2013 Subaru Forester

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$21,295

starting MSRP

2013 Subaru Forester
2013 Subaru Forester

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • No-nonsense cargo area
  • Low base price
  • Rear visibility
  • Turning circle
  • Comfortable seats

The bad:

  • Inconsistent dashboard materials
  • Turbo requires premium fuel
  • Slow-to-react automatic
  • Sizable backseat floor hump

6 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2013 Subaru Forester trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Newly standard Bluetooth with streaming audio, iPod/USB connectivity
  • Regular or turbocharged four-cylinder
  • Standard AWD
  • High ground clearance
  • Manual or automatic

2013 Subaru Forester review: Our expert's take

Vehicle Overview

The Subaru Forester, a successful small crossover/wagon, competes against other car-based compact crossovers including the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V. It seats five people and has standard all-wheel drive.
New for 2013
For 2013, the base Forester 2.5X includes a new stereo with Bluetooth cellphone connectivity and audio streaming, iPod control capability, a USB port and steering-wheel controls. 
Exterior
The Forester’s ground clearance is 8.9 inches. Fog lights are optional, and turbo versions are distinguished by a hood scoop that funnels air into the intercooler just under the hood. Exterior features include:

  • Standard roof rails
  • Available high-intensity-discharge headlights 
  • Available chrome exhaust tips 
  • 16-inch wheels standard; 17-inch wheels available
  • Available rear spoiler

Interior
The door openings are large, and the rear window is larger than on the previous-generation Forester. A center armrest is standard for the backseat. Interior features include:

  • Standard MP3 jack
  • Standard sliding armrest 
  • Standard 60/40-split folding rear seats
  • Standard tilt steering column (telescoping available)

Under the Hood
Foresters are powered by a choice of naturally aspirated or turbocharged 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. The automatic comes with Variable Torque Management, which Subaru says 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. Mechanical features include:

  • 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 174 pounds-feet of torque
  • 224-hp, turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 226 pounds-feet of torque
  • Hill start assist for manual-transmission models

Safety
A rollover sensor can deploy the side curtain airbags to protect occupants and prevent their ejection. Safety features include:

  • Side-impact airbags for front occupants
  • Side curtain airbags that protect front and backseat occupants against head injury 
  • Active head restraints for the front seats 
  • Antilock brakes
  • Electronic stability system with traction control

 

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.1
  • Interior design 3.6
  • Performance 3.9
  • Value for the money 3.9
  • Exterior styling 4.1
  • Reliability 4.0

Most recent consumer reviews

2.0

Engine blew up 60 k

I’m not a foreign car person...but I got stuck with this thing and I tried to make the best of it..I’m a avid outdoorsman and the forester seemed like it would do well...but my engine threw a rod with 60,000 miles..I change my oil on time always and I handle all scheduled maintenance on time..the replacement engine is extremely expensive Vs an American motor...I wish I wasn’t stuck with this PoS

3.0

Multiple known problems two few recalls.

Multiple known problems two few recalls. Subaru USA is well aware of multiple problems in this vehicle, the Subaru Forrester 2013. Oil consumption is high ultimately causing engine failure. Class action lawsuits have been bought against Subaru USA regarding gaskets in this vehicle which are the reason for engine loss of oil. They paid out a Class action lawsuit to members without admission of guilt. Other vehicles which qualified for this lawsuit but not registered as a member were left with vehicles with which were not recalled for repair. Ultimately my vehicle left me stalled in the middle of the freeway after only 1200 miles since my last oil change.

4.6

Perfect PNW Ride

There's a reason you see Subarus everywhere, they're safe, reliable, and comfortable. If you're looking for the perfect city to mountain getaway car, look no further.

See all 48 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Subaru
Certified pre-owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
5 years/80,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
Coverage available for purchase
Powertrain
7 years/100,000
Dealer certification required
152-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

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See all 2013 Subaru Forester articles