2013 Subaru Forester

Find Another Subaru Forester
20 CITY / 26 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What's New for 2013:
  • Standard Bluetooth calling and audio streaming
  • Standard USB port and auxiliary audio input jack
  • Standard stereo controls on the steering wheel
  • Standard All-Weather package for 2.5X Premium model with manual transmission
  • Optional touch-screen audio system and reversing camera for 2.5X Premium

Exterior Features
The 2013 Subaru Forester is an all-wheel-drive (AWD) crossover SUV with 5-passenger seating and a minimum of 8.7 inches of ground clearance. Two models are available: the 2.5X and the turbocharged 2.5XT, with a choice between base, Premium, Limited, and Touring trim levels.

The Forester 2.5X comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels with plastic wheel covers, and power exterior mirrors.

Interior Features
The 2013 Subaru Forester 2.5X includes air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, remote keyless entry, tilt steering wheel, cruise control, and a height-adjustable driver seat. Additionally, this model is equipped with Bluetooth connectivity and music streaming, and a stereo with an auxiliary audio input jack and a USB port.

The standard Forester 2.5X also offers the best cargo capacity. Behind the rear seats, the 2.5X provides 33.5 cubic feet of volume, and with the rear seat folded the Forester can handle 68.3 cubic feet of cargo. The Premium, Limited and Touring trim levels have upgraded stereos and more technology, which cuts into cargo room to the tune of 30.8 cubic feet behind the rear seat and 63 cubic feet with the rear seat folded down.

Optional Features
The Forester 2.5X can be upgraded with an Alloy Wheel package, which includes 16-inch aluminum wheels and a roof rack. An automatic transmission is also available on this model, along with a long list of dealer-installed accessories.

The 2.5X Premium is equipped with bigger 17-inch aluminum wheels, dark-tinted rear privacy glass, and upgraded exterior trim. Inside, the 2.5X Premium provides a 10-way power driver seat, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and a reclining rear seatback. Additional features that come standard on this model include a panoramic power sunroof, roof rails, auto-up driver window operation, and a storage tray that slides out of the rear seat cushion. For 2013, models with a manual transmission also have a standard All-Weather package equipped with heated front seats, heated side mirrors, and a windshield wiper de-icer system. A Plus package includes fog lights and a touch-screen audio system with a reversing camera.

The Forester 2.5XT Premium is basically the same as the 2.5X Premium, but it comes with a more powerful turbocharged engine, standard automatic transmission, functional hood scoop, and a rear roof spoiler.

The Forester 2.5X Limited includes an automatic transmission, perforated leather upholstery, and automatic climate control, along with heated front seats, heated side mirrors, fog lights, stainless steel exhaust tips, and a cargo tray. A Navigation package adds a touch-screen navigation system with HD Radio, text messaging, iTunes tagging capability, and a reversing camera.

The Forester 2.5X Touring and 2.5XT Touring are the top-of-the-line trim levels. They include all of the equipment in the Limited trim plus a reversing camera with the display embedded in the rearview mirror, along with dual-zone automatic climate control, premium sound system, and unique electroluminescent gauges. The Touring trim also has high-intensity discharge headlights, turn signal indicators embedded into the exterior mirrors, silver roof rails, and a one-touch folding rear seatback. A navigation system is optional.

Under the Hood
Foresters wearing a 2.5X badge are equipped with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that generates 170 horsepower and 174 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,100 rpm. A 5-speed manual gearbox with an Incline Start Assist feature is standard on all 2.5X versions, with a 4-speed automatic transmission optional on all except the Limited, where it comes standard.

The Forester 2.5XT is powered by a turbocharged, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine generating 224 horsepower and 226 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,800 rpm. A 4-speed automatic transmission is standard on this model.

All-wheel drive is standard on every 2013 Forester, featuring a 50/50 front-to-rear power split with the manual transmission. Models with an automatic transmission have an Active Torque Split AWD system that continually varies power distribution between the front and rear wheels.

Fuel Economy
EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Subaru Forester are:

  • Forester 2.5X with manual transmission: 21/27/23 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • Forester 2.5X with automatic transmission: 21/27/23 mpg
  • Forester 2.5XT with automatic transmission: 19/24/21 mpg

Every 2013 Subaru Forester is equipped with 6 air bags, traction and stability control, 4-wheel-disc anti-lock brakes with brake assist, and whiplash-reducing active front head restraints. Additionally, Subaru engineers the Forester with its Ring-Shaped Safety Reinforcement frame design, which the company claims helps to reduce the amount of crash energy that reaches passengers in a collision.

In crash tests, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the 2013 Forester a 4-star (out of 5) overall protection rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has not yet rated the 2013 Forester as this overview is written. However, the Institute gave the structurally identical 2012 model a \"Top Safety Pick\" rating.


J.D. Power Ratings

Automotive Performance Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study by Category
Overall Performance and Design?
Features and Instrument Panel?
Initial Quality Study (IQS) by Category
Powertrain Quality - Design?
Powertrain Quality - Mechanical?
Body & Interior Quality - Design?
Features & Accessories Quality - Design?
Overall Quality - Mechanical?
Overall Quality?
Features & Accessories Quality - Mechanical?
Body & Interior Quality - Mechanical?
Overall Quality - Design?
Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) by Category
Feature and Accessory Dependability?
Powertrain Dependability?
Body and Interior Dependability?
Overall Dependability?

Power Circle Scoring Legend:

Among the best
Better than most
About average
The rest
*Please note that JDPower.com Power Circle Ratings may not include all information used to determine J.D. Power awards. Learn more about how J.D. Power Ratings are calculated.

The Latest New Car Previews, Buyer's guides, Articles and more from J.D. Power: