Consumer Reports Doubles Down on the 2021 Subaru Forester

by Gabrielle DeSantis

The Subaru Forester has been earning rave reviews for nearly a decade. In fact, it’s been a Consumer Reports top pick for eight years. In 2021, this compact SUV again appears on the consumer site’s list of the top 10 vehicles of the year. Subaru has a winning formula with the Forester. And as the old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

So, what’s so great about the automaker’s best-selling model?

The Subaru Forester is a top pick yet again

Over 250 vehicles compete each year for American car shoppers’ attention. Consumer Reports annually ranks new vehicles based on input from its members and a vigorous series of performance tests. As it has for the past eight years, the Subaru Forester made CR’s list of the 10 best with its 2021 model.

To earn a place on Consumer Reports‘ list, a vehicle must turn in a solid performance in over 50 evaluations at CR’s Auto Test Center. It also must earn high marks on member surveys for reliability and owner satisfaction. And if that’s not enough pressure, it must score well in safety tests and the CR accident avoidance maneuver. Safety scores from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety factor in too.

How the 2021 Subaru Forester won a spot on the list

You couldn’t ask for a more accommodating vehicle than the Subaru Forester. The CR team likes its roomy cabin, helped by a tall roofline. It also has large doors that make getting in and out of this SUV easy and offer exceptional visibility. That visibility makes this crossover safer and easy to park. 

Plus, the 2021 Subaru Forester offers great fuel efficiency for an SUV. And the fact that it comes with standard all-wheel drive makes it even more appealing.

CR gave the 2021 Subaru Forester an overall score of 89 out of 100 the coveted CR Recommended badge. It earned a 90 out of 100 on Consumer Reports‘ road test and scored 4/5 ratings in both predicted reliability and owner satisfaction. It’s also loaded with advanced safety features.

An overview of the 2021 model

A small SUV with a well-thought-out design, the 2021 Forester still bears the same exterior styling that consumers have come to know. Yet over the years, Subaru has made continual improvements to the practical SUV that’s become a consumer favorite. As a result, it offers a comfortable ride, handles like a dream, and provides the safety that many families prefer over style.

Its 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine certainly isn’t the fastest in the class. But does it have enough power to navigate highway traffic? Absolutely. The engine pairs with a continuously variable transmission for a smooth ride. However, you’ll hear some engine buzz when you hit the gas.

The Forester absorbs road blows like a champ and boasts responsive handling. Its steering is quick and creates little body in corners.

Plus, the cabin is hard to beat. It’s roomy with easy-to-use controls and that awesome visibility. The Forester also provides a good driving position that allows easy navigating and parking. The driver’s seat also has excellent adjustable lumbar support, and most trims offer power adjustments.

The latest infotainment system in the Forester is fast and easy to use. And it comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. Best of all, the controls are easy to reach.

As for safety features, the Forester comes standard with automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and lane-keep assist.

One complaint might be some inexpensive-looking materials in the cabin. As a result, it feels a little less upscale than some rivals. But if you understand and appreciate the 2021 Subaru Forester’s safety and practicality, that flaw might not be a deal-breaker.

RELATED: Worst Subaru Forester Model Year Has 17 Recalls, Poor Reliability, and Unhappy Owners

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