2007 Subaru Forester Expert Review

You'll Like The 2007 Subaru Forester If...

If performance is a prime selling point, Subaru claims that a manual-shift 2.5 XT Limited can accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in less than six seconds, which is rather swift for a compact SUV.

You May Not Like The 2007 Subaru Forester If...

Because the Forester delivers a choppier ride than some rivals, it might not appeal to those who favor an always-gentle road experience. Refinement is roughly on par with the competitive Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute, but it falls short of Honda's CR-V.

What's New

No major changes for 2007.

Interior Features

Stepping inside, which is easy to do, the Forester's interior appearance is familiar, but modifications have increased its utility and comfort. A multi-functional center console features a sliding armrest, while, in the cargo area, floor bars are accompanied by four utility hooks. A passenger seatback net storage pocket has been installed in the 2.5 X, which also offers front and rear cup holders and a rear-seat folding armrest. Nearly two inches of thigh support have been added to the rear-seat cushion and the standard retractable cargo cover is high enough to accommodate tall items.

Exterior Features

Fresh from a makeover in 2006, the Forester's appearance has changed a bit to bring it a "more unified, sophisticated, and more modern form," according to Subaru. Smooth side cladding and more curvaceous rear glass produce a clean look. Last year's makeover included increasing the ground clearance to eight inches. The Forester sports a familiar front fascia, grille, four-lamp headlight cluster, bumper and fenders, and outside mirrors are bigger with integrated turn signals available. The heavy-duty four-wheel independent suspension has been retuned for enhanced performance.

Driving Impressions

Especially with the newly-tweaked turbocharged engine, Foresters are eager and frisky performers with just a touch of satisfying crudeness. Acceleration is especially snappy with the manual gearbox, which instills a more youthful nature. Considerably snugger inside than Subaru's new B9 Tribeca, the Forester yields ample headroom in both front and rear.

Rear-seat legroom is fair, and toe space is excellent. On smooth surfaces at least, the ride isn't bad, though choppiness is evident. The turbo engine is a little buzzy, but not oppressively so, though road vibration is noticeable. Gauges and controls are ordinary but sensibly arranged.

Pricing Notes

With a manual transmission, the 2.5 X has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $21,820, while the automatic-transmission adds another $800 to the bottom line. Offered only with an automatic transmission, the 2.5 X L.L. Bean Edition is $27,320, while the turbocharged XT Limited starts at $28,520. A look a the Fair Purchase Price shows the typical transaction price paid for the Forester in your area, so be sure to check it out before you begin negotiating. Resale and residual values for the Forester tend to be slightly better than for a Ford Escape or Mazda Tribute, but Honda's CR-V leads in value as a pre-owned vehicle.

Notable Equipment

All Foresters with the naturally-aspirated engine are called 2.5 X, and include head/chest side-impact airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS), 16-inch wheels, air conditioning, an AM/FM/Weather-band stereo with CD player and remote keyless entry. In the 2.5 X L.L. Bean Edition the durable finish on the floor and seatback is extended to the cargo area side walls, and also included are desert beige leather-trimmed upholstery with perforated Alcantara bolsters, a security system with shock sensor and a Momo wood/leather steering wheel. The 2.5 XT Limited, the sole turbocharged model, includes a premium package with leather-trimmed upholstery and sporty electroluminescent gauge pointers.

Notable Options

Subaru's premium package, available on the 2.5 X only, adds rear disc brakes, electronic brake-force distribution, eight-spoke alloy wheels, a limited-slip rear differential, panoramic glass moonroof, heated front seats, automatic climate control and a six-CD changer.

Favorite Features

Hill Holder

Manual-shift models are equipped with a Hill Hold feature that helps keep the Forester from rolling backward when starting on an upgrade.

Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive

That's what Subaru calls it but, in fact, two distinct systems are offered. Manual-shift Foresters get Continuous All-Wheel Drive with a 50/50 front/rear torque split, while those with an automatic transmission are equipped with Active All-Wheel Drive, which incorporates a continuously variable hydraulic transfer clutch and direct power to the wheels that need traction most, in response to changing conditions.

Under the Hood

Subaru's 2.5-liter, horizontally-opposed (boxer configuration) four-cylinder engine is in naturally-aspirated form for 2.5 X models and turbocharged for the 2.5 XT Limited. Manual-transmission models have Continuous All-Wheel Drive, while those with a four-speed automatic transmission have Active All-Wheel Drive, which includes a continuously variable hydraulic transfer clutch.

2.5-liter Boxer-4

173 horsepower @ 6000 rpm

166 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/29 (manual), 23/28 (automatic)

2.5-liter Boxer-4 Turbocharged

224 horsepower @ 5600 rpm

226 lb.-ft. of torque at 3600 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/27 (manual), 21/26 (automatic)

Editors' Notes

When the SUV craze took off in the mid nineties, the company which built its reputation on the all-wheel-drive category found itself without an entry. Subaru didn't take long to remedy this problem, giving birth to its first SUV: The Forester. Based on the Impreza platform, the Forester is basically a very tall wagon with some added ground clearance. As such, it retains all of the safety and stability features found in Subaru cars, but offers headroom and cargo space exceeding the popular Legacy and Outback wagons. Chock-full of options and with a choice of a normally-aspirated or turbocharged engine, the Forester serves up a bit more spice than either the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4, and for not much more cash.

Road Test Video Reviews

2007 Subaru Forester Owner Reviews

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Subaru Forester is the one for reliability, comfort and convenience.

2007 Subaru Forester X

My 2007 Subaru Forester has been a great vehicle. When I first got it I was traveling a lot for work and hauling complete photography studios in it. I was able to fit everything in it including props, lighting, background and cameras into it. My only issues I have had were the alternator and oil consumption. I put in three alternators before I got a good one. That wasn't the car itself, but the luck of rebuilt alternators and them not being good. The oil consumption is part of owning a Subaru. I've been told that they burn oil and that I need to keep an eye on it between oil changes, so I do. It has been a very reliable car for me for the past three years. I love the sun roof and my heated seats. I don't know what I did without either before my Subaru. The all wheel drive is a plus too as I live in Oregon and get into snow and ice frequently, as well as dirt and gravel roads. The traction system is awesome! I have a luggage rack on top that I have used when going camping. It is a convenient feature also. I also have a screen in the back that pulls over to hide anything that is in the back of it. I use this all the time when I am out photographing to keep the sun from beating on equipment that isn't with me and to hide the fact that I have expensive equipment in my car. All in all I highly recommend any Subaru SUV out there. They are reliable and comfortable.

- Cherie G

Great all-around vehicle for everyday!

2007 Subaru Forester

I love this Forester! It's my first Subaru, but I bought it when I was living in Vermont and needed something very heavy-duty for commuting every day into the woods on a long, winding, dangerous road in winter. It served me VERY well, especially with snow tires, I never got stuck once. I love that it's the LL Bean edition, which gives me a few nicer features, such as leather HEATED (!!!!) seats, 6-CD changer, and a MASSIVE moonroof. The rugged lining of the back does make carrying groceries or anything a bit difficult, because it all just slides around as compared to a carpet bottom back there. I like the sliding cover for the back "trunk" space, too. One other major consideration that made me purchase this car was that I could see so well out of it. So many of the newer cars are ALL body, and I couldn't see well (remember, dangerous curvy road!). The boxy-ness and huge windshield, along with large side-view mirrors help tremendously. This car is low, and getting old at this point, with rust around both wheel wells. But despite it looking older around the edges, it still has tons of life left in it and I've been told by several mechanics what a great car it is and how well it is running for me.

- natalie W

Subaru, the Colorado workhorse car. Number one seller in our county!

2007 Subaru Forester

This is my third Subaru, and I absolutely love these cars. We've had an outback and an Impreza. They are dependable is all kinds of weather, have gone through 15" of snow with this car, handles the steep mountain roads around here, good on mileage, comfortable, and easy to drive. Lots of storage. I do lots of first aid and car training for the red cross and camp training for the girl scouts, and have loaded tons of equipment in my car, with no problems. The only major repair I have had is replacing the head gasket, , which I guess has been a problem with the Forester, but hopefully they've solved that. Everything else has been normal and routine seasonal tune ups, and minor replacements, which I do twice a year. Not sure if I am going to be getting another newer car, but if so, it will be another Subaru! They call the Subaru the "Colorado car", and it is the best selling car in this area. The number one vehicle in this mountain county is the pickup, and the number two car here is the Subaru. They are little workhorses, and just keep going!

- Rusty M

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