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

The following review 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 to pioneer this new territory, where some of the most useful attributes of an SUV meet the driving dynamics of a car. a decade ago (1998), but recent revisions have kept it competitive throughout.

Market research firm Polk found that the Forester inspires greater owner loyalty than any other vehicle in production. That's easy to understand. - All-wheel drive systems. But the Forester also offers car-like fuel economy and driving comfort in a compact and manoeuvrable package. On the highway, it offers better handling and braking performance than your typical jungle cruiser SUV. City and better for dealing with treacherous highway weather. 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 update, meaning extensive changes but not a complete redesign. The new style created a slightly more serious and less attractive look. Inside, subtle changes add comfort and convenience, especially in the rear seats. The suspension has been redesigned to improve ride comfort and increase ground clearance for off-road excursions.

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 with light rear-wheel drive; plus driving dynamics control and all-wheel drive control. Automatic climate control and unique appointments inside and out are shared with the equally new but non-turbocharged Forester Sports 2.5X.

There are also more standard equipment on other models. Rangers now come standard with Electronic Brakeforce 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 deliver power or torque to the 45-state version.

All-wheel drive is standard on all models, and the Forester offers a manual or automatic transmission. While not a treadmill, the Forester is perfect for dirt roads or boardwalks, the most common conditions when venturing off the pavement. The Forester can tow up to 2,400 pounds, enough for a personal watercraft or snowmobile but not enough for a heavier car trailer or boat.

(Video) 2009 Subaru Forester (Natl) 4dr Auto XT Ltd FULLY SERVICED, SUNROOF, LEATHER INTERIOR, HTD SEATS....

The Forester has achieved a good reliability record. It performed well in laboratory crash tests. .) And it comes with a high level of safety equipment as standard. In short, the Forester still offers a combination of SUV capability, fuel economy, highway performance and versatility that's hard to beat.

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The 2007 Subaru Forester includes six variations. All are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder boxer engine. horsepower and 226 pound-feet of torque. Most Foresters come standard with a five-speed manual; a four-speed automatic is optional. The four non-turbo models will be sold as Partial Zero Emissions Vehicles (PZEVs) in California, Massachusetts, Maine, New York and Vermont. Horsepower and torque ratings remain the same as the 45-state ($200) models.

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

The Sports 2.5 X ($21,695) comes with anthracite black cloth upholstery, automatic climate control, a 120-watt stereo with better speakers, an in-dash six-way changer, and MP3/WMA/CD.RW capability, Sirius Satellite. Radio and an AUX-in socket 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, apparently for a sleeker look, but can be added back as an option.

The 2.5 X Premium ($23,695) features four-wheel disc brakes, rear locking differential, 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels, eight-way adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, upgraded interior, exterior mirrors with integrated heaters and rotating turn signals, wiper-defrosters, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift 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 features compared to the 2.5 X Premium include an auto-dimming rear-view mirror with integrated compass, an accident-detection safety system and self-leveling rear suspension. Signature colors with contrasting metal underbody panels and special wheels set the L.L.Bean Edition apart. Internally it has beige seats covered in leather and Alcantara fabric; a wood and leather Momo steering wheel; hard waterproof material in the hold; 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 appearance 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 hood; exhaust with chrome tip; aluminum front door sills; immobilizer; And when ordered with an automatic transmission, electronic stability control, traction control, and a unique rear-biased all-wheel drive system, Subaru calls it Variable Torque Distribution.

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

Safety features include dual-stage front airbags, passenger side airbags and active front head restraints to minimize whiplash, ABS brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and traction on all four wheels. Traction control is available on higher-end models.

Go for a stroll

Subaru Forester is not to be confused with other cars. Redesigned for 2006, its looks remain unchanged for most 2007 models. The Forester probably won't catch the eye of many, although its sculpted aluminum hood, and particularly the functional air intake on 2.5 XT models, subtly calls for attention.

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

Compared to a typical mid-size SUV, the Forester is a small vehicle that makes efficient use of interior space. The Forester is impressively aerodynamic with a sedan-like drag coefficient of 0.36. The more aerodynamic a vehicle is, the less wind noise there is in the interior and the lower the fuel consumption.


The Subaru Forester isn't big by SUV standards. However, its seating position is relatively high, giving it the more commanding view that many buyers seek 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 windscreen and large side windows with slimline A-pillars, a large rearview mirror and large door mirrors provide excellent rearward visibility.

The driver's seat is easy to adjust but can accommodate a variety of tastes and sizes and is well padded. The adjustable steering wheel has a good reach.

Rear passengers have good headroom and legroom, even with the optional sunroof. The rear seats were upgraded for 2006 with more thigh support. A folding armrest provides access to backrest storage.

New for 2007, the interior trim has been revised and new bottle holders have been fitted to the front doors. And the ashtray is gone, replaced by a storage tray on base models and an extra audio-in jack on all others.

The materials in the Forester have been constantly updated 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.

Our 2.5 XT Limited's upgraded stereo produced good sound quality. The gauge is very legible. We like the fluorescent backlight better on the Turbo models.

The optional leather upholstery looks classy. The L.L.Bean model features a Momo wood and leather wrapped steering wheel and matching shifter.

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

The standard retractable tailgate sits high enough to accommodate taller items such as luggage. B. a large refrigerator to accommodate. Plenty of hooks and loops add versatility. A side storage pocket contains a 12 volt plug and there is another 12 volt plug in the front center console.

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

driving impression

The Subaru Forester performs great on gravel, dirt and other types of unpaved roads and handles well in the wet, snow and ice. In addition, the Forester is suitable for bad weather practically everywhere. in off-road vehicles.

Consider this: The Forester is way better than any other SUV you can think of when it comes to driving the way most people drive most of the time, ie on paved roads, commuting to and from work, Eating out and going out, going to the cinema or picking up the kids from school. It can be processed better. It is more agile and has better mileage. The Forester is also nicer and even more fun to drive than any SUV. and it can be driven like a car. On an icy mountain road winding along a bottomless abyss in the midst of a raging storm, we'd rather be in a Forester than a truck-based SUV. The reason is that it brakes and turns better.

The Forester 2.5 XT Limited we tested goes beyond fun and closer to excitement. The XT's turbocharged and intercooled 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine produces 226 pound-feet of torque, or about 36 percent more than Forester's base engine. The XT engine isn't in the least bit crispy or finicky, though. Thanks to Subaru's experience with turbo engines from World Rally Championship years, there's no lag or turbo failure, period.

Variable valve timing (VVT) helps eliminate the inherent compromises of a fixed-timing engine, delivering an amazing balance of low-end torque and free-breathing power. Power peaks are low enough to be effective in most riding situations, while offline torque is strong from 2500 rpm. Simply put, Forester XTs are lightning fast and the power is so consistent you almost don't know you're fighting a turbocharged engine. You'll want to step on the gas at every opportunity just to feel the rush of acceleration.

There's definitely a downside. XTs require more expensive premium fuel for peak performance. Other Foresters don't, and neither do many SUVs. There is also a mileage allowance. That's less than naturally aspirated Foresters (23/28 automatic, 22/29 manual), but far more than most SUVs.

The standard Forester engine is sure to offer decent acceleration. It can't match the exhilaration underfoot with the Turbo, but enough to pull you down a crowded freeway. Subaru's flat engines share their design concept with the highly regarded Porsche 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 isolating the Forester's interior from vibration.

The five-speed manual gearbox works well, the ratios offering a good mix of acceleration and smooth cruising, even if the gear ranges are wide. Automobile. Subaru's Hill Holder Clutch is a useful feature, especially in San Francisco, Seattle and other hilly cities. Prevents the vehicle from rolling backwards when releasing the clutch pedal on a hill.

The automatic transmission gets the same average rating as the manual transmission. Downshifting isn't the fastest and in some circumstances you seem confused as to what.


Despite the proliferation of crossover SUVs, few can match the versatility of the Subaru Forester. The Forester has everything, or almost everything: excellent all-weather capability, off-road capability, dynamic handling on firm ground, flexibility for passengers and cargo, very useful features, fuel economy, numerous safety features and good results in crash tests. Price. It can even be fun to drive. almost $2,000 less.

J.P.Vettraino submitted this report for Detroit-based NewCarTestDrive.com.

model series

Subaru Forester 2.5X ($21,195); Sport 2.5X ($21,695); 2.5x premium ($23,645); Sport 2.5 XT ($25,995): L.L.Bean Edition ($26,695); 2.5 XT Limited ($27,895).

fastened on

Gunma, Japan.

proven ways

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

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