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2019 Forester

Consumer Reviews

2019 Subaru Forester

$24,295 - $34,295  MSRP Range
2019 Subaru Forester

Review Score

4.8 out of 5 stars

4.8

70 Reviews
93% of drivers recommend this car
Score Breakdown
4.7 out of 5 stars Comfort
4.6 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
4.7 out of 5 stars Interior Design
4.8 out of 5 stars Reliability
4.7 out of 5 stars Performance
4.7 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

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What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 10 of 70 reviews

5 out of 5 stars

I’m new to the Subaru family, but I’m thrilled

by reader555 from Annapolis, MD on Mon Dec 10 2018

I’m new to the Subaru family, but I’m thrilled that I joined. Here’s why. First of all, I want to tell you why I picked Subaru over the others in the segment. It came down to a few things. The price of the 2019 Forester Sport was reasonable, and it came with many standard features that I would have to pay extra to get elsewhere. Subaru’s reputation as a reliable company with great safety features is legendary. However, the deciding factor for me was the test drive. Within seconds I liked the car and a few miles later I knew that I had to have it. I recently took my family of four on a three-day, 1200-mile trip from eastern Maryland to southern West Virginia. I was apprehensive about this as many of the professional reviewers mentioned the Forester struggled to pass cars on the highway. I have to say, after driving up and down the roads in the Appalachia Mountains, I found that to be untrue. My Forester, we have named Ru, handled passing other cars on 2 to 3% inclines with ease. The engine didn’t struggle or whine; it just did what I expected. We did hit a few patches of ice and snow. Not a lot, but from what I did experience, the sure-footed Subaru did a fantastic job when needed. Also, we got 31.9 MPG on the trip. The trip, which we drove eight hours on the first day, and another eight on the third day, was extremely comfortable. My children sat comfortably in the back. We have an eight-year-old in a booster seat and a two-year-old in a car seat. Both had plenty of leg room. My eight-year-old really enjoyed the rear reclining seats. Up front, I was extremely comfortable. The cabin is organized nicely with everything within reach. We are, however, use to a much larger vehicle as my last was a 2011 F-150. I actually enjoyed the smaller space as my wife and I were more able to assist the children in the rear in the Forester than the cavernous F-150. The infotainment system Subaru offers in really sleek. It responds to commands smoothly and looks great. Android Auto and Apple Car Play come standard. I have the 6.5-inch screen which has all of the features of the 8 inch, just a little smaller. You can upgrade to one with navigation, but with Android Auto, I didn’t need to pay the extra money. My favorite feature of the Forester is the adaptive cruise control. I set it at the speed I wanted, and the technology did an excellent job of slowing us down and speeding us up when needed. I expected that after being slowed by a car in front, that when I switched lanes to pass the Forester would try to accelerate us at breakneck speeds like most cruise controls, but that wasn’t the case. The car came to speed at a comfortable pace, which is adjustable in the menu if you want more or less speed. I also tested this feature in stop and go traffic while going through a Christmas light show through a state park. The Forester kept us at a safe distance from the cars in front. If they stopped the Forester stopped, and when they resumed, the Forester resumed without any additional input from me. I drove for 20 minutes in that stop and go traffic without putting my foot on a pedal. There are a few things that I don’t like about my Forester. The first is that the sport trim doesn’t have memory seating positions. So, if my wife drives it, I have to adjust back to the sweet spot manually. This isn’t a huge issue for me as my wife rarely drives my car. The second issue was that I could not find a way to drive with the lights off at night. It seems weird, but when driving through the lights at the park, most people drive with only the park lights on. I could not find out how to do this. Maybe there is a way, but it avoided me when I needed it. Overall, this seems to be a great car. I’m thrilled with my purchase. My kids love it and think it cool. I’m delighted with my purchase.

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 Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

16 out of 16 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

After Four Outbacks, My First Forester

by OMEGA 2 from Greensboro, North Carolina on Sun Oct 28 2018

I couldn't wait to own my new Forester. I'd had 4 consecutive Outbacks prior to ordering it. My wife has a '16 basic level Forester, and gloated because her car was faster than my Outbacks (true enough). The new design is easy on the eye--both outside and inside. The car is more rigid thanks to Subaru's Global Platform. They've tweaked the suspension and have boosted the horsepower. It has a solid ride, and has excellent acceleration. And it is much, much quieter than previous models I've driven. The interior is also vastly improved. I chose to buy the Touring model, as I'd done on two of my previous Outbacks. Comfort plus quality materials play a big part in my enjoyment of the new car. If I have any complaints, they are very small, and perhaps insignificant. The cup holders in the front are too far back for them to be comfortable or easy to retrieve a cup or glass. The little storage cubby beneath the display screen is very shallow and has no incline front to back. The result is that you can't put much in it, and if you accelerate quickly, things tend to slide out. Finally, it would be nice if they had designed it so that the armrest slides forward to afford more room for your arm as they had done on the previous design. But 99 out of 100 design considerations is a pretty good average. Subaru has a winner with its 2019 Forester--regardless of which trim level you choose. Even a basic model (like my wife's) comes standard with the Eyesight system. Who knows, maybe I can talk her out of her car and into a new one--but I won't hold my breath. She is fiercely loyal to her car, and I've learned to leave well enough alone.

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 Having fun

Does recommend this car!!

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

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5 out of 5 stars

The 2019 Subaru Forester: What An Improvement

by OMEGA 2 from Greensboro, North Carolina on Sat Nov 17 2018

Design enhancements; added power; better handling; stiffer body; great fit and finish; comfort; style; smoother transmission....I could go on and on. This car is a vast improvement over the older model. My only criticisms are the awkward placement of the drink holders and the shallow cubby in front of the shifter for holding things like a phone, gum, comb--or whatever you wish to store there. If you accelerate quickly, things fly out of that space because it isn't slanted downward. Also, it isn't nearly deep enough to hold a cell phone or even a pocket comb (unless it is put in there sideways). The drink holders are tucked beneath the front edge of the arm rest cover. To reach your coffee cup requires that you bend your hand backward. It is very, very bad design, and makes retrieving your drink an uncomfortable experience. You can only access your cup easily when the armrest cover is in the open position. It is funny how Subaru spent millions on design research to perfect their new design. They got it right on 99.5% of all aspects of this car. But to muff something as frequently used as a simple cup holder and a storage cubby so badly is surprising. Would I buy this car again? Yes, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. Except for those two design glitches I've noted, it is a wonderful car. And I'll probably trade for a 2020 next year. By then, I hope they'll have addressed the two, simple issues that detract from near perfection.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 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!!

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

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5 out of 5 stars

Had a 2004 and just purchased the 2019

by fcarvalho from Southington on Mon Dec 17 2018

The handling is very good. Still learning to use features since I was using a 2004 Subaru Forester. Really like the headlight, lane departure and blind spot features. The back up camera feature I need to learn to trust. A friend that has a hummer drove the Subaru and really liked how it handled.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 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!!

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

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5 out of 5 stars

First Subaru

by JG44070 from Cleveland OH on Thu Dec 27 2018

Nicest car I’ve ever driven. Steering very tight, brakes responsive. Holds the road nicely. Has collision avoidance systems such as eyesight, adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection, lane excursion warning. Good senior car. Does not have rear collision warning sensing which is a surprise with all the other systems in place. Very good headroom, big back seat. Headlights excellent, feel sorry for oncoming traffic but only have gotten flashed once so maybe ok. Engine peppy and transmission very smooth. Has auto stop/start on engine and this is a pia! This feature can be disabled but you need to do this every time you start the car. Just have about 300 miles on the car but really like it so far.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 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!!

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

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5 out of 5 stars

The BEST smaller SUV improved for 2019

by Bwillboy from Monroe Township NJ on Wed Jan 02 2019

Took delivery of 2019 Forester Touring in November. Already put on about 5,000 miles - - including a 1,200 mile annual, snowbird, migration NJ to FL. Great mileage and pickup. Interior is very rich and creature comforts abound. Huge interior, for its size.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 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 Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

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

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5 out of 5 stars

Smooth Ride / Excellent Value

by Vandy from Ocean City on Sat Oct 06 2018

The redesigned forester is a significant upgrade in ride quality from the previous generations. The forester handles very well at highway speeds and offers numerous safety features which are not overly obtrusive. The seats are comfortable and there is a plenty of room in the back seat for both adults and car seats. The visibility is great minus a couple blind spots at the rear corners, which are offset by the blind spot indicators on the mirrors. The acceleration, while not overly fast, is more than adequate for highway driving. The CVT occasionally struggles with stop and go traffic on the highway as it kept shifting up and down.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 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!!

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5 out of 5 stars

Great car for the money.

by Darrel from Huntley on Fri Jan 04 2019

The car has the benefits of a small SUV while looking like a smart, sporty, new ride. Being a big guy, the Forester has lots of head and shoulder room for the driver.

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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5 out of 5 stars

Nicest vehicle I have ever owned!

by Roo#8 from Whitestown, IN on Thu Jan 10 2019

This car has exceeded our expectations! We have owned several Hondas, Nissans, and GM veglhicles in the past, but none compare to the quality and luxury feel of the Subaru. The pearlized black exterior gives it a very classy look. The black leather accent on the interior seats and trim is a great compromise between all cloth or all leather. The all weather option package gives us just the right amount of extras that we want with nothing over the top. The safety features, technology, and handling really seal the deal. I can't wait to take this on our first long driving trip this summer! This purchase was the 8th Subaru in my immediate family!

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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5 out of 5 stars

Good daily drive suv

by Fb25 from Vancouver on Mon Oct 01 2018

Good side: Handle like sedan, quiet interior, useful and easy to use infotainment system, great awd for off-road setting, roomy enter/exit back seats. Downside: 25 more horsepower would be better Only 6 speed cvt transmission

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 Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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Our Take on the 2019 Subaru Forester

The verdict:

Practicality and all-wheel drive still define the Forester, but the redesigned 2019 is quieter, more civilized and classier.

Versus the competition:

Just as capable, the redone Forester can now take on compact SUV leaders in terms of materials quality and comfort.

The first goal for Subaru with its all-new, fifth-generation Forester was not to screw it up. The five-seat compact SUV has loyal buyers, and the past generation doubled its predecessor's sales. 

The company came up with a 2019 Forester that's literally new throughout, but doesn't trumpet it. If you liked the fourth generation, you'll like the new one better — you just might have trouble spotting it in a parking lot. The Forester's defining characteristic remains practicality. The 2019 Forester is quieter and smoother and has higher-quality materials inside. The Subaru shot from being a laggard to finding a place among the leaders in multimedia technology, even... Read More