Why the Subaru Forester Should Be Your Next Vehicle

A blue 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness is shown with kayaks on the roof driving by a river.

Are you in the market for a new vehicle and have wondered, "Is there a Subaru dealer near me?" Have your vehicle interests turned toward buying a Subaru Forester? If so, you've made a great choice! The Subaru Forester is one of Subaru's most renowned models. Whether you're interested in the Forester due to its size or you've investigated the Forester further to find its versatility as a compact crossover SUV appealing—you won't be disappointed. Besides having a history filled with recognitions and awards for its safety, performance, and reliability across the globe, carrying the Subaru badging alone signifies the Forester is built to perform, keep you safe, and is built to last.

If you're looking for a commuter car, a family-friendly vehicle, or just a model that can hold up on your adventures, you won't need to look any further—the Subaru Forester can handle it all. Still not sure if it's the model for you? No problem! Let's take a deeper look at the Forester and everything you should know before buying a new or used Forester.

A Look at the Forester’s Evolution Over the Years

Believe it or not, the Subaru Forester was one of the first crossover SUVs on the market when it was introduced for the 1998 model year. It was inspired by a wagon design on a car chassis but was built with a taller stance for better visibility, comfort, and overall performance. The Forester is stationed in Subaru's lineup between the compact Impreza with which it shares a chassis and the midsize Legacy. With plenty of headroom for easy entry and exit, even for taller folks, the Forester has never had issues with being a rollover risk like other SUVs because its low center of gravity meets the United States safety standards, making it the exception.

The Forester's low design is one of the many features that make it distinguishable from competitors. From the words of its maker, the Subaru Forester is "SUV tough, Car Easy," and has been since its release over 30 years ago. For five generations now, Subaru has continued to perfect the Forester. The Forester's style, performance, safety, and accommodations have evolved with industry advancements and consumer demands, enabling it to evolve into one of Subaru's best-selling models, ranked at the top of the charts for best compact SUV because of its low cost, high value, car-like drive, roomy interior, high fuel economy ratings, versatility, and ruggedness all rolled into one exceptional model.

The five-seater Subaru Forester has always carried its boxy wagon style, standard all-wheel drive, and iconic Subaru boxer engine; however, through the years, there have been many upgrades. In addition to the obvious amenities like entertainment and connectivity technology, advancements have been made to improve its performance, safety, and comfort.

The second-generation Forester, which existed on the lots of Subaru dealers from 2003 to 2008, received weight-lightening enhancements like an aluminum hood to increase efficiency. It also gained more powerful and efficient powertrains, including the introduction of its first turbocharged engine. By the third generation, from 2009 to 2013, the Subaru Forester began its transformation toward resembling a crossover SUV versus a wagon with some added curvature to its boxy design and an increase in size for every dimension, giving the Forester room to carry all of the road trip or off-roading essentials in the back. Its suspension was even upgraded for better performance off the pavement, and with the help of an additional 1.4 inches of ground clearance, bringing it to 8.9 inches, the third-generation Forester became the base for a specialized mountain rescue vehicle for the National Ski Patrol.

The fourth generation, existing from 2014 to 2018, increased in size again for more interior volume benefiting both passengers and cargo, but its towing capacity decreased from 2,400 to 1,500 lbs with the addition of the Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT). However, with the new CVT, the Forester provided better fuel economy, getting an estimated 32 MPG on the highway, according to the EPA. Subaru's EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, which includes automatic braking and pre-collision throttle management to help prevent collisions as well as advanced adaptive cruise control and lane departure and sway warnings to assist in keeping your vehicle in your lane, was introduced to the top-of-the-line trim level for added peace of mind while on the road. But, for the fifth and current generation of 2019 to present models, EyeSight is standard on every Forester. Even without the suite of assistance features, the Forester has always ranked well in safety, amongst many other categories, which has helped it consistently earn and maintain customer loyalty.

A silver 2015 Subaru Forester is shown on pavement after leaving a Subaru dealer near you.

The Forester’s Extensive List of Accolades Speaks For Itself

Foresters are affordable, whether you opt for a base-level model or the top-of-the-line trim. Whichever model you decide, you'll be getting a vehicle that perfectly balances reliability, capability, and comfort, in addition to its array of innovative features. From its versatile performance to exceptional safety ratings and everything in between, the Subaru Forester holds its value.

Since its introduction, the Forester has been recognized for being at the top of the charts. It made Car and Driver's 5Best Trucks for three consecutive years, from 2004 through 2006, and in 2006 its turbocharged engine was named the International Engine of the Year for an outstanding overall performance. In 2009, the Forester won Motor Trend's Sport/Utility of the Year Award and took Best Small Utility in the 2009 Driver's Choice Awards presented by MotorWeek. In 2014, the Forester received the SUV of the Year Award from Motor Trend magazine and was known for having the longest run in its class for winning the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick from model years 2007 to 2018, then earning IIHS Top Safety Pick+ for 2019 through the current 2022 models.

With that sort of recognition over the years, it should be no surprise that the Subaru Forester is known for its high resale value. The 2022 Forester even earned Kelley Blue Book's Best Resale Value Award for its class for the third year in a row, as well as the 5-Year Cost to Own Award from Kelley Blue Book for having the lowest projected cost to own in its class over a five year period. This is great news if you're planning on buying a new Subaru Forester because if you decide to upgrade in a couple of years, its high trade-in value can help get the costs of an upgraded model to an even more affordable price than its starting rate. But what about if you're thinking about purchasing a pre-owned model? Well, that's where the Forester's longevity comes in. You might pay top dollar for a used Subaru Forester, but that's because it's built to last.

Some first-generation Foresters can still be found on the road today with their wagon body styles and a likely 300,000 plus miles on their odometers. With the proper care and maintenance, Foresters can usually last on average 200,000 to 250,000 miles which can be about 13 to 17 years based on a driving average of 15,000 miles per year. While the Forester's mechanics play a large role in its longevity, so does the quality of its body. Unlike many of its competitors, whose engines outlive their bodies, the Subaru Forester forgoes several treatments to help prevent rust, including galvanizing its body panels with zinc.

Should You Buy a New or Used Model?

It goes without saying that buying a new Forester model allows you the benefit of having a brand-new untouched vehicle, complete with all the latest features, but for some, buying used might be the more economical choice to fit their budget. Buying a vehicle is a complicated process and although buying new seems like an ideal choice, buying used is still very much a viable option for those looking to get all the modern features at a more affordable price. If you're considering a pre-owned Forester from a used Subaru dealership, it may or may not come with a warranty which possibly means that any repairs needed are paid for out of pocket. On the upside, a vehicle history report will provide you with a thorough background on the vehicle of your liking, so you'll know in advance if it's had mechanical issues over the years. By taking a comprehensive look at the history of the vehicle, you can make a better-informed decision as to whether it's the right vehicle for you. Although a vehicle's history is an important aspect to consider, at Ruge's Subaru, we take great pride in our extensive selection of used vehicles, which include the Forester, that all come in impeccable condition and are perfect for those looking for a more affordable alternative to buying a new Forester.

A white 2021 Subaru Forester Sport is shown driving on a tree lined road.

Come Experience the Subaru Forester for Yourself

If you're looking for a Subaru dealership in search of your next vehicle, we highly recommend taking a look at the Subaru Forester. Whether you commute alone, you're an adventurer, or looking for a family vehicle; the Forester is a worthy travel companion. For those in the market for a new or used small yet versatile SUV that's affordable, rugged, comfortable, and known for its high safety ratings and sustainability, the Forester checks off all those boxes. We here at Ruge's Subaru welcome you to contact us or visit our dealership and see firsthand what makes the Forester such a special vehicle designed for all types of drivers.