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Subaru Forester (2013-2019) review - Practicality, comfort and boot space

The Forester’s boxy no-frills exterior design demands few concessions from a practical, user-friendly interior

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

Practicality, comfort and boot space Rating

3.7 out of 5

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The latest Forester is also the largest. The A-pillars are further forward than before, by 200mm, which gives extra space in the front.

In the rear, the floor has been lowered to create more space for feet, while elbow and shoulder room is good in the front and back.

All cars feature three power points and a narrow but deep centre cubbyhole, plus two good-sized cup-holders between the front seats.

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From a driver’s point of view it’s easy to get comfortable thanks to a rake and reach adjustable wheel, and very adjustable seats. A high driving position means the forward visibility is excellent, and the mirrors are now mounted on the doors, which reduces the front blind spot. As most models come with a reversing camera you’ll have no qualms about backing up either.

There’s only the one five-door bodystyle in the Forester line-up, and just the five seats on offer.

Size

The Forester measures up at 4,595mm long x 1,795mm wide x 1,735mm high. That compares to the 4,524mm x 1,838mm x 1,689mm Ford Kuga and the 4,426mm x 1,809mm x 1,703mm Volkswagen Tiguan.

Leg room, head room & passenger space

With a slightly lengthened wheelbase compared to the last model, and that high boxy roof, there’s plenty of room for grown-ups in the back of the Forester. That said, the rear bench is designed to seat three adults, but in truth they’ll be a little cramped.

Isofix child seat mountings are standard, as you would expect, and a nice feature is the one-touch seat folding mechanism for the 60:40 split rear seat. The seats don’t lie totally flat, but there’s a carpet flap to cover the gap between the boot floor and the folded seatbacks.

Boot

The boot has a low, flat lip, making it easy to load, and its 505-litre capacity is similar to the Mazda CX-5 and quite a lot bigger than the Ford Kuga’s 406 litres. Top-spec XT models get a powered tailgate, while folding the rear seats down liberates a healthy 1,564-litres of space. There’s a space-saver spare wheel under the boot floor.

Towing

All versions of the Forester should make pretty good tow cars, with a braked trailer weight limit of 2,000kgs for everything except the manual 2.0-litre non-turbo, which can pull 1,800kgs.

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