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Subaru Forester

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Subaru Forester Review, For Sale, Colours, Specs, Models & News

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 $35,990 to $47,190 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 $35,990 and going to $47,190 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
2022 SUV 2.5L, ULP, CVT AUTO $35,990 $47,190
2021 SUV 2.5L, ULP, CVT AUTO $28,900 $50,600
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
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.

  • Why is the battery in my 2021 Subaru Forester going flat and how do I fix it?

    A: If the reason the battery is going flat has anything to do with a fault within the rest of the car, then yes, I would imagine the problem – and the subsequent battery replacement if the battery is damaged – would be a warranty issue. The body computer in modern cars can do curious things with the electrical systems and accessories fitted, and that can sometimes result in a flat battery.

    Subaru is not the only brand with this problem, but flat batteries caused by it are definitely not the sort of statutory wear and tear issues that normally exclude a battery from any warranty claims. It would be the same with tyres, brakes and clutches. Normally, when these components wear out its deemed normal wear and tear and is not covered by the car’s warranty. But if a tyre, clutch or braking system fails because of a manufacturing or materials fault, then the new-car warranty should cover it.

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  • Does the Subaru Forester's 'boxer' engine feature a timing belt or a chain-driven set-up?

    Disassemble the engine of the popular SUV, and you might find either a Subaru Forester timing belt or chain driving the valve-gear of the four-cylinder boxer. That’s because the Forester has been with us long enough to have spanned two distinct generations of Subaru engines, the first with a timing belt, the second with a timing chain set-up.

    Going back all the way to 1997 when the Forester was launched here, the vehicle used Subaru’s EJ series of engines. That meant they were fitted with a rubber timing belt. That continued right through to the new model in 2008, but for the facelift of that third-gen Forester in 2011, Subaru introduced the FB series of engines, and those were fitted with a timing chain. Simply, then, a 1997 to 2011 Forester will have a timing belt, while any of the fourth-gen Foresters (from 2013 or later) will have a timing chain. And for a brief period from 2011 to 2012, the Forester was fitted with either a timing belt or a timing chain depending on which engine was fitted. The other exception is the turbo-diesel Forester which launched in 2008 and used a timing chain rather than a rubber belt.

    Subaru’s factory recommendation for timing belt replacement is every 100,000km for Foresters built from 1997 to 2006, and 125,000km for post-06 models. You also need to change the tensioners at this point as these are the most common culprits for timing-belt failures. Budget on spending the thick end of $1000 for this work. The good news is that, unlike the majority of cars out there, the trade reckons you only need to replace the water pump every second timing-belt change. That’s a remarkable vote of confidence in the basic engine’s durability.

    Meantime, the task of the timing chain or timing belt is exactly the same: They take drive from the engine’s crankshaft to the camshaft and, in the process, keep all the moving parts in harmony. Many car makers moved away from a timing chain to the rubber, toothed drive belt as a way of simplifying engine design and driving down the cost of each engine. The rubber timing belt is also quieter in its operation and is also less prone to stretching (as a timing chain can) so the camshaft (commonly referred to as the cam) stays in perfect synch with the rest of the engine’s rotating parts. The rubber belt is a simpler design because it doesn’t need to be tensioned via oil pressure from the engine as many timing chain systems are.

    The timing chain, meanwhile, is preferred by some manufacturers because it should last the lifetime of the engine and never need replacement. This isn’t always the case, however, and some engines designs from a variety of manufacturers suffer problems in this regard. But, in a properly maintained engine of sound design, the timing chain should never need attention, while the rubber timing belt generally requires periodic replacement.

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  • Need to change the oil on my Subaru Forester, but want to know the right type and the best way to go about it

    A Subaru Forester engine oil change is a great way to start to learn about DIY maintenance and save yourself some money by performing an oil change service at home. Precisely how to change oil on a Subaru Forester is far from a trade secret and essentially involves removing the old oil, fitting a replacement oil filter of the right type and size and then replenishing the engine oil. Okay, it’s not quite that simple, and you need to take into account disposing of the old oil as well as learning the correct tightening specifications for the sump plug and filter. But this is a job that the typical mechanic at a service centre would tackle every day and earn their bread and butter income from. And that’s money you can save at home. Bear in mind, though, that this is not the only maintenance job a Forester requires, but it’s the most common one.

    The other issue is knowing when to tackle your Subaru Forester oil change as well as how often to change oil as time and kilometres go by. Waiting for the maintenance light to appear on the dashboard can leave things too long, and you’re much better off learning the correct service interval. This information will be listed in the owner’s manual.

    The best Subaru Forester oil type is the one recommended by the manufacturer, and in that case, the petrol and diesel versions of the Forester need a 5W40 and a diesel-specific 5W30 respectively. That applies for cars made from 2008 to 2012 and includes the new 2.5-litre petrol engine introduced with a facelift in very late 2010. The same grade of oil is also specified for the engines fitted to 2013 and 2014 models, while a 5W30 is also the correct oil for the revised diesel engine introduced in 2015 which continued through 2016 and beyond to the end of that model in 2018. Foresters with petrol engines have a 4.8 litre oil capacity, while the diesel engines require almost six litres of oil, so make sure you buy enough as well as a little for top ups in the future.

    You should also fit the correct Subaru oil filter when ever you change the engine oil and, for the majority of petrol engined Foresters from this era, the proper filter is a Ryco (or equivalent) Z436, while the turbo-diesel engine requires a Ryco Z148A. Any spare parts store should be able to provide these filters and confirm the correct fitment.

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  • 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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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

The Forester comes in 10 colours including Crystal White, Crimson Red Pearl, Horizon Blue Pearl and Autumn Green Metallic.

  • Crystal White Pearl
  • Ice Silver Metallic
  • Magnetite Grey Metallic
  • Crystal Black Silica
  • Crimson Red Pearl
  • Brilliant Bronze Metallic
  • Autumn Green Metallic
  • Horizon Blue Pearl
  • Cascade Green Silica
  • Dark Blue Pearl
To confirm current colour availability, please check the manufacturer's website.

Subaru Forester Accessories

The entry grade in the Forester range is called the 2.5i and it lists for $35,990 and comes with dual-zone climate control, an eight-inch media touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 6.3-inch display for vehicle info, and a smaller 4.2-inch screen in the instrument cluster, cloth seats, a proximity key with push-button start, plus tinted rear windows, LED headlights and daytime running lights and 17-inch alloy wheels.

The next grade up is the 2.5i-L for $38,390 and frankly it’s identical to the 2.5i except for one hugely important difference – it comes with more safety tech. If it was my money, I’d skip the entry grade and go straight to the 2.5i-L. It also comes with heated seats.

The 2.5i Premium is the next up the ladder at $41,140 and comes with all the features in the grades below but adds 18-inch alloys, premium cloth seats, sat nav, powered front seats, and a power tailgate.

Hang in there, we’re almost through this.

The 2.5i Sport for $42,690 has the Premium’s features but has 18-inch wheels with a black metallic finish, there are orange highlights to the exterior and interior trim, water-repellent cloth seats and a power sunroof.            

The 2.5i-S is the fanciest grade in the range at $44,190 – it’s the one I tested in the video at the top of this review. Along with all the features of the lower grades there are also silver 18-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, an eight-speaker Harman Kardon stereo and X-Mode, which is an off-road system for playing in the mud.

Subaru Forester Accessories

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
2022 SUV 1200kg 1800kg
2021 SUV 1200kg 1800kg
2020 SUV 1200kg 1800kg
2019 SUV 1200kg 1500kg
2018 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
2022 SUV 1730x1815x4640 mm 220 mm
2021 SUV 1730x1815x4625 mm 220 mm
2020 SUV 1730x1815x4625 mm 220 mm
2019 SUV 1730x1815x4625 mm 220 mm
2018 SUV 1735x1795x4610 mm 220 mm
The dimensions shown above are for the base model. See All Subaru Forester Dimensions

Subaru Forester Boot Space

The boot space ranges from 498 litres (hybrid) to 509 litres (petrol).

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 2022.

Year Body Type Front Tyre Size Front Rim Rear Tyre Size Rear Rim
2022 SUV 225x60 R17 9 225x60 R17 9
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
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
2022 SUV 6.7L/100km 2.0L Hyb/ULP CVT AUTO
2022 SUV 7.4L/100km 2.5L ULP CVT AUTO
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
* Combined fuel consumption See All Subaru Forester Pricing and Specs for 2022

Subaru Forester Interior

Leather upholstery comes in on the top-of-the-range 2.5i-S.

Subaru Forester Seats

The Forester has five seats. 

Subaru Forester Seats

Subaru Forester Speed

The 0-100km/h time is about 9 seconds.

Subaru Forester News

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