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
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.
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.
More reviews for Forester SUV
Car group tests
- New Subaru Forester e-Boxer 2020 review
- New Subaru Forester 2018 review
- Subaru Forester 2.0 XT 2016 review
- New Subaru Forester diesel 2015 review
- Subaru Forester 2.0D XC
Used car tests
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.
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.
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.
In this review
- 1Subaru Forester reviewThe Subaru Forester is a hard-wearing, over-engineered SUV, but high price limits its appeal
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe latest Subaru Forester is much better to drive than its predecessor, although its CVT gearbox takes some getting used to
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe Forester’s e-Boxer system has improved emissions but fuel economy is still the Subaru’s downfall
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Forester’s evolutionary design hides an up-to-date platform and clever, solid engineering
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingLonger and wider than its predecessor, the Subaru Forester is still a practical car for passengers and luggage
- 6Reliability and SafetySubaru’s focus on safety and strong reputation for reliability bode very well for Forester owners