Subaru Forester Overland Profile

Subaru Forester was first introduced in 1997 by the Japanese, who were looking to revolutionize crossover SUVs. The compact design first made its appearance at the Tokyo Motor Show in November 1995, where it was received with great praise.

It was made available in 1997 in both the Japanese and American markets. The Forester shares a platform with Impreza. Over the years, the Subaru Forester has gained tremendous popularity for its winning take on crossover SUVs.

The Subaru Forester’s predecessor, the Subaru Bighorn was not received with as much acclaim, so Subaru placed its focus on making the Forester a game changer.

The manufacturers succeeded in creating a car that gained critical claim in the domestic and international markets. The Subaru Forester has become a cult favorite amongst SUV lovers and it has won the hearts of many across the globe.

Models

ModelYearsEngineBHPTorque (lb-ft)MPG (city/hwy)
First Generation19972.0 Liter H4125 @ 5600 RPM136 @ 3600 RPM19 / 32
Second Generation20022.5 Liter H4125 @ 5600 RPM137 @ 3600 RPM20 / 34
Third Generation20082.5 Liter H4150 @ 6000 RPM145 @ 3200 RPM21 / 33
Fourth Generation20132.5 Liter H4150 @ 6200 RPM146 @ 4200 RPM27 / 38
Fifth Generation20182.5 Liter H4182 @ 5800 RPM176 @ 4400 RPM26 / 33

Cost

★★☆☆

Purchasing Cost

The Subaru Forester has always been known for being an affordable SUV and this is why it has been quite popular amongst families. In 2021, the latest model of the Subaru Forester starts at a cost of $24,795.

This cost can go up as you add more features and customize your SUV to meet your demands. You can find the older models of the Subaru Forest within a decent price range as well.

A premium Forester starts at $27,795 and adds a lot more value for the price you would be paying, with features and specifications that are different from the basic trim.

Many of the older Subaru Forester models are also available as used cars and private dealers are often found importing and selling them to people in countries outside of the official countries the car is available at.

Maintenance Costs

Subaru has always been committed to road safety, which is why great advancements have been made in its symmetrical all-wheel drive. Given this commitment to safety, Subaru has tried its best to make maintenance of all of its cars as easy as possible and the Forester is also included in this.

The cost of repairs and maintenance for a Subaru Forester is $632 per year. Most compact crossover SUVs cost around $521 for maintenance. The Subaru Forester is fairly average when it comes to ownership costs and the frequency of repairs and maintenance.

According to Kelley Blue Book, the 2021 Forester has the lowest cost of ownership in its class of cars.

Reliability

★★☆☆

Many have tried to compete with the reliability of the Subaru Forester and while many compact SUVs have attempted to come close to what the Forester is, none have succeeded.

All of the Subaru Forester models have had positive reviews from car lovers and owners alike. However, it is best to steer clear of the older Forester models as the models created in recent years are more suitable for the modern era.

The 2021 Forester has received the highest safety rating from the IIHS. This Forester has also earned top marks from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Parents Magazine has also named the 2021 Subaru Forester the best family car of 2021.

Parts

★★☆☆

Accessibility

Subaru Forester parts are quite easily accessible as the manufacturers have ensured to make this possible in all of the countries the car is sold.

The best upgrades of the Forester can be made directly by the manufacturers; however, there are other companies and manufacturers that you can turn to locally for any changes and upgrades you would like to make.

Aftermarket Upgrades

Aftermarket sales are also quite high for the Subaru Forester, especially in the domestic Japanese market. Although you may struggle to find parts to turn it into a serious off-road vehicle.

Storage

★★☆☆

The 2021 Subaru Forester is quite spacious, especially in terms of its storage. Most compact SUVs struggle to provide an appropriate amount of space; however, the Subaru Forester has around 28.9 to 31.1 square feet of interior storage.

Such storage is not always available in compact SUVs, which is why the Forester is an ideal family car.

SUBARU FORESTER FIRST GENERATION (1997)

Overall Length175.2”
Overall Width68.5”
Wheelbase99.2”
Unladen Height63”
Unladen Weight2744.7 lbs
Gross Vehicle Weight4133.7 lbs

SUBARU FORESTER SECOND GENERATION (2002)

Overall Length175.2”
Overall Width68.3”
Wheelbase99.4”
Unladen Height62.6”
Unladen Weight3140 lbs
Gross Vehicle Weight4120 lbs

SUBARU FORESTER THIRD GENERATION (2008)

Overall Length176.6”
Overall Width68.3”
Wheelbase99.4”
Unladen Height62.6”
Unladen Weight3140 lbs
Gross Vehicle Weight4150 lbs

SUBARU FORESTER FOURTH GENERATION (2013)

Overall Length180.9”
Overall Width70.7”
Wheelbase103.9”
Unladen Height68.3”
Unladen Weight3250 lbs
Gross Vehicle Weight4480 lbs

SUBARU FORESTER FIFTH GENERATION (2018)

Overall Length182.1”
Overall Width71.5”
Wheelbase105.1”
Unladen Height68.1”
Unladen Weight3322 lbs
Gross Vehicle Weight4480 lbs

Comfort

★★

SUVs are infamous for being comfortable. The comfort of the Subaru Forester is unmatched by any other. It was the first of its kind to offer its domestic market a safe and comfortable option for a family car.

The EyeSight Driver Assist Technology makes it even more comfortable to use. There is also higher passenger volume than that of competitors, so your passengers can sit in the car with ease.

The leather interior coupled with the Starlink Multimedia and Entertainment Anywhere Kit makes the Subaru Forester a crossover compact SUV unlike any other.

There is also a power panoramic moon roof that allows for a better experience while on the road.

Safety

★★★★★

The Subaru Forester is well known for being one of the safest cars. It was one of IIHS’s top picks for safety in 2021. In a front crash prevention test, the 2021 Subaru Forester received the highest possible rating.

It has also received top marks with a five star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The safety features of the 2021 Forester include EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, Subaru DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System, All-Around Awareness and the Starlink Safety and Security System.

The symmetrical all-wheel drive also allows for greater and effortless control over the car.

Off-Road

★★☆☆

It’s not often you see a Forester off-road but don’t let that stop you. Foresters are very capable off-road vehicles, and can handle all manner of trail roads effortlessly. One of the biggest issues with taking a forester off-road is ground clearance.

Averaging at only around 8.5 inches of ground clearance doesn’t leave the forester with much to work with.

If you don’t plan on doing any heavy off-roading the Forester is more than enough for overlanding trail roads.

BasisI Gen.II Gen.III Gen.IV Gen.V Gen.
Break-over Angle (°)2316.621.419.921.9
Approach Angle (°)3020.521.718.922.9
Departure Angle (°)2825.425.82523.5
Min. Ground Clearance (inch)7.39.28.88.78.7

Subaru Forester Overland Build Example

Equipment

  • Roof Rack: Thule AeroBlade Edge Raised Rail Roof Rack System
  • Tent: iKamper X-Cover Rooftop Tent
  • Fridge: Dometic CFX-35US Portable Electric Cooler Refrigerator
  • Compressor: Viair 400P
  • Water Storage: Front Runner 17.7 Gal Water Tank

Drivetrain

Armor

  • Front Bumper: ADD front bumper
  • Rear Bumper: Fab Fours Black Steel Elite Smooth Rear Bumper
  • Rock Slider: ADD (Addictive Desert Designs) Lite Side Steps

Recovery

  • Recovery Boards: MaxTrax recovery boards
  • Winch: Smittybilt X2O Waterproof Synthetic Rope Winch
  • Jack: Safe Jack 6 Ton Bottle Jack
  • Shovel: Gerber E-Tool Folding Shovel
  • Recovery Kit: Barricade Recovery Kit
  • Tire Deflator: ARB Air Deflator Kit
  • Tire Repair: Red Hound Auto Tire Tool Replacement Kit

Lighting

  • Light Bar: Black Oak LED Pro Series 2.0 dual-row light bar
  • Rock Lights: Mictuning 2nd-Gen LED Rock Lights
  • Reverse Lights: Delta Power Pipes LED Backup Lights
  • Camp Lights: Dream Lighting Waterproof Awning Lights
  • Interior Lights: ROYFACC 60 LED Car Interior Light

Electrical

  • Power: Westinghouse iGen300s Portable Power Station
  • Solar: ROCKPALS RP082 100w Foldable Solar Panel
  • Battery: Optima Batteries 8012-021 D34 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery

Conclusion

The Forester is the perfect blend of overland vehicle and family SUV. You could see it traveling both back-roads and through cities without looking out of place.

However, if you think you may be hitting some hard off-road trails, the 4Runner would be a better option.

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