Unless you really know your Subarus, you might not be able to tell the Forester is new for 2025. This is the sixth generation of Subaru’s much-loved compact crossover, and it comes with essentially everything the brand’s fans want. It’s spacious, practical, and has all sorts of safety tech, standard all-wheel drive, plus the promise of some off-road ability. The range starts at a little over $30,000, and the one you see here, the top-of-the-line Touring model, rings in at $41,390.

All Forester models have the same powertrain, a 2.5-liter flat-four making 180 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. It’s a carryover engine from the previous Forester—and the one before that—though revised for this new generation, as is the continuously variable transmission. And yes, you get Subaru’s trademark full-time all-wheel drive system.

I spoke with Subaru of America’s product planner for the Forester, and he stressed that while the new Forester shares its basic architecture with its predecessor, the SUV has received a number of refinements. The body structure is stiffer with better sound deadening, and there are improvements to Subaru’s Eyesight active safety systems. The Premium trim and above also get Subaru’s portrait-oriented infotainment system, too.

2025 Subaru Forester Touring Review

What’s Good So Far?

  • Ride quality. Subaru tunes its cars fairly softly, and on broken city roads, this is very welcome. I even ran it over some cobbled streets and were it not for the sound, you’d hardly notice the surface change.
  • Visibility. The Forester has always had a tall greenhouse, and Subaru maintained that here. In an age where design and safety regulations have compromised visibility, it’s refreshing to be in a car you can see out of easily.
  • Size. Subaru talks a lot about making the Forester big on the inside, small on the outside, and they’re not lying. It feels wieldy, yet there’s tons of space for people and stuff.

What's Not So Good?

  • Interior quality. Inside, it really doesn’t feel up to par, especially for $40,000. And despite being a new model, the cabin feels dated.
  • Uninspiring engine. Small tweaks aside, this is the same 2.5-liter engine Subaru’s been using forever. It’s pretty down on power and torque, and not terribly refined either. I hope the upcoming hybrid model brings real improvements under the hood.
  • General blandness. On first impression, there’s nothing that really makes this car stand out. Sure, it has a flat-four engine and a real all-wheel drive system, but even these mechanical curiosities are pushed to the background. There’s nothing about the car that wows, or even grabs your interest, on first impression.
2025 Subaru Forester Touring Review
2025 Subaru Forester Touring Review

I’ve got a few more days, and many more miles to learn a bit more about the Forester. To be honest, I’ve been a bit apathetic about Subaru’s recent non-performance cars, but after doing some city miles in this one, I’m starting to understand the appeal. These things are everywhere in my Brooklyn neighborhood, ferrying families, pets, and outdoor gear to preferred city escapes every weekend. For that, it seems to work.

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