What's New for 2014:
- Redesigned inside and out
- Higher seating, lower door sills, wider cabin
- Bigger back seat, larger cargo area
- Improved standard safety equipment
- More powerful turbocharged engine option
- New transmissions delivering better gas mileage
- Updated AWD systems
- Standard Bluetooth with music streaming
- Available infotainment/smartphone integration
- Available passive entry and push-button ignition
- Available power liftgate
- Available EyeSight safety technology
The 2014 Subaru Forester is a compact crossover SUV equipped with 5-passenger seating and standard all-wheel drive (AWD). It supplies 8.7 inches of minimum ground clearance, more than many other models in the segment. The new 2014 Forester competes against the Buick Encore, Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Patriot, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, Nissan Rogue, Toyota RAV4, and Volkswagen Tiguan.
Models and Features
Subaru Forester buyers first decide whether or not they'd like to have a turbocharged engine. The turbo is installed in the Forester 2.0XT, while the less expensive, more fuel efficient, and more popular Forester 2.5i is equipped with the same base engine as last year. The Forester 2.5i is offered in base, Premium, Limited, and Touring trim levels, while the Forester 2.0XT can be equipped with Premium and Touring equipment. All have standard AWD.
Premium models add a 10-way power driver's seat, HD Radio, reversing camera, upgraded interior trim, dark-tinted rear privacy glass, and 17-inch aluminum wheels. Models with a manual transmission include a standard All Weather package (heated front seats, heated side mirrors, and a wiper de-icer system), while models with the optional continuously variable transmission (CVT) get a panoramic power sunroof. The 2.0XT Premium further includes a modified CVT with SI-DRIVE technology and X-Mode, a manual shift gate and paddle shifters, sport suspension, more powerful brakes, rear roof spoiler, and 18-inch aluminum wheels.
Limited trim is exclusive to the Forester 2.5i, and includes a standard CVT with X-Mode, hill-descent control technology, automatic headlights, fog lights, power rear liftgate, and a rear roof spoiler. Inside, the Limited trim level gains leather seats, an automatic climate control system, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, reclining rear seatback, and a cargo tray. The All Weather package is standard for the Limited trim level.
The Touring models include these features plus a touch-screen navigation system with smartphone integration, Bluetooth music streaming, HD Radio, voice activation, SMS text messaging, iTunes tagging, satellite radio, and more. Additionally, the Touring version is equipped with dual-zone automatic climate control, premium audio system, upgraded gauges and interior trim, and power liftgate enhancements.
Options and Packages
Subaru dealers are ready to upgrade a Forester to specific buyer preferences and needs thanks to an extensive menu of extra-cost items. From the factory, Subaru offers a CVT for the Forester 2.5i and 2.5i Premium, and when equipped with the CVT, the Premium model can be equipped with an All Weather package.
A touch-screen navigation system is also optional for the Premium and Limited trim levels, accompanied by a full suite of infotainment upgrades. The Touring models are exclusively offered with a Driver Assist Technology package that contains HID headlights, keyless passive entry with push-button starting, and Subaru's new EyeSight technology.
Under the Hood
The 2014 Subaru Forester 2.5i is equipped with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine making 170 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 174 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,100 rpm. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard, along with AWD. A CVT is optional.
A turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine is installed in the Forester 2.0XT. It generates 250 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 258 lb.-ft. of torque between 2,000 rpm and 4,800 rpm, and is paired with a modified CVT designed to handle the engine's greater torque output. The CVT also provides 6-speed and 8-speed manual shift modes, and this powertrain features SI-DRIVE technology including Intelligent, Sport, and Sport Sharp driving modes.
With the standard manual transmission, the Forester's AWD system splits power evenly between the front and rear wheels. With either CVT, a new Active AWD system powers the front wheels, and then transfers power to the rear as necessary. An X-Mode setting locks a power split to improve off-road performance, according to Subaru.
Depending on the engine and transmission selected, the 2014 Subaru Forester is expected to return between 22 mpg in the city for a 2.5i model with the manual gearbox, and 32 mpg on the highway for a 2.5i model with a CVT.
Safety Ratings and Technology
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had not performed crash tests on the 2014 Forester as this overview was written. In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the organization said the 2014 Forester is the first vehicle it has tested \"to ace every aspect of the challenging small overlap front crash test.\" As a result, the 2014 Subaru Forester earns a \"Top Safety Pick Plus\" designation from the Institute.
This year, the Forester is available with Subaru's EyeSight technology, which includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, and lane-departure warning systems. Additional upgrades for 2014 include standard anti-whiplash seat designs, driver's knee air bag, Brake Override system that is designed to prevent acceleration while the brake pedal is pressed, and a fuel cut-off system that activates following a collision.