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

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.

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.

Next Steps

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    2.0i XE Lineartronic 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £31,810

Most Economical

  • Name
    2.0i XE Lineartronic 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £31,810

Fastest

  • Name
    2.0i XE Lineartronic 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £31,810

Most Popular

Land Rover unveils limited-run Defender Trophy Edition
Land Rover unveils limited-run Defender Trophy Edition - front
Land Rover Defender

Land Rover unveils limited-run Defender Trophy Edition

Just 220 examples will be built to honour past Camel Trophy Land Rovers, all of which have been reserved for the North American market
30 Jul 2021
New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover
Volkswagen Taigo R-Line - front
Volkswagen Taigo

New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover

The new VW Taigo is a sportier, more aggressive looking version of the brand’s T-Cross and is aimed at lifestyle buyers
29 Jul 2021
New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range
Kia EV6 - front
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range

Kia reveals more specs for its bespoke electric car, with the EV6 offering long range and an 18-minute 80 per cent rapid recharge time
21 Jul 2021