Subaru Forester (2018-2021) Review and Prices

The rather utilitarian Subaru Forester is one of the last remaining rugged SUVs. It’s great off-road and had a sturdy interior, but most family SUV buyers will prefer the more luxurious interiors and more comfortable drive of its myriad alternatives.

Buy or lease the Subaru Forester (2018-2021) at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £22,140 - £39,560
Carwow price from
Cash
£21,390
Used
£14,000
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wowscore
6/10
This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car

What's good

  • Feels well built
  • Lots of space
  • Well equipped

What's not so good

  • Anonymous looks
  • Poor on-road
  • Unattractive interior

Find out more about the Subaru Forester (2018-2021)

Is the Subaru Forester (2018-2021) a good car?

Off-road ability is the main calling card of the Subaru Forester – its standard four-wheel-drive system providing traction in slippery conditions. The drawback is that the Subaru feels quite dated on road with its leaning body and overly soft suspension.

There’s ample passenger room and the boot can hold as much as rivals, but there are areas of the interior where the Forester falls behind – mainly in design and material choice.

The engine range is also stuck in the past with a choice of just one – a 2.0-litre petrol with 150hp that’s good for 119mph and a pretty pedestrian 0-62mph sprint time of 11.8 seconds.

Equipment on entry-level models is comparable to rivals, so you get an infotainment system with a 7-inch touchscreen, climate control, rear-view camera, electrically adjustable driver’s seat and cruise control.

It's the perfect car for a dog owner or an outdoorsy person

Mat Watson
Mat Watson
Carwow expert

Those seeking a stylish interior, memorable looks and a dazzling drive may not be wowed by the idea of Forester ownership. Nevertheless, don’t completely rule it out – its proper four-wheel-drive system and hewn-from-rock build quality are sure to appeal to people looking for a proper four-wheel-drive SUV with second-to-none reliability.

So, as a car that will be able to transport family and luggage in relative comfort, while resisting wear and tear like few others – the Subaru is definitely worth considering. However, the family SUV game has moved on dramatically since the Forester was introduced and there are certainly more luxurious and comfortable choice for similar money these days.

 

 

How much is the Subaru Forester (2018-2021)?

The Subaru Forester (2018-2021) has a RRP range of £22,140 to £39,560. However, on Carwow prices for a new Subaru Forester (2018-2021) start at £21,390 if paying cash. The price of a used Subaru Forester (2018-2021) on Carwow starts at £14,000.

What's it like to drive?

Despite the fairly low ground clearance the Forester has one of the grippiest four-wheel drive systems on sale.

Avoid the CVT automatic and you should be fine

Mat Watson
Mat Watson
Carwow expert

The engine range is, well, not really a range, because you get a choice of just one – a 2.0-litre petrol with 150hp that’s good for 119mph and a pretty pedestrian 0-62mph sprint time of 11.8 seconds.

And perhaps not surprisingly, with its all-wheel-drive and standard automatic CVT gearbox, the Forester doesn’t manage particularly good fuel economy, either. Indeed, you can expect to get around 32mpg, which is bettered by all of its alternatives with their much larger engine ranges.

The Forester does without trick electronics like the ones in the Discovery Sport, but is a permanent system that will probably take you further than any of its more road-focused rivals.

Good as the Forester is in the rough stuff it’s almost as bad again on the open road. The steering is inaccurate, there’s lots of wind noise and a lot of body roll. Its standard automatic gearbox is especially bad, feeling lazy and out-dated.

It’s not all bad, however, because the suspension performs adequately at smoothing out lumps and bumps. Around town, the light steering makes navigating fairly easy.

Those using a Forester for towing will be pleased to know that it can pull up to 2,000kg and Subaru’s Trailer Stability Control will help prevent weaving and instability.

What's it like inside?

There’s no doubt the Subaru Forester is a tough and durable car, solidly built and able to withstand anything a family can throw at it, but it’s easy to find something much more stylish

Subaru Forester (2018-2021) colours

Pearl - Crystal white
Free
Solid - Satin white
Free
Metallic - Dark grey
From £500
Metallic - Ice silver
From £500
Metallic - Sage green
From £500
Metallic - Sky blue
From £500
Pearl - Camellia red
From £500
Pearl - Marine blue
From £500
Pearl - Newport blue
From £500
Pearl - Obsidian black
From £500
Special pearl - Quartz blue
From £500
Special pearl - Venetian red
From £500
Metallic - Jasper green
From £550
Metallic - Magnetite grey
From £550
Metallic - Sepia bronze
From £550
Silica paint - Crystal black
From £550
Special Pearl - Crimson red
From £550
Special Pearl - Horizon blue
From £550
Next Read full interior review
Buy or lease the Subaru Forester (2018-2021) at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £22,140 - £39,560
Carwow price from
Cash
£21,390
Used
£14,000
Ready to see prices tailored to you?
Compare used deals