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Subaru Forester
EXPERT RATING
7.3
/ 10
See our complete guide for the Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester Pricing and Specs

2022 price from
$35,990*

The Subaru Forester is available from $35,990 to $47,190 for the 2022 SUV across a range of models.

Long before every other manufacturer had clambered aboard the good ship SUV, Subaru's Forester was busy carving its own niche among the active lifestyle brigade in Australia. With five seats, plenty of boot space, a decent ride height and Subaru's all-wheel drive system as standard, the medium sized Forester is capable of navigating more than just the CBD, and can easily dispose of wet tracks and grassed driveways - hence its popularity in the country's regional centres. The Forester is available with a choice of petrol or diesel engines, each sending its power to all four wheels.

The Forester 2.5I (awd) starts off at $35,990, while the range-topping, Forester Hybrid S (awd) is priced at $47,190.

 

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Year Price From Price To
2022 $35,990 $47,190
2021 $28,900 $50,600
2020 $28,200 $49,610
2019 $26,000 $46,530
2018 $20,200 $40,700
2017 $17,300 $43,890
2016 $15,500 $39,820
2015 $13,200 $28,600
2014 $10,700 $25,630
2013 $9,400 $25,080
2012 $9,200 $23,100
2011 $7,500 $21,450
2010 $7,100 $15,950
2009 $6,500 $14,520
2008 $5,700 $12,100
2007 $4,400 $10,450
2006 $3,000 $9,240
2005 $2,600 $6,600
2004 $2,200 $5,390
2003 $2,000 $4,730
2002 $2,200 $4,620
2001 $2,100 $4,730
2000 $2,100 $4,950
1999 $2,400 $4,510
1998 $2,400 $4,400
1997 $2,400 $4,400

Subaru Forester FAQs

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

  • 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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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.

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