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2011 Subaru Forester

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2011 Subaru Forester Review

Quality crossover improves, but not enough

Reviewed by Automotive on

In a Nutshell
The 2011 Subaru Forester is a crossover sport utility vehicle (SUV) that has been updated. The Forester 2.5X now has a 2.5-liter H-4 engine which provides greater fuel efficiency. Boasting 170 horsepower and pound-feet of torque, the engine can be paired to a 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual transmission.

Other new features include a removable Tom Tom navigation system, a new stereo system, a new backup camera, and additional cool goodies, depending on the trim level. Built with all-wheel drive, the Subaru Forester handles well and is known for its safety equipment. EPA fuel economy rating is in the 20-21 mpg city/ 26-27 mpg highway range.

New for 2011

The biggest news for the 2011 Subaru Forester is the addition of a slightly updated 2.5-liter H-4 engine to all 2.5X trims in order to improve fuel efficiency. The engine's torque has increased slightly to 174 pound-feet, although horsepower remains the same at 170. The 2011 trims also get a new audio system and backup camera, depending on trim level, and a removable, 4.3-inch Tom Tom navigation system is optional.


Engines: 2.5L H-4, 2.5L turbocharged H-4
Transmissions: 4-speed automatic, 5-speed manual
Body Style: Crossover SUV
Trims: 2.5X Sport Utility, 2.5X Premium Sport Utility, 2.5X Limited Sport Utility, 2.5X Touring Sport Utility, 2.5XT Premium Sport Utility, 2.5XT Touring Sport Utility

On the Outside

Changes to the exterior of the Subaru Forester are mostly improvements. The Forester now has a slightly more rugged look while still maintaining its clean, sleek appearance.

From the Inside

While the interior of the Subaru Forester has a modern look and feel, some of the materials appear to be a bit on the low quality side. However, the innovative design gives you plenty of room for passengers and cargo. Furthermore, there are new technology and entertainment changes, including a new audio system, a backup camera setup, and a removable, 4.3-inch Tom Tom navigation system which are optional depending on trim level. Bluetooth is now standard on all but the base trim.

Driving Performance

The 2011 Subaru Forester gets an updated version of the 2.5-liter H-4 engine for all 2.5X models, which slightly improves fuel efficiency. The engine's torque has increased to 174 pound-feet, although the horsepower remains the same at 170. The XT gets the turbocharged version of the same engine, which increases the power to 224 horsepower and 226 pound-feet of torque, but unfortunately you can get only the outdated four-speed automatic transmission in the XT.

Safety Equipment

The Subaru Forester features four-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS) with brake assist, dual front, side seat mounted airbags, curtain first and second row overhead airbags, an airbag occupancy sensor, stability and traction control, and full time all-wheel drive.

Gas Mileage

2.5X: 20-21 mpg city/ 26-27 mpg hwy
2.5XT: 19 mpg city/24 mpg hwy


  • Attractive styling
  • Roomy interior
  • Smooth off-road capabilities


  • 4-speed automatic transmission
  • Inferior interior materials
  • So-so fuel economy


Quality crossover improves, but not enough

People Who Like the 2011 Subaru Forester Also Like

  • Toyota RAV4
  • Honda CR-V
  • Nissan Rogue
  • Suzuki Grand Vitara

See the New 2015 Forester.

Front & Driver Side View