2018 Subaru ForesterShould you buy?
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What's New for the 2018 Subaru Forester?
With a 2017 model year refresh, changes are minimal for the 2018 Subaru Forester. The brand's EyeSight suite of driver assistance features is now standard on the two highest Forester trims (2.5i Touring and 2.0XT Touring). Drivers who choose the 2.5i Premium model but want to stand out from the crowd can opt for the new-for-2018 Black Edition Package. This upgrades that trim with distinctive styling such as black 18-inch alloy wheels, black exterior and interior trim, and adaptive LED headlights.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 Subaru Forester – The Pros
1. Standard All-Wheel Drive
The Forester has long been a favorite among outdoorsy drivers, not the least of which is because of its standard all-wheel drive at all trims. This utilitarian aspect is rare among SUVs in the crossover class. When combined with the high ground clearance, you'll find that the Forester is an above-average option for off-roading fans.
2. Comfortable Cabin
Drivers and passengers alike will enjoy the spacious cabin, supportive seats, and quiet ride offered by the 2018 Subaru Forester. It's suitable for daily commuting and long road trips alike. Reviewers of this SUV note the high-quality finishes and soft-touch materials throughout the interior.
3. Great Visibility
The 2018 Subaru Forester has a higher seating position than many of its competitors, offering an expansive view of the road that improves driver safety and confidence. Generous side view mirrors add to the sense of security behind the wheel.
4. The EyeSight Suite
The Subaru Forester offers more driver assistance tech this year than ever before, supporting the brand's reputation for quality and safety. This package comes standard on both Touring trims and includes both high-beam and lane-keeping assist, reverse automatic braking, and blind-spot monitoring.
5. Expansive Cargo Space
The 2018 Subaru Forester is a standout when it comes to providing plenty of room for luggage, grocery bags, or sports equipment. You'll find 34 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 75 cubic feet with the seats folded down. Opt for the power liftgate to make it even easier to load up your Forester.
6. Powerful Turbocharged Engine
Drivers who want strong acceleration and plenty of horses will want to upgrade to the 250-horsepower turbo-four, which provides impressive power for a vehicle of this size. The base engine, delivering 170 horsepower, is no slouch either.
7. Outstanding Fuel Economy
Even with all-wheel drive, the 2018 Subaru Forester will get you farther at the pump than most of its competitors. You'll get 26 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway with the base engine and a still impressive 23/27 mpg city/highway with the turbocharged version; keep in mind, however, that the latter requires premium gasoline.
8. High Safety Ratings
The 2018 Subaru Forester has earned a five-star overall crash test rating from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration. While it hasn't yet been tested for this model year by the Insurance Institute on Highway Safety (IIHS), it's expected to meet or exceed the performance of the 2017 model, which was named an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (its highest designation).
9. X-Mode with Hill Descent Control
If you want to take your new Forester on the trails, make sure to opt for a model with this unique feature (standard on the Premium trim and up if you select the CVT rather than the manual transmission). With the push of a button, you can adjust the SUV's handling based on the terrain, with customizable settings that affect throttle, AWD system, stability, and traction control.
10. Steering Responsive Headlights
This cool safety feature is a class exclusive of the 2018 Subaru Forester. Simply put, the headlights actually turn along with the steering wheel to improve the driver's night visibility.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 Subaru Forester – The Cons
1. Short on Style
While many drivers appreciate the utilitarian feel of the 2018 Subaru Forester, some may prefer a crossover with a bit more panache. The cabin design and material quality is average when compared to more refined options in this class.
2. Challenging Smartphone Integration
Unlike many of its competitors, the 2018 Subaru Forester offers neither Apple CarPlay nor Android Auto functionality. While Bluetooth connectivity is available, it's not the seamless set-up that many drivers will prefer. However, some trims do offer Siri EyesFree voice control functionality.
3. Lack of High-End Options
Reviewers note that even a fully loaded, top-of-the-line 2018 Forester has fewer luxury features than similarly priced competitors. While this won't be an issue for many buyers in this class, others may prefer a vehicle that provides a more premium experience.
How it Stacks Up to the Competition
The off-roading capabilities, high safety scores, and optimal utility set the Subaru Forester apart in the crowded compact SUV class. It has a lower starting price than most of its rivals and is one of the few crossovers to come standard with all-wheel drive. However, it falls short of the Honda CR-V in terms of interior quality. Drivers who prefer a more dynamic ride will likely select the Mazda CX-5 or Ford Escape. If you live in a cold-weather state, though, you can't go wrong with the Forester for inclement driving.
Even among a stalwart lineup of impressive compact SUVs, the 2018 Subaru Forester more than holds its own. It's a great all-around vehicle that will impress families and adventurers as well as anyone in between. While it's not the best choice if you prefer a sophisticated, high-end interior, you'll find generous creature comforts with a healthy investment in safety and functionality. Drivers will feel at peace with the confidence of purchasing a Subaru, named as Kelley Blue Book's Best Overall Brand.
• Why buy a 2017 Subaru Forester? w/ pros vs cons