2011 Subaru Forester Review

Subaru has always taken pride in a highly responsive drive train, rapid acceleration and braking power, and an overall feeling of tight engineering. The 2011 Forester is no exception to this rule, with a sporty feel on the open road. If anything, the Forester may be a little too responsive, leading to a certain jerky feel in city traffic. On long stretches of road, the Forester’s powerful acceleration leads to a headlong feeling of being propelled into uncharted territory. Drivers will particularly enjoy the increased torque and horsepower over the previous model, which allows them to take steeper turns and chart more difficult pathways without expending any additional effort. A bit of off-roading is not out of the question, although the Forester functions best on smooth highways, due to its precisely aligned drive. Those drivers who do take the car on off-road adventures would do best to avoid high streams.


Included standard with the 2.5X models is the 2.5-liter horizontally opposed 4-cylinder engine that generates 170 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. The 2.5X and 2.5X Premium received the 5-speed manual standard while the 2.5X Limited gets the 4-speed automatic. The XT versions of the Foresters include the turbocharged version of this engine, which delivers 224 horsepower and 226 pound-feet of torque. The EPA rates the standard engine paired with an automatic as 20/26/22 city/highway/combined.

Interior Features

The cabin features the kind of amenities one has come to expect from a brand that values precision over luxury. Although the Subaru is not cramped, passengers will note that each seat has an ideal balance between comfort and sprawl, with the most efficient posture providing the highest ratio of comfort. While leather seating and fully automated sunroofs can be found in the most richly appointed models, the lower end models stick to their cloth and vinyl interiors, with cup holders, automatic door openers, and other features that meet the average car buyer’s expectations. Audio-wise, the Subaru features the requisite CD player and AM / FM radio, although the vehicle does not dazzle with configurable ports and other more complicated audio set-ups that are found in vehicles of its class.


A robust and pleasant vehicle, the Forester provides the driver with a sporty, mid-class vehicle that functions excellently for trips and other longer term outings. With a standard array of features and exceptional engineering, the vehicle is ideal for those who enjoy travel, but are not terribly concerned about being flashy or ostentatious. Excellent window views for the driver and passengers make driving in scenic areas particularly pleasurable. Improvements in performance make this particular Forester one of the most powerful Subaru models to date.

With its tendency to handle in a jerky fashion, the 2011 Forester will not appeal to those who enjoy having a smooth and unfettered interaction with the road. Its focus on performance and neglect of luxury features may turn off passengers who delight in creature comforts, while its somewhat average gas mileage will frustrate those who long for a purely economical car.

About this Vehicle
Trim: 2011 Subaru Forester 2.5X
MSRP: $20,495
Engine: 2.5L F4
Transmission: Manual, Automatic
Drivetrain: AWD
Fuel Type: Gas
Curb Weight: 3,250 lbs.

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