By Cars.com EditorsNovember 28, 2012
About the video
From the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, Cars.com's Joe Wiesenfelder takes a look at the 2014 Subaru Forester.
(upbeat music) <v Narrator>Cars.com Auto Reviews. Hi, I'm Joe Wiesenfelder with cars.com. We're taking our first look at a redesigned Subaru Forester. It's a 2014. This is their small SUV. This one is a regular 2.5. There's also a new 2.0
XT, which has a turbocharged two-liter, that one has more power. Let's take a look. Most of our editors agree that photos don't do this vehicle justice. In fact, video might not, we don't know what you're seeing right now, but it's not a bad looking truck. Redesigned front end, definitely more modern. I don't think it looks as good as the Impreza, which was recently redesigned, and on which this car is loosely based, but it looks pretty good in person. The higher trim levels, like this Limited, give you things like body colored mirrors and the rear spoiler. If you get the top Touring trim level, you get side turn signal indicators as well. Roominess good, actually a little bit better than the previous one. And in terms of features, they've modernized it in some ways. Yes, it has tilt telescoping steering wheel, which is good, but also things like center armrests that slide forward and back, and a head restraint, which you don't always get when they redesign, that's a good time to stick those things in. In terms of the interior quality, this one is the Limited trim level, second from the top. It has leather, pretty nice. Nice interior surfaces as usual. If you've ever seen our videos, I don't like silver plastic. This ain't great, this ain't great, but there's a bit of a pattern and texture on part of it that seems pretty good. I don't know why they didn't put that across the board. The optional navigation system, pretty small by today's standards. I think that could be better. The backseat is really roomy for a vehicle in this class. I've got the driver's seat all the way back, where I needed it to drive. And my knees aren't anywhere near it. Raised a bit but comfortable. The center floor hump here is actually lower than it used to be, which is good for a car with all-wheel drive. It makes the center seat more usable. This being the higher trim level, you also get a reclining back seat, goes back one step. I'm taking a look at the 2.0XT, has a more aggressive look, more aggressive front end, slightly different grill. It also has these faux vents in the front and this LED running light, which is pretty distinctive though not as distinctive as it used to be because a lot of cars have LED running lights now. Along with the XT's sports suspension and stronger front brakes, it has larger wheels, 18-inch alloys in place of the 17-inch alloys that are standard. What matters most in the XT is a new to America, two liter turbocharged direct injected four cylinder boxer engine. It makes 250 horsepower, 258 eight pound feet of torque versus the regular ones 170 horsepower, 173 pound feet of torque. That is a nice increase. There is a down side though. You can only get this one with a CVT automatic transmission, the regular one you can get with a six speed manual or a CVT. When you get this version, you also get paddle shifters, which sounds weird for a CVT, but there are six or eight different ratios that this allows you to select. Now, mileage has improved a bit for 2014 in the regular CVT Forrester it is as high as 32 miles per gallon on the highway. With the manual it's 29 on the highway and in this version with all the extra power 28 on the highway. Just a couple other points. This version has EyeSight. That's a lot of active safety features bundled together. It is an option, a couple of things that it does. One, it adds these two cameras up here in pods. Now I can't say they blocked my vision, but they're a little bit distracting. Not sure how that's going to go until we drive it. Also with the different drive modes that come in the XT and some of those active safety features, you've got a pretty busy steering wheel. I don't mind it, but some people might. 2014 marks the introduction of the Forester's first powered lift gate. Works like any others. I'm glad to see it, but I'm not glad to see that it's not a whole lot of clearance. Could be better. Cargo area remains nice and usable. A new up level feature here, little buttons on the side. Spring-loaded folding seats. It's nice to have. So overall, 2014 looks really good. We're looking forward to driving it, especially this one, the two liter turbocharged direct injected 2.0XT. <v Narrator>For more car related news, go to cars.com, or our blog KickingTires.net.
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