2014 Subaru Forester Preview

Jeff Youngs | Dec 03, 2012
  • Better fuel economy
  • Bigger interior
  • Additional transmissions
  • More powerful turbocharged engine option
  • Upgraded AWD system
  • Optional EyeSight package with new safety technologies


The redesigned 2014 Subaru Forester is a 5-passenger crossover SUV equipped with a choice of engines, standard all-wheel drive (AWD), and a generous 8.7 inches of ground clearance. It is sold in 2.5i and 2.0XT model series, the latter equipped with a turbocharged engine, and is offered in base, Premium, Limited, and Touring trim levels.

Exterior Features

Longer and wider than the model it replaces, the new 2014 Forester features side doors that open wider and doorsills that are lower to make it easier to get into and out of the crossover SUV. The Forester 2.0XT models are distinguished by unique front styling, exclusive 18-inch aluminum wheels, and standard fog lights.

Interior Features

The redesigned 2014 Forester offers a larger interior with more passenger and cargo space than before. The seating positions have higher hip points than before, providing greater comfort and thigh support, according to Subaru. Rear-seat leg room is increased, and Subaru says it reduced front center-console intrusion and lowered the center drivetrain tunnel in an effort to provide true 5-passenger seating inside the new Forester.

When the 60/40-split folding rear seats are stowed, the 2014 Forester can carry 74.7 cubic feet of cargo (68.5 cubic feet with the optional power sunroof).

The base Forester 2.5i model is equipped with carpeted floor mats, multi-function display showing outside temperature and fuel economy data, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming, and a tilt/telescoping steering column.

Optional Features

With Premium trim, the 2014 Forester adds 17-inch alloy wheels, upgraded audio system, 10-way power driver's seat, reversing camera, upgraded multi-function display, reclining rear seatbacks, dark-tinted rear privacy glass, and more. With the 6-speed manual transmission, the 2.5i Premium comes standard with an All-Weather package, which includes heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer. With the CVT, the 2.5i Premium includes a panoramic power sunroof. The All-Weather package is an option for models with the continuously variable transmission (CVT).

The 2.5i Limited trim level includes a standard CVT and the All-Weather package, plus perforated leather seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, fog lights, automatic climate control system, power liftgate, and an upgraded instrument cluster with an LCD display.

The Touring versions include everything from the Limited model plus a touch-screen navigation system, 440-watt premium audio system, Aha smartphone integration, electroluminescent gauges, one-touch folding rear seatback, and more. Subaru reserves its EyeSight suite of safety features for the Forester Touring trim level, as well as a Keyless Access and Start system and high-intensity discharge headlights.

Under the Hood

All 2014 Subaru Forester models are equipped with a horizontally opposed 4-cylinder engine. Also known as a "boxer" or a "flat-four" engine for the way the pistons "jab" outward from the crankshaft on a horizontal plane, such an engine arrangement allows Subaru to increase ground clearance while lowering the Forester's center of gravity for improved handling, according to the automaker. Aside from Subaru (and, by extension, Toyota in the Scion FR-S), the only automaker employing this type of engine design is Porsche.

In the new 2014 Forester 2.5i models, a 2.5-liter flat-4 engine delivers 170 horsepower and 174 lb.-ft. of torque. It drives all four wheels through a 6-speed manual gearbox with Incline Start Assist or an optional adaptive CVT. Subaru says this engine, when paired with the CVT, will return 24 mpg in the city, 32 mpg on the highway, and 27 mpg in combined driving.

The new 2014 Forester 2.0XT models have a turbocharged, 2.0-liter flat-4 engine generating 250 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 258 lb.-ft. of torque between 2,000 and 4,800 rpm. An adaptive CVT comes standard with this engine, offering 6-speed and 8-speed "shift" modes accessed via paddle shifters mounted to the steering wheel.

Additionally, the Forester 2.0XT is equipped with standard Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-Drive), which allows the driver to choose between Intelligent, Sport and Sport Sharp driving modes. A sport-tuned suspension and larger 4-wheel ventilated disc brakes are also included on this version of the Forester.

All Forester models are equipped with all-wheel drive (AWD), but the system installed is dependent on the transmission selected. Models with a manual gearbox have an AWD system with a viscous-coupling center locking differential, which splits engine power evenly to the front and rear wheels and then varies power distribution based on wheel slip.

Models with a CVT are equipped with an Active AWD system that delivers the majority of engine power to the front wheels until wheel slip or driving style warrant power transfer to the rear of the vehicle. When cornering, the 2014 Forester's Active AWD system provides a torque-vectoring effect to improve handling and stability. This system also gains an X-Mode control system that Subaru says will provide "better wheel control on slippery surfaces and steep inclines," and is equipped with hill-descent control.


Like all Subarus, the new Forester is constructed around a Ring-Shaped Reinforcement Frame designed to deflect crash energy away from the passenger cabin in a collision. New safety features for 2014 include a knee air bag for the driver, anti-whiplash front seat designs, and a brake override system that is designed to prevent the Forester from accelerating if the brake pedal is pressed. A reversing camera is now standard on all Foresters except the base 2.5i model.

The 2014 Forester Touring trim can be optioned with Subaru's new EyeSight driver assist technology. EyeSight includes an adaptive cruise control system, Pre-Collision Braking system, and a lane-departure warning system, all operated using a "stereo camera system" rather than radar-based technology.TechnologyEvery 2014 Subaru Forester is equipped with a 4.3-inch LCD display screen that provides information including road freeze warnings and exterior temperature information. All versions except the base 2.5i model are equipped with a color in-dash display screen and Bluetooth connectivity.

Upgrade to a Forester with Premium or Limited trim for HD Radio, Bluetooth music streaming capability, digital media player connection, and a touch-screen navigation system with Aha smartphone integration technology and SMS text messaging capability. The Forester Touring trim includes the navigation system as standard equipment, and adds a 440-watt premium sound system.

2013 Subaru Forester Summary, Photos & Specs
2012 Subaru Forester Ratings
Subaru Car & Truck Ratings

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