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The Subaru Forester is a compact SUV that seats five, offers good cargo capability and excellent foul weather capability. The Forester competes with the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, though the Forester offers better handling than those two, on dry pavement but especially on wet pavement, snow, ice or dirt.
Subaru's all-wheel-drive system, which comes standard, gives the Forester outstanding traction and capability in foul weather and it's fully equipped with safety features. Forester achieved the best-possible five-star rating in all government crash tests, and a four-star rating for resistance to rolling over. Forester has been named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Forester comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with single overhead cam rated at 170 horsepower. Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 20/26 mpg City/Highway with automatic transmission.
The turbocharged Forester XT has twin cams and boasts 224 horsepower. The XT is more desirable because of its superior power, though it calls for Premium fuel and rates 19/24 mpg. Forester's 16.9-gallon fuel tank can last about 400 miles on the highway.
Introduced as an all-new model for 2009, this is the third generation of the Forester, and it's the best-selling Forester ever and the best-selling model in the Subaru line. Redesigned for the 2009 model year, the Forester features a wider track and longer wheelbase than before, a double wishbone rear suspension, more cargo space, more rear-seat legroom. There's more ground clearance, a super tight steering radius with quicker steering, rear doors that swing open nearly 75 degrees, and more power for the base 2.5-liter engine.
For 2010, Forester benefits from a revised instrument cluster with easier-to-see colors, and you can choose which interior lamps light when you open a door. The 2010 Forester 2.5X Premium comes with a 10-way power driver's seat, and the optional navigation system now includes Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity.