2020 Subaru Forester Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
The 2020 Subaru Forester is a compact crossover SUV. You get plenty of utility and function as one would expect from an SUV. The difference here is that it comes in a smaller, more-convenient package. You will also enjoy driving dynamics more akin to a car than a large SUV. The Forester is a great vehicle choice for the adventurous type. Here are 10 good reasons to buy a new Forester along with some reasons why it may not be right for you.
What's New For 2020?
The Forester just received a major update for the 2019 model year. That means not a lot has changed for 2020. The Premium models now come equipped with the all-weather package from 2019. This includes heated outside mirrors and front seats. A new rear-seat reminder gives you a warning as you exit to make sure you're not leaving small children or pets behind.
The latest Forester has an LED light around the rear license-plate holder on every trim. The cruise control has also been upgraded. It now features a lane-centering feature to keep you moving straight ahead as well as at the right speed. The tire-pressure monitor gets a handy upgrade as well. It now shows individual pressure for each of your four tires.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2020 Subaru Forester – The Pros
1. Standard All-Wheel Drive
Subaru seems to love offering all-wheel drive on their vehicles. The 2020 Subaru Forester is also equipped with this feature. It's one of the best all-wheel drive systems on the road today. It helps with the acceleration as the horsepower can quickly get directly on the road. It also provides for better traction, steering and handling.
All-wheel drive makes for a nice safety feature. The Subaru Forester handles nicely on wet pavement. It can even go over and through snow much better than competing vehicles in this class. All-wheel drive means that you can take the Forester off-road as well.
2. The Boxer Engine
Subaru's unique Boxer engine provides reliability and efficiency. This type of engine has a great track record for longevity. A Boxer engine has cylinders that are horizontally opposed instead of inline or in a V-shape. This leads to a smoother, vibration-free performance. The lack of vibrations make for a smoother, quieter ride too.
The 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine in the Forester offers efficient performance. You can expect to get around 26 miles-per-gallon in the city and 33 miles-per-gallon during highway driving.
3. Off-Road Capabilities
The 2020 Subaru Forester offers respectable off-road performance for a smaller crossover SUV. This is in large part due to the all-wheel drive. The Forester can tackle tough terrain with ease. It also offers a higher ground clearance that you would typically find on a crossover vehicle. The suspension system is also excellent and works well on or off of the pavement. If you like to adventure off the beaten path, then the Forester may be your best choice for a compact crossover.
4. Plenty of Cargo Space
The latest Forester gives you more cargo space than any other crossover vehicle in its class. You get an impressive 35.42 cubic-feet of storage space even with a carload of passengers. With the seats let down, this amount can be increased all the way up to 76.1 cubic feet. You can load up the Forester with 1,302 to 1,442 pounds of cargo depending on your model.
5. A Roomy Interior
The 2020 Subaru Forester has one of the largest interiors of any crossover SUV in its class and price range. Not only can you load down the cargo area, you can haul along five people as well. They'll remain comfortable too, even during long road trips thanks to the 111.9 cubic-feet of passenger space. There is plenty of head and leg room even in the rear seats.
6. A Stylish Exterior
Subaru's Forester has a sleek and sporty exterior. It looks rugged like a crossover SUV should. It still retains a classy appearance as well. It will look equally at home at your office, at a country club or tearing up some off-road terrain on an outdoor adventure.
7. Standard Driver-Assist Features
The 2020 Subaru Forester comes with a number of nice driver-assist features. Best of all, these come standard on all models. You get Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane-Keeping Assist, Pre-Collision Throttle Management and Pre-Collision Braking. Staples like Blind-Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are available as well.
8. Good Safety Ratings
The International Institute for Highway Safety, or IIHS, does extensive safety- and crash-test ratings on vehicles. While they have yet to test the 2020 models, these are essentially the same as the 2019 Foresters, only with some additional safety features. In 2019, the IIHS awards the Subaru Forester with its prestigious Top Safety Pick + designation.
9. Nice safety Features
The 2020 Subaru Forester offers a number of nice safety features. It comes with the aforementioned driver-assist features. The overall design of the vehicle has lead to be previously-mentioned safety ratings from crash tests. You also get Reverse Automatic Braking that can stop the car automatically to prevent you from hitting an object while in reverse.
The SUBARU STARLINK® Safety and Security system alerts emergency services as soon as an airbag deploys in your vehicle. It also acts as a car alarm to help protect your vehicle. Other notable safety features include a rear-view camera and a Traction-Control System.
10. Reliability and Value
The Forester has a good track record when it comes to ruggedness and reliability. This is a durable vehicle that can handle years of heavy use on the pavement and off-road. It's also a great value. Not only will you save money on repairs and due to the car's long life, the Forester also gives you a high resale value. Last year's models won the Residual Value Award from ALG for its best-in-class resale value.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2020 Subaru Forester – The Cons
1. Sluggish Acceleration
Every Subaru Forester model comes equipped with the same 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine. It has a base horsepower rating of 182. This may seem adequate, but it doesn't translate to good real-world acceleration. It can feel a bit sluggish when compared to the competition in this class of vehicle. Fortunately, there is enough torque on tap here for adequate hauling of passengers and cargo. Not everyone will need their crossover SUV to be a track car, so this won't be a deal breaker for most drivers.
2. A Simple Interior Design
The 2020 Subaru Forester has a very basic and simple interior. The materials are nice, but nothing looks or feels premium or luxury on the inside of this SUV. The manufacturers seemed to have a form-over-function mentality when designing this vehicle. This won't be a big deal to many drivers who may actually like the stripped down, basic feel of the Forester.
3. Modest Towing Capacity
One of the nice perks of an SUV is the ability to tow. Crossovers will always have a lower towing capacity than their larger, full-sized counterparts. Even so, the Subaru Forester's 1,500 pound towing capacity seems pretty modest. At best, you could pull along a very small boat. This is the only utility category that the Forester suffers in.
4. Luxury and Convenience Features Cost Extra
Subaru's Forester comes standard with a lot of nice safety features and driver-assist technology. Unfortunately, some of the best luxury and convenience features are not standard. These can only be had on higher trims or by paying extra to have them added on. This can quickly drive up the overall cost of an otherwise-affordable vehicle.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition:
The top three competitors for the 2020 Subaru Forester are the Mazda CX-5, the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V. The Mazda offers a sportier alternative to the Subaru with some turbo-charged engine options. The Subaru gives you more practicality with more cargo and passenger space. It's also a better performer off-road and during harsh weather conditions.
Toyota's RAV4 is one of the most popular vehicles in its class. The RAV4 and the Forester both offer reliability and safety. Both crossover SUVs are very capable off-road performers too. Subaru provides a lower base price than Toyota. The Forester also gives you more cargo space and a larger interior.
The Honda CR-V gives you more horsepower than the Subaru Forester, but the engine is also louder and shifting feels clunky. The Forester has a smooth CVT system in place of a traditional transmission system. The Forester is overall more efficient than the CR-V. Once again, the Subaru offers more cargo space than its competition.
The 2020 Subaru Forester is a fine choice for anyone looking for a compact crossover SUV. If you're the practical type, it offers plenty of utility and function. The Forester offers best-in-class storage space. Its all-wheel drive makes it a safe performer on wet or snow-covered roads. It's a great vehicle for a family.
If you're the adventurous type, there's a lot here for you as well. All of that cargo space is perfect for camping, fishing or sports equipment. The off-road capabilities mean that you can take this vehicle off the beaten path too. The Subaru Forester has a lot to offer for just about anyone.
• Why buy a 2019 Subaru Forester? w/ pros vs cons