Cars.com's Bill Jackson takes a look at the 2009 Subaru Forester. It competes with the Ford Escape and Volkswagen Tiguan.
(high energy rock music) Hi, I'm bill Jackson. I manage the buying guides for cars.com and we're here with the redesigned Subaru Forester. First thing you'll notice is it's a little taller than the old Forester.
Subaru says that they gained most of that height by adding another inch of ground clearance. Another thing that you may not notice is it's about three inches longer. And again, where Subaru said that length went was to the rear seat to give you a little more room. And I have to say, that's nice. Cause the old one was a little tight back there. Overall, it's redesigned. And it's got a nice look with a good blend of materials. One of the things I like about the Forester, both in the old version and the new version as you sit fairly upright with excellent visibility, glad to see they carry that over. Another thing I really like is there's a lot of headroom. You know, this car actually has a moonroof that covers all the first row and a good chunk of the second row. But as you can see, I've got plenty of um, plenty of headroom. One of the things I also really like about Subaru is they don't try to get too cute with the interior controls. There's no fancy touch screen navigation, just three, very easy to use knobs right down here. Okay, the Forester also has a lot of cargo room and that's really nice that they kept that. You also noticed that even though the overall SUV is taller than it was before, that's still pretty low load height, which is handy for loading groceries. But at the same time, this opens up high enough that you're not going always bang your head. And with a little hand cutout here, I think even shorter people would have an easy time of shutting this. So now that we've seen how it looks inside, let's see how it does off-road. Overall, the Forester felt pretty good on the off-road course. It was raining. As you can see, there's a lot of mud and rocks. There was a bit of bouncing around, but I never felt like I got too out of control in the car. And that's important when you consider this as isn't a dedicated off-road or like some other vehicles. Overall, it was pretty secure. So in closing, I got to drive the Forester, both on-road and off-road. On-road, you notice the extra inch of ground clearance, but off-road, I was really glad it was there. I think the thing is to test drive it. If you're considering the Forester and you liked the old model, because this one does drive differently. <v Announcer>For additional information on this car or any other. Go to cars.com and our blog kicking tires.