear pillars (as well as those high headrests in the front and back seats) which make for large blind spots. I found it difficult to safely change lanes for lack of a clear view. I was actually amused that Mazda recognized the problem, but instead of redesigning the car to solve the problem, they added a blind spot sensor and alarm on the side mirror to let you know someone is there, even if you can't see him. The sloped roof also cuts the distance you can see behind your car. My Forester has virtually no blind spots! Also the hatch back area with the higher roof makes an adequate space for my 2 dogs to ride so I don't have dog hair all over my car seats. And the car doesn't look like all the others. A plus!

3 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

A little disappointed with mileage

by SSM from Chicago, IL on Tue Mar 13 2012

Very comfortable, sytlish. Love the panoramic moon roof as well as the audio options (CD, USD, Bluetooth, hands free phone). Nice speakers. Good headroom, legspace. Not a lot of cargo space. Mileage has been about 21mpg (i have about 70% city, 30% HWAY mix) so was expecting better performance. Overall satisfied, except for the mileage. My 03' Corolla probably spoilt me (30mpg City/40 mpg/Hway).

5 out of 5 starsComfort
3 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
3 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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2 out of 5 stars

Quite underwhelming (2012 PZEV Premium)

by brianguy from Irvine, CA on Mon Mar 17 2014

Car has impressive cargo storage but few other redeeming qualities, besides AWD and a sport shifter. Suspension is quite spongy / bouncy and 2.5L 4cyl engine is suprisingly wimpy. If it has 170hp, you've got to show me where they are because it seems about 20 less when driving this car with any regularity, even when new or following all the scheduled service. Just don't plan on taking it up any significant hills (a strain) or over 60mph (starts to drink gas). Interior design and overall comfort are average and lacks modern touches or design including poor/old design of radio, heating and cooling system (no backseat vents). Front seats are OK but could use a little more support, while the back seat is a bit thin but relatively comfortable. Front legroom and headroom are typical. Seats fold down 60/40 which is beneficial, and fairly easy to engage/disengage.. Full time AWD powertrain is the redeeming mechanical feature of this vehicle, at least in the non-turbo model. It grips well and provides good handling around corners and steady footing over wet roads, snow, mud, etc. Safety rating is pretty good and has many airbags but the seatbelts have strange designs and the rear middle seat dangling in your rearview mirror the entire time you're driving is a hindrance. Visibility out of the rear is OK but nothing great. Extremely limited gears (4 speed transmission, no overdrive) does not allow the car to achieve above 25mpg at highway speeds, even on flat roads and with careful driving - which is far below usual in this classification, smallish crossover / family car built in only the last few years. Additional annoyances: Rear cargo area DC power port requires the car ignition to be in the Acc position with the key engaged which basically defeats the purpose of having one. Standard moonroof on all trim models (why????) is pointless and for the first 20,000 miles the thing had more rattles than a tin can. Finally subsided somewhat after the outer seals aged a bit. Do not recommend. Pros: Full time AWD, good tires, long cargo area, sport shifter available on automatic. Cons: Wimpy standard engine and 4-speed automatic transmission, no standard foglights, backup sensor or camera even on the "Premium" level trim (just below Limited). actual real-world mileage well below listed fuel ratings.

3 out of 5 starsComfort
3 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
2 out of 5 starsInterior Design
3 out of 5 starsReliability
2 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does not recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Best value for the $$$

by Boulderite from Thornton, CO on Thu Jul 26 2012

2.5X auto for $20,788. AWD, 26mpg, comfortable, stable handling, and plenty of cargo room. You wont find an AWD this good for anywhere near the price! Only suggestion would be to have a 5speed automatic and a "low" gear for trails and this would be the ultimate mountain vehicle!

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
2 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Outdoor sports (hiking, cycling, etc.)

Does recommend this car!!

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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Our Take on the 2012 Subaru Forester

Editor's note: This review was written in April 2011 about the 2011 Subaru Forester. Little of substance has changed with this year's model. To see what's new for 2012, click here, or check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years.

It's never been the sharpest-looking crossover, inside or out, but the Subaru Forester strikes the sort of balance between driving fun, ride comfort and outright practicality that make some of its competitors seem downright frustrating in comparison.

The current, square-backed generation never blew anyone away with a progressive design or cabin quality, but its strengths become apparent as you sift through the glut of other small crossovers on the market. The... Read More