2018 Subaru Forester

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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2018 Subaru Forester. Base trim shown.

From the Manufacturer

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Visibility
  • Backseat space
  • Backup camera standard
  • Off-the-line response

The Bad

  • No stick shift for 2.0XT model
  • Liftgate should open higher
  • EyeSight cameras intrude
  • Seats not supportive enough
  • Choppy ride

Notable Features of the 2018 Subaru Forester

  • New Black Edition Package available
  • Turbo or non-turbo four-cylinder engine
  • Manual transmission or CVT
  • All-wheel drive standard
  • Forward and reverse automatic braking available

2018 Subaru Forester Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview

What it is: The Forester is a compact SUV with standard all-wheel drive. It offers a suite of active safety features called EyeSight, which uses cameras to provide adaptive cruise control, precollision braking and lane departure warning.

Most models use a 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine, while the 2.0XT trim level uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Competitors include the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue and Toyota RAV4.

New for 2018

A new Black Edition Package is available on 2.5i Premium versions and includes adaptive LED headlights, 18-inch black alloy wheels, black exterior and interior trim, and black cloth seats with simulated leather bolsters. The available EyeSight safety system gains automatic high-beam headlights and reverse automatic braking.


Latest 2018 Forester Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.8)
Performance
(4.8)
Interior Design
(4.7)
Comfort
(4.8)
Reliability
(4.9)
Value For The Money
(4.8)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Subaru the most dependable

by Mary a traveler from Elizabethtown Ky on October 20, 2018

This car is perfect for me! The 2018 is a much quieter than my last one! You will not be disappointed if you purchase a Subaru! Read full review

(5.0)

Great car, first time owners of a Subaru

by Caryle @ granny .com from Fairfax, Cedar Rapids, Iowa on October 18, 2018

We love our Subaru. My husband had a hard time entering and exiting our old car and we were looking for something high enough for him to sit on it not in it. We had a great experience with our ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2018 Subaru Forester currently has 1 recall

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Child Seat Anchors (Latch)

Ease of Use
acceptable

Crash Avoidance and Mitigation

Front Crash Prevention
superior

Head Restraints and Seats

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

Headlights

Overall Rating
acceptable

Moderate overlap front

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

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Small Overlap Front - Driver Side

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Hip/Thigh
good
Lower Leg/Foot
good
Overall Evaluation
good
Restraints and Dummy Kinematics
good
Structure and Safety Cage
good
acceptable

Small Overlap Front - Passenger Side

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Hip/Thigh
good
Lower Leg/Foot
acceptable
Overall Evaluation
marginal
Restraints and Dummy Kinematics
good
Structure and Safety Cage
poor

Small Overlap Front - Passenger Side - Driver Injury Measures

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Hip/Thigh
good
Lower Leg/Foot
good
Restraints and Dummy Kinematics
good

Small Overlap Front - Passenger Side - Passenger Injury Measures

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Hip/Thigh
good
Lower Leg/Foot
acceptable
Restraints and Dummy Kinematics
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranties

Backed by Subaru
New Car Program Benefits
  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    36 months / 36,000 miles

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits
  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    5 years/80,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    Coverage available for purchase

  • Powertrain warranty

    7 years/100,000

  • Dealer Certification Required

    152-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All Program Details

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Forester received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker