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2013 Subaru Forester

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2013 Subaru Forester Review

Reviewed by Automotive on

As a small SUV, the Subaru Forester fares well on the road and off, unlike many of the competing vehicles. Even if off-road use isn't a priority, the Forester is an ideal SUV with decent fuel economy and a long list of options, including some great luxury items. For the price, there are few better compact SUVs.

New For 2013

A few new standard items are added to the 2013 Subaru Forester, including:

  • Bluetooth
  • iPod and USB connections
  • Touch-screen audio system


The 2013 Subaru Forester comes in a total of eight color options, which include Red Pearl, Deep Cherry Pearl, Ice Silver Metallic, and other neutral colors. The Forester measures 70.1 inches in width, 65.9 inches in height, and 179.5 inches in length. Ground clearance measures 8.7 inches. Curb weight is 3250 pounds.

Sixteen-inch steel wheels with all-season tires that help reduce accidents in inclement weather are standard on the 2013 Forester. There is a full spare mounted on the trunk with a wheel cover, and a temporary spare mounted inside the trunk in case of emergency. Maximum towing capacity is 2400 pounds, but a trailer hitch is extra in the base model.

Other exterior options include several mesh grille kits of different colors and tones, a deep wheel arch molding kit, tail pipe cover, and a puddle light kit. Also available are covers for the bumper, fuel door, front end, hood, and other parts of the Forester. Almost any part of the vehicle can have a cover applied to help protect the paint and value of the vehicle. Spoilers are also available.

Interior & Cargo

The interior of the Subaru Forester comes loaded down with helpful tools and luxuries. The bucket seats in front are upholstered in cloth. The rear seats are a split-folding bench that allows access to the cargo area, which is 33.5 cubic feet. When the rear bench is folded down, the cargo area is expanded to 68.3 cubic feet, which makes the Subaru Forester ideal for both transporting people and goods.

Mirrors, windows, and locks are all powered. An air filtration system and air conditioning are standard fare. Standard comfort items also include simulated alloy trim, reading lights, and vanity mirrors. The entertainment system comes standard with MP3, CD, and radio capabilities. Also available is a USB connection. An iPod console tray is optional in two colors. Ashtrays, cup holders, a multitude of audio equipment, and an outlet kit are also available. An outlet kit works with any 110-watt plugs, which means any small household appliance can work in the car.

The long list of audio extras includes a subwoofer, tweeter, Sirius satellite radio with a subscription, and a couple of antenna options that can improve sound quality. Other interior options include shifter knob replacements and upgrades, all-weather floor mats, and a severe weather companion system that helps keep drivers away from upcoming storms, ice, etc. Bluetooth and hands-free telephone technology is also available.


The 2013 Subaru Forester comes standard with plenty of braking power thanks to a long list of brake technology. This includes a four-wheel Anti-lock Brake System paired with ventilated front disc brakes and sold rear disc brakes. Electronic brake force distribution makes sure that stopping power is optimum. With traction control and stability control, the Subaru Forester does a good job staying on the road.

Front and rear head airbags help to protect all passengers in the event of a collision. Front and rear airbags include side-mounted airbags for extra protection. All headrests, five in total, are equipped with whiplash protection technology. Passenger airbags are automatically enabled or disabled using passenger sensing technology.

Headlights are dusk sensing and automatically turn on and off using sensors. Headlights also feature auto-delay, which means they'll stay illuminated at night to help protect the driver. Turn signal mirrors give added visibility to other drivers on the road.

Other standard safety features include child seat anchors, tire pressure monitoring, and an anti-theft deterrent alarm system that protects from would-be thieves. That National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Subaru Forester four stars for great overall safety, especially in the event of a rollover. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the Subaru Forester ""good"" in frontal offset crash testing.

Driving Experience

The 170-hp, 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that comes standard in the Subaru Forester is surprisingly adequate for the size of the vehicle. It creates 174 lb-ft of torque. With the five-speed manual transmission, it can easily zip around town and the interstate without any noticeable drag or lag. Unfortunately, some of the power is sapped away by the optional four-speed automatic transmission. Subaru uses the MacPherson strut front suspension, double wishbone rear suspension, and four-wheel independent suspension to make sure the ride is incredibly smooth. Additionally, a stabilizer bar is standard fare.

The Subaru Forester gets 21/27 mpg city/highway. Agile handling makes the ride incredibly easy going. There is a long list of mechanical options for the Forester, which includes additional caps and hold-downs, engine block and battery warmers, and a STI Flexible Front Strut Tower Brace. All-wheel drive is also standard, which makes some inclement weather and terrains manageable.

Key Competitors For The 2013 Subaru Forester

  • Hyundai Tucson
  • Honda Crosstour
  • Kia Sportage
  • Dodge Nitro
  • Honda Element

See the New 2015 Forester.

Front & Driver Side View