Subaru Forester review - Practicality, comfort and boot space

Longer and wider than its predecessor, the Subaru Forester is still a practical car for passengers and luggage

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.5 out of 5

Practicality, comfort and boot space Rating

4.0 out of 5

Representative Example - Personal Contract Purchase: Cash Price £10,000.00, Deposit £1500.00, borrowing £8,500.00 over 4 years at 7.4% Representative APR (fixed). 47 monthly payments of £132.04 followed by a final payment of £4127.50. Total cost of credit £1833.38. Total amount payable £11,833.38. Based on 8,000 miles per annum. Excess mileage charges apply if exceeded. Finance subject to status 18+ only.

The latest Forester may look similar to the car it replaced but it’s actually longer and wider than before; the result is a family SUV with even more space inside. There’s a great view out from the the driver’s seat – a huge area of glass, narrow pillars and a high, squared-off bonnet mean the Forester retains a pleasingly old-school feel and is easy to place on the road. 

The cabin features some large doorbins on all for doors, plus a large storage cubby under the front centre armrest. In true Subaru fashion, everything feels built to last – it’s easy to see how so many Subaru owners can work their cars hard over a number of years. Despite its hard-wearing nature, the Subaru feels pretty luxurious.

Size

The Forester is bigger than ever; at 4.6 metres long and just over two metres wide including mirrors it’s not too far off the SEAT Tarraco in its considerable dimensions. It’s a large SUV with all the space you’d expect – but there’s no seven seater option.

Leg room, head room & passenger space

The Forester’s slight increase in size has paid dividends inside its cabin, where front and rear-seat passengers have plenty of space. Headroom is huge and there’s more than enough legroom in the rear seats for adults to travel in comfort. 

Access to the rear seats is easy thanks to doors that open wide and the tall ride-height; those regularly battling with child seats will welcome this, along with the easily accessed ISOfix points. Big windows mean there’s an airy feel inside, further adding to the sense of space. 

Boot

The Forester’s boot is big – 520 litres of space with the seats up, or an impressive 1,779 litres with them folded flat. It’s a well-shaped load space with a low lip so it’s very practical and perfect for dogs. A Toyota RAV4 has more space with the seats in place (580 litres) but loses out with them folded (1,690 litres). The larger, similarly hardy Ssangyong Rexton is altogether more spacious, boasting 820 litres or 1,977 litres with the seats down. 

Towing

The Forester is rated to tow a braked trailer of 1,870kg. If you plan to tow heavier trailers regularly we’d still recommend opting for a diesel rival, though – the Ssangyong Rexton can manage an especially monstrous 3,500kg, for example.

Most Popular

New 2022 MG7 could be a cut-price Audi A5
MG 7 - side
News

New 2022 MG7 could be a cut-price Audi A5

The new MG7 saloon has been teased ahead of its August reveal
8 Aug 2022
“Volkswagen, SEAT and Skoda cars are just too similar”
Opinion - VW and Skoda
Opinion

“Volkswagen, SEAT and Skoda cars are just too similar”

Mike Rutherford thinks Volkswagen, SEAT and Skoda need to target different audiences if they are to be successful in the future
7 Aug 2022
New 2025 Land Rover Discovery set for luxury reinvention
Land Rover Discovery - front (watermarked)
News

New 2025 Land Rover Discovery set for luxury reinvention

The Land Rover Discovery nameplate could spawn a family of models like the Defender
4 Aug 2022