2008 Subaru Forester 2.5X 4dr All Wheel Drive Review - Autoblog (2023)

The following revision is for the 2007 model year. There may be minor changes to the current model you are viewing.

New sports models.


The Subaru Forester was one of the first crossover SUVs, pioneering this new field where some of the most useful features of an SUV meet the handling and driving dynamics of a car. The landscape has become busier since the Forester first appeared nearly a decade ago (1998), but recent revisions have kept it fully competitive.

Market research firm Polk found that the Forester inspires greater owner loyalty than almost any other vehicle in production. -Wheel drive systems. Still, the Forester offers more fuel economy and driving comfort than a car in a compact, maneuverable package. On the road it offers good handling and braking. It is more practical than the typical SUV for city driving. jungle and better handle the treacherous weather on the road. And the turbocharged 2.5 XT Limited is one of the most exciting vehicles of its kind.

For 2006, the Forester benefited from a mid-cycle refresh, meaning extensive changes but not a complete redesign. The new style created a slightly more serious and less kitschy look. The suspension has been revised to improve ride comfort and increase ground clearance for off-road forays.

For 2007, Subaru added the Forester Sports 2.5 XT, which offers the same performance as the flagship 2.5 XT Limited at a lower price. Geared four-wheel drive system with slight rear-wheel drive guidance; plus driving dynamics control and four-wheel drive control. Automatic climate control and exclusive appointments inside and out are shared with the equally new but non-turbo Forester Sports 2.5 X.

Other models also come with more standard equipment. Forest machines now come standard with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD). Tires and wheels grow from 16 to 17 inches on the XT Limited. Sirius satellite radio capability.

Additionally, all non-turbo Foresters sold in California, Massachusetts, Maine, New York and Vermont are now partial zero emission vehicles (PZEVs); However, they don't provide power or torque for the 45-state version.

All-wheel drive is standard on all models, and the Forester offers manual or automatic transmissions. While not a rocky trail, the Forester is perfect for dirt roads or woodland trails, the conditions most commonly encountered when venturing off road. The Forester can tow up to 2,400 pounds, enough for a personal watercraft or snowmobile, but not enough for a heavier trailer or boat.

(Video) SOLD: Stock# F15483: 2015 Subaru Forester Limited Venetian Red

Forester had a good reliability record. It performed well in laboratory crash tests. (The Forester received its highest rating of "good" from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in frontal and side collisions.) And it comes with a high standard of safety equipment. In short, the Forester still offers a combination of SUV capability, fuel efficiency, highway performance and versatility that's hard to beat.

relay a message

The 2007 Subaru Forester consists of six variations. All have a four-cylinder, 2.5-liter boxer engine. Models designated the 2.5X are rated at 173 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque. The 2.5 XT models are turbocharged and produce 224 horsepower and 226 pound-feet of torque. Most Foresters come standard with a five-speed manual; a four-speed automatic transmission is optional. The four non-turbo models will be sold as Partial Zero Emissions Vehicles (PZEVs) in California, Massachusetts, Maine, New York and Vermont. Power and torque ratings remain the same as the 45-state ($200) models.

The 2.5 X ($21,195) comes with air conditioning with air filtration system, 100-watt AM/FM stereo/weather band with a single CD player and four speakers, tilt steering, cruise control, fog lights , folding side mirrors, power windows, rear wiper/washer, power door locks with remote keyless entry, digital outside temperature gauge, 60/40 folding rear seats with center armrest, roof rack, security system, lid trunk and various racks to secure cargo behind the rear seat. The wheels are 16-inch steel with 215/60R16 all-season tires.

The Sports 2.5 X ($21,695) comes with Charcoal Black fabric upholstery, automatic climate control, a 120-watt stereo with better speakers, a six-disc in-dash changer, plus MP3/WMA/ CD-RW, Sirius Satellite Radio, and upgraded AUX input jack for iPods and other MP3 players. A black mesh front grille and a special front bumper highlight the sporty models; The roof rack crossbars have been removed, ostensibly for a sleeker look, but can be added back as an option.

The 2.5 X Premium ($23,695) features four-wheel disc brakes, limited-slip rear differential, 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels, eight-way adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, upgraded interior trim, rotating outside mirrors heating and integrated direction indicators, wiper-defroster, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob and electric sunroof.

The 2.5 X L.L.Bean Edition ($26,695) comes standard with an automatic transmission (keep this in mind when shopping). Additional feature items compared to the 2.5 X Premium include an auto-dimming rearview mirror with an integrated compass, a crash-sensing restraint system and a self-leveling rear suspension. Exclusive colors with contrasting metallic panels and special wheels characterize the L.L.Bean Edition. Inside, it has beige seats upholstered in leather and Alcantara fabric; a Momo steering wheel in wood and leather; resistant waterproof material in the basement; and L.L Bean logos sewn into the front seats and floor mats.

The Sports 2.5 XT ($25,995) shares the standard features and looks of the Sports 2.5 X, as well as the 155-watt seven-speaker stereo; unique instruments; 215/55R17 tires on 17-inch alloy wheels; disc brakes on all four wheels; Limited-slip rear differential; functional air intake on the hood; exhaust with chrome tip; aluminum front door sills; immobilizer; and when requested with an automatic transmission, electronic stability control, traction control and a unique rear-biased all-wheel drive system that Subaru calls Variable Torque Distribution.

The 2.5 XT Limited ($27,895) combines much of the performance trim of the Sport 2.5 XT with all the amenities of the Premium, plus upholstery in desert beige or anthracite black leather and aluminum-finished roof rails.

Safety features include two-stage front-impact airbags, passenger side-impact airbags and active front head restraints to minimize whiplash, ABS brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, and all-wheel drive. Electronic stability control and traction control are available on higher-end models.


The Subaru Forester is not to be confused with other cars. Redesigned for 2006, its look hasn't changed for most 2007 models. The Forester is unlikely to draw much attention, although its molded aluminum hood and particularly functional shell do subtly catch the eye on the 2.5 XT models.

New for 2007 are Sport models with black mesh sport grilles and uniquely contoured front fenders.

Compared to a typical mid-size SUV, the Forester is a small vehicle, but it makes efficient use of the interior space. It's a fairly square machine by design, and its beauty lies more in its functional design. Despite its upright shape, the Forester is impressively aerodynamic with a sedan-level drag coefficient of 0.36. The more aerodynamic a vehicle is, the less wind noise there is inside and the lower the fuel consumption.


The Subaru Forester isn't big by SUV standards. However, its seating position is relatively high and offers more of the commanding view many buyers are looking for in an SUV. Forward visibility is less likely to be obstructed by other vehicles than a typical sedan. In fact, visibility in all directions is excellent. The driver looks through a wide windshield, and large side windows with narrow A-pillars, a large rearview mirror and large door mirrors provide excellent rearward visibility.

The driver's seat is easy to adjust but accommodates a variety of tastes and sizes and has good padding. The adjustable steering wheel has a good reach.

Even with the optional sunroof, rear passengers have plenty of headroom and legroom. The rear seats were updated for 2006 with more thigh support. A folding armrest provides access to backrest storage.

New for 2007: updated interior and new bottle holders added to the front doors. And the ashtray has been removed and replaced with a storage compartment on base models and an extra audio input jack on all others.

Forester's materials have steadily improved over the years until they are all of decent quality. The instrument panel and controls are efficiently designed. Three large HVAC knobs make it easy to adjust temperature and airflow.

The upgraded stereo on our 2.5 XT Limited produced good sound quality. The instrument panel is very easy to read. We like the fluorescent backlight better on the Turbo models.

The optional leather interior looks and feels classy. The L.L.Bean model features a leather and Momo wood-wrapped steering wheel and matching shifter. The waterproof surface of the cargo floor and rear seat backrest extends to the side walls of the luggage compartment.

The Forester has a large load capacity for its size. Lowering the 60/40 split rear seat increases that capacity from 31 cubic feet to 69 cubic feet. This is comparable to some compact SUVs (Ford Escape, for example, 29 and 66 cubic feet, with and without the rear seat attached); less than others (like the 36 and 73 cubic foot Honda CRV). Those who value cargo space more should note that the lower roof steals 2 to 4 cubic feet of cargo space on Foresters equipped with a sunroof.

The standard retractable trunk lid sits high enough to accommodate larger items such as luggage. B. a large cool box. Plenty of hooks and ties add versatility. There's a 12-volt outlet in a side storage pocket and another 12-volt outlet on the front. center console.

Despite its compact dimensions, the Forester adapts to the needs and physique of a wide range of people. It also protects them well in case of an accident. - Offset and side impact crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

driving printout

The Subaru Forester performs very well on gravel, gravel and other types of dirt roads and works perfectly in rain, snow and ice. For example, the Forester is the perfect commute on forest trails in the Pacific Northwest or to get to Michigan's Trout Stream on a two-lane dirt road. In addition, the Forester is suitable for bad weather almost anywhere. in off-road vehicles.

Consider this: the Forester is way better than any SUV you can imagine when it comes to driving the way most people drive most of the time, i.e. on paved roads, to and from work, to dinner and a movie or to pick up the kids. at school. He drives better. It is more agile and has better mileage. The Forester is also more fun, even more fun to drive than almost any SUV. He'll spin most of them around in circles. It drives more like a car and can be driven like a car. On an icy mountain road snaking along a bottomless abyss in the middle of a raging storm, we'd rather be in a Forester than a truck-based SUV. The reason is that it stops and turns better.

The Forester 2.5 XT Limited we tested goes beyond fun and closer to the thrill. The XT's turbocharged, intercooled, 2.5-litre, four-cylinder, dual-camshaft engine produces 226 pound-feet of torque, or about 36 percent more than the base Forester engine. Thanks to Subaru's experience with turbo engines from years of competing in the World Rally Championship, there are no turbo lags or failures, period.

Variable Valve Timing (VVT) helps eliminate the inherent compromises of a fixed-timing engine, delivering incredibly balanced torque at lower revs and free-breathing power. Power peaks are low enough to be effective in most driving situations, with line torque getting strong from 2500 rpm onwards. Simply put, Forester XTs are lightning fast, and the power is so consistent, you hardly notice you're fighting a turbocharged engine. It's so much fun, you'll want to step on the gas at every opportunity just to feel the rush of acceleration.

Undoubtedly, there is a downside. XTs require more expensive premium fuel for peak performance. Other foresters don't need it, and neither do many SUVs. That's less than the naturally aspirated Foresters (23/28 automatic, 22/29 manual), but much more than most SUVs.

The stock Forester engine delivers decent acceleration for sure. It can't match the Turbo's underfoot exhilaration, but it's enough to get into a crowded highway. Subaru's flat engines share their design concept with Porsche's highly regarded flat engines. The benefit is good performance in a compact package and a low block height that helps lower the car's center of gravity. Subaru has perfected this design. Subaru's four-cylinder engine isn't as smooth as some, but the company's engineers did a good job. Insulation work from the inside of the vibration squeak.

The five-speed manual gearbox works well. The gear ratios provide a good mix of acceleration and smoothness, even during long shifts between gears. Subaru's Hill Holder clutch is a handy feature, especially in San Francisco, Seattle and other mountain towns. Prevents the vehicle from rolling backwards when releasing the clutch pedal on an uphill slope.

The automatic transmission gets the same average rating as the manual transmission. It's not the quickest downshift and seems confused about what in certain circumstances.


Despite the proliferation of crossover SUVs, few can match the versatility of the Subaru Forester. The Forester has it all, or almost everything: great all-weather capability, off-road capability, solid dynamic performance on asphalt, passenger/cargo flexibility, lots of useful features. Features, fuel economy, lots of safety equipment and good crash test results at a reasonable price. It can even be fun to drive. And now you can enjoy the visceral thrills of the Limited Turbo for nearly $2,000 less, thanks to the new Sports 2.5 XT.

J.P.Vettraino sent this report to Detroit-based NewCarTestDrive.com.

model series

Subaru Forester 2.5X ($21,195); Deported 2.5 times ($21,695); 2.5X Prime ($23,645); Sport 2.5 XT ($25,995): LLBean Edition ($26,695); 2.5 XT Limited ($27,895).

mounted on

Gunma, Japan.

Tested options

4-speed automatic transmission ($800) includes active four-wheel drive; rear cargo bed ($70).

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Annamae Dooley

Last Updated: 05/06/2023

Views: 6391

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (45 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Annamae Dooley

Birthday: 2001-07-26

Address: 9687 Tambra Meadow, Bradleyhaven, TN 53219

Phone: +9316045904039

Job: Future Coordinator

Hobby: Archery, Couponing, Poi, Kite flying, Knitting, Rappelling, Baseball

Introduction: My name is Annamae Dooley, I am a witty, quaint, lovely, clever, rich, sparkling, powerful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.