2015 Subaru Forester

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23 CITY / 30 HWY
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What's New for 2015:
  • Reversing camera now standard for all trim levels
  • Power panoramic sunroof now standard for 2.5i Premium
  • All-Weather package now standard for 2.0XT Premium
  • New 18-in. aluminum wheels standard for 2.5i Touring
  • HID headlights and Keyless Access & Start standard for all Touring variants
  • Navigation now optional for all Touring variants
  • EyeSight package price reduction of $500

The 2015 Subaru Forester is a 5-passenger, compact crossover SUV. Key competitors include the Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape, GMC Terrain, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Cherokee, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5, Mitsubishi Outlander, Nissan Rogue, Toyota RAV4, and Volkswagen Tiguan.

Models and Features
When deciding which 2015 Forester will best meet your requirements, keep in mind that there are two model series from which to choose: 2.5i and 2.0XT. The former is the most popular version, while the latter is a turbocharged variant designed for improved performance, especially at elevation.

The Forester 2.5i is offered in base, Premium, Limited, and Touring trim levels. Upgrading from the base model to the Premium version adds a 10-way power driver's seat, reclining rear seats with a 60/40 split-folding design, rear center armrest with cup holders, extra stereo speakers, HD Radio, power panoramic sunroof, roof rails, 17-in. aluminum wheels, and more.

The Forester 2.5i Limited is equipped with a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT), an X-Mode traction-assist system, and a hill-descent control system. Leather seats are also standard for the 2.5i Limited, along with heated front seats, heated side mirrors, a wiper de-icer system, automatic climate control, fog lights, cargo area tray, and a power tailgate with a rear spoiler.

Touring versions are loaded with larger 18-in. aluminum wheels, HID headlights, Keyless Access and Start technology, premium audio system with satellite radio, one-touch folding rear seatbacks, electroluminescent gauges, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

That covers the most popular versions of the 2015 Forester. If you decide you want the turbocharged model, the Forester 2.0XT, it is sold in Premium and Touring trim levels, each with revised styling and dual exhaust outlets for a more aggressive appearance.

The Forester 2.0XT Premium features a standard CVT with paddle shifters, 4-wheel-disc brakes, X-Mode traction assist, hill-descent control, and 18-in. aluminum wheels with machined surfaces and gray-painted pockets. Inside, the 2.0XT gains sport-bolstered front seats. Selecting the Touring trim level installs leather seats, a power tailgate, premium sound system, HID headlights, Keyless Access and Start, satellite radio, and more.

Options and Packages
Subaru offers a long list of dealer-installed upgrades to personalize any 2015 Forester. The list of factory-installed options is shorter.

If you choose the 2.5i model, you can equip this base version of the SUV with a CVT and aluminum wheels. A CVT is also offered for the 2.5i Premium, along with an All-Weather package (heated front seats, heated side mirrors, wiper de-icer), EyeSight package (adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning with pre-collision braking, lane-departure warning), and a Navigation package (voice-activated navigation, USB port, iPod connection, Bluetooth audio streaming, satellite radio).

The 2.5i Limited includes the All-Weather package and can be optioned with the EyeSight package and the Navigation package. Additionally, this version of the Forester is available with a premium 8-speaker, 440-watt audio system with access to Aha radio. For the 2.5i Touring, EyeSight and navigation systems are optional.

Switching gears, so to speak, to the 2015 Forester 2.0XT Premium, this version is available only with dealer-installed accessories. If you want EyeSight or navigation, you'll need to get the 2.0XT Touring.

Under the Hood
A 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard for the Forester 2.5i models. Subaru employs horizontally opposed pistons in a boxer-style engine layout, which reduces the Forester's center of gravity at the same time that it provides maximum ground clearance, according to Subaru. All-wheel drive is standard equipment, paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox in 2.5i and 2.5i Premium versions. A CVT is optional for these, and standard in all other Foresters.

The Forester 2.0XT has a turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder boxer engine generating 250 horsepower. A sport-calibrated version of the CVT is standard, and includes paddle shifters for a more engaging driving experience. All-wheel drive is also included for this version.

Fuel Economy
According to the EPA, the 2015 Subaru Forester 2.5i is rated to get 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway with its standard 6-speed manual gearbox. With the available CVT, the ratings rise to 24 mpg and 32 mpg, respectively. As might be expected, the more powerful Forester 2.0XT is not quite as fuel efficient, with EPA ratings of 23 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.

Safety Ratings and Technology
In crash tests performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2015 Subaru Forester received a 5-star (out of 5 stars) overall rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) had not rated the Forester as this overview was written.

For 2015, Subaru has added a reversing camera as standard equipment for all Foresters, and has dropped the price of its EyeSight suite of safety systems. The company has also announced that it will phase in new EyeSight features during the course of the year, including a blind-spot detection system, rear cross-traffic alert system, and a lane-change assist system.


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