It seems every automaker is either selling or getting ready to launch a compact crossover. But flashback 20 years ago and compact crossovers, or compact SUVs, weren't really a thing. The Suzuki Sidekick and Geo Tracker were the only choices around. But this changed in the 1996 model when Toyota introduced the funky RAV4. This would be followed by the Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester a year later. These three models are seen as the Patient Zeros of what would become the compact crossover class. These three models are constantly at the top of sales charts for their respective automakers and are likely the first choice for many consumers.
Recently, Toyota has introduced a refreshed version of RAV4 and Honda announced an updated CR-V. To combat both of these, Subaru has revitalized the Forester for 2017 with numerous changes inside and out to keep it ahead. Do they make a difference?
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2016 Subaru Forester
The 2016 Subaru Forester is a small crossover competing in a segment full of excellent choices. Yet it manages to continue to thrive thanks to the legendary Subaru capability and high marks for family-use versatility and ergonomics. The Forester may be somewhat plain to look at when sitting in a parking lot full of its rivals, but few can boast the overall package of excellence this crossover brings when a closer look is had.
The 2016 Forester sees several updates this year to include a much more intuitive and capable touchscreen interface (the next-generation StarLink), now on a standard 6.2-inch screen that upgrades to 7 inches in some models and packages. Other highlights of the Forester include an above-par backseat experience, a huge and usable cargo space, and a high value proposition for the buyer.
The Forester is a compact, five-seat crossover that comes standard with all-wheel drive and a choice of two powertrains and six trim levels.
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2014 Subaru Forester
The five-passenger 2014 Subaru Forester compact crossover SUV is completely redesigned inside and out. While the exterior styling may not seem drastically different, all else is significantly changed. Standard all-wheel drive remains its trump card, setting it apart from the competition and claiming customer loyalists in the bargain.