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Subaru Forester

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Subaru Forester Australia

The Subaru Forester was somewhat late to the small SUV party when it debuted in Australia in 1997, a full three years after the Toyota RAV4.

That said, it managed to co-lead the small SUV charge regardless, thanks to its combination of a car-like driving experience, the space of a small station wagon and a decent amount of off-road ability.

Current prices range from $35,190 to $46,490 for the Forester 2.5I (awd) and Forester Hybrid S (awd).

Because of its long suspension travel and higher ride height, the Forester certainly had the measure of the standard sedans, hatches and wagons when the going got tough, whether on Australia’s rough roads or beyond them. Its car-like driving experience is because the Forester is based on the Impreza sedan and wagon, which debuted here in 1993. These days, the Forester continues the same formula, growing larger, safer and more powerful through successive generations.

Subaru Forester Models Price and Specs

The price range for the Subaru Forester varies based on the trim level you choose. Starting at $28,200 and going to $49,610 for the latest year the model was manufactured. The model range is available in the following body types starting from the engine/transmission specs shown below.

Year Body Type Specs Price from Price to
2021 SUV 2.5L, ULP, CVT AUTO $28,200 $49,610
2021 SUV 2.5L, ULP, CVT AUTO $35,190 $46,490
2020 SUV 2.5L, ULP, CVT AUTO $28,200 $49,610
2019 SUV 2.5L, ULP, CVT AUTO $26,000 $46,530
2018 SUV 2.0L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $20,200 $40,700
2017 SUV 2.0L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $17,300 $43,890
See All Subaru Forester Pricing and Specs

Subaru Forester Q&As

Check out real-world situations relating to the Subaru Forester here, particularly what our experts have to say about them.

  • What is causing a whistling noise from the exhaust of my 2007 Subaru Forester?

    The whistling sound could be coming from some weird combination of acoustics within the muffler as it rots from within and begins to change shape internally. But more likely, what you’re hearing is the sound of a dying turbocharger bearing. Generally, these should be almost silent, but as they wear, they get louder and louder. The turbocharger sits inside the exhaust system, which is why you can hear it through the tailpipe.

    Left to its own devices the bearing will eventually collapse, taking the turbocharger impeller/turbine with it. The bigger danger is that some of the small fragments of metal from the bearing will be free to enter the intake side of the turbocharger where they will be travel through the engine causing all kinds of destruction. That’s possibly what will happen if you ignore it.

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  • Is a 4WD necessary for travelling through regional Queensland?

    It sounds like you don't really need a big, heavy and expensive 4WD for the type of vehicle you require. Maybe ample ground clearance would be an advantage, but otherwise, as all the driving is on sealed or some dirt roads, a good front-drive (2WD) medium-sized SUV should suffice. This type of vehicle is typically more stable at speed as there isn't a high centre of gravity to contend with - a big safety plus. And while all-wheel-drive might be useful driving out of ruts, on sand or in snow, if none of the these apply, the 2WD's stability and traction control system ought to be enough. 

    As a result, we recommend the latest-model (from May 2019-onwards) Toyota RAV4 GX or GXL. It is an exceptionally practical, roomy and robust SUV, with a high level of standard safety features, and big comfy seating. Its 2.0-litre engine is strong, smooth and economical. And you won't have a problem finding somewhere for it to be serviced.

    If AWD is deemed essential, then the base Subaru Forester 2.5i is another great choice. Lots of ground clearance, a gutsy 2.5L engine and a soft, relaxing ride. Nowadays Subaru has increased its service intervals from six to 12 months, taking away one of the hassles of running these well-engineered Japanese SUVs.

    Finally, the Mazda CX-5 AWD is recommended as well, for it too has a well-sorted AWD system. This is quite a sporty number, with plenty of higher-speed power for effortless overtaking, as well as responsive handling. 

    All three SUVs mentioned retail at well under $40,000, and all are enjoyable, capable and reliable choices.

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  • What is the best family SUV for around $20000?

    While the Mitsubishi Outlander is spacious, reliable and easy to drive, our experience testing it against rival medium SUVs have found it to be noisy and a little too firm riding to be truly comfortable and relaxing. At your price point, there are better alternatives out there. 

    Have you considered a Mazda CX-5? In petrol or diesel, we have found it to be a superior and more economical proposition, and is definitely quieter and more refined. Plus, the Mazda's all-wheel-drive system is more sophisticated and better at dealing with loose surfaces like sand.

    A late-model (post 2014) S5-series Subaru Forester 2.5i petrol is far more economical than the earlier iterations, since it switched to a more efficient CVT continuously variable transmission. And there's also the 2.0D turbo-diesel which is economical. This, too, is a fine SUV on-road or for light off-road driving.

    Finally, the Nissan X-Trail diesel is a roomy and capable choice, especially from 2017, when it received a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel to replace the older 1.6L unit.

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  • What model X-Trail or Forester should I buy for less than $19000

    We'd recommend the Nissan T32 X-Trail Series II from mid-2017-onwards and Subaru S4 Forester (2013-2018), since they both make strong secondhand buys due to their reliability, economy, ease of operation, spacious interiors, practicality and strong resale values.

    The reason why we'd buy the 2017-onwards X-Trail Series II is because it standardises Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB). With the Forester, you'll need to skip the lower grades 2.0i-L (manual-only) and 2.5i-L (auto only) for the S and XT for that important safety technology Subaru calls 'EyeSight'. 

    The X-Trail comes in front-wheel drive (2WD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) configurations, but the Forester is AWD-only. All automatics are of the continuous variable transmission (CVT) variety, which priorities fuel economy but can make the engine drone under hard acceleration. Subaru calls its CVT Lineartronic while Nissan dubs its version X-Tronic.

    Our recommendation is to check the service and maintenance history of any car you buy, to ensure every interval has been met and carried out by a proper dealer or brand specialist. This is especially important with the Forester, as it is a slightly more complicated vehicle mechanically. Note that all Subarus of this generation require six-monthly service intervals, not 12-monthly ones like the Nissan, which might be an inconvenience. 

    We'd steer clear of ex-rentals as they tend to have a very hard life (both models were popular with such agencies), though they're almost always the base X-Trail ST and Forester 2.5i-L grades that end up as rental fodder.

    If you're thinking about diesel engined versions, the X-Trail in middle-range TL and up-spec TS guises switched from the earlier (2014-2017) Series 1's 1.6-litre turbo-diesel to a much more powerful and effective 2.0-litre unit, so that's worth remembering. In the Forester the 2.0D equates to the mid-level petrol models in terms of equipment levels.

    Finally, we recommend a mechanical check-up to see that your potential used-buy has not been subjected to punishing off-road treatment. While both the Forester and X-Trail offer good ground clearances, they're not for off-road use, only light gravel, snow or trail driving.

    We hope this helps. Good luck. 

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See All Subaru Forester Q&As
Disclaimer: You acknowledge and agree that all answers are provided as a general guide only and should not be relied upon as bespoke advice. Carsguide is not liable for the accuracy of any information provided in the answers.

Subaru Forester Colours

  • Crystal White
  • Ice Silver
  • Sepia Bronze
  • Crimson Red
  • Jasper Green
  • Horizon Blue
  • Magnetite Grey
  • Crystal Black Silica
To confirm current colour availability, please check the manufacturer's website. Shown above are the colours for the Subaru Forester 2019.

Subaru Forester Towing Capacity

The Subaru Forester has maximum towing capacity of 1800kg for the latest model available.

Year Body Type Braked Capacity from Braked Capacity to
2021 SUV 1200kg 1800kg
2020 SUV 1200kg 1800kg
2019 SUV 1200kg 1500kg
2018 SUV 1500kg 1800kg
2017 SUV 1500kg 1800kg
See All Towing Capacity for Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester Dimensions

The dimensions of the Subaru Forester SUV vary according to year of manufacture and spec level.

Year Body Type Height x Width x Length Ground Clearance
2021 SUV 1730x1815x4625 mm 220 mm
2020 SUV 1730x1815x4625 mm 220 mm
2019 SUV 1730x1815x4625 mm 220 mm
2018 SUV 1735x1795x4610 mm 220 mm
2017 SUV 1735x1795x4610 mm 220 mm
The dimensions shown above are for the base model. See All Subaru Forester Dimensions

Subaru Forester Boot Space

The Subaru Forester SUV has a boot space size of 509 Litres.
Subaru Forester Boot space Subaru Forester Boot space

Subaru Forester Wheel Size

The Subaru Forester has a number of different wheel and tyre options. When it comes to tyres, these range from 225x60 R17 9 for SUV in 2021 with a wheel size that spans from —.

Year Body Type Front Tyre Size Front Rim Rear Tyre Size Rear Rim
2021 SUV 225x60 R17 9 225x60 R17 9
2020 SUV 225x60 R17 9 17x7 inches 225x60 R17 9 17x7 inches
2019 SUV 225x60 R17 17x7 inches 225x60 R17 17x7 inches
2018 SUV 225x60 R17 17x7 inches 225x60 R17 17x7 inches
2017 SUV 225x60 R17 17x7 inches 225x60 R17 17x7 inches
The dimensions shown above are for the base model. See All Subaru Forester Wheel Sizes

Subaru Forester Fuel Consumption

The Subaru Forester is available in a number of variants and body types that are powered by Hyb/ULP, ULP, Diesel and PULP fuel type(s). It has an estimated fuel consumption starting from 6.7L/100km for SUV /Hyb/ULP for the latest year the model was manufactured.

Year Body Type Fuel Consumption* Engine Fuel Type Transmission
2021 SUV 6.7L/100km 2.0L Hyb/ULP CVT AUTO
2021 SUV 7.4L/100km 2.5L ULP CVT AUTO
2020 SUV 6.7L/100km 2.0L Hyb/ULP CVT AUTO
2020 SUV 7.4L/100km 2.5L ULP CVT AUTO
2019 SUV 6.7L/100km 2.0L Hyb/ULP CVT AUTO
2019 SUV 7.4L/100km 2.5L ULP CVT AUTO
2018 SUV 5.9L/100km 2.0L Diesel 6 SP MAN
2018 SUV 7.2L/100km 2.0L ULP 6 SP MAN
2018 SUV 8.5L/100km 2.0L PULP CVT AUTO
2017 SUV 5.9L/100km 2.0L Diesel 6 SP MAN
2017 SUV 7.2L/100km 2.0L ULP 6 SP MAN
2017 SUV 7.2L/100km 2.0L PULP CVT AUTO
* Combined fuel consumption See All Subaru Forester Pricing and Specs for 2021

Subaru Forester Seats

The following Subaru Forester comes with five seats, including 60:40 split folding rear seats. The 2.5i and 2.5i-L variants are available with the choice of either black or platinum/black cloth seats. The 2.5i Premium features the same choice of colours but in premium cloth upholstery. The top of the range 2.5i-S variant comes with leather seats in either black or platinum/black.

Subaru Forester Seats
Shown above are seat details for the Subaru Forester 2019.