Is the Subaru Forester Consumer Reports Most Dependable Compact SUV?

by Gabrielle DeSantis

The Subaru Forester is a well-rounded vehicle that does it all. It is capable of going off-road and getting good fuel economy on the road, too. Consumer Reports called the Subaru Forester the most dependable compact SUV on the market for 2021, and we can see why.

What year is the most reliable Subaru Forester?

The Subaru Forester is recommended by Consumer Reports | Zhe Ji/Getty Images

Consumer Reports lists the reliability history for the Forester for the last few years. Since 2018, the reliability has increased. For the 2021 Forester, the predicted owner satisfaction and predicted reliability both scored a four out of five.

Many safety features that are options on similar vehicles come standard on the Forester. These include forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and lane-keeping assist. It also has anti-lock brakes, traction control, and a rear-view camera.

The 2020 Forester scored a five out of five for both reliability and owner satisfaction. It also has high scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The 2019 model has similar scores if you are in the market for a used vehicle. Depending on your budget, one of the recent years for the Subaru Forester should fit your budget. Look for one with a warranty left, if possible.

What problems do Subaru Foresters have?

Since the 2021 Forester is new, it is hard to diagnose some issues this early. Consumer Reports found the 2.5L four-cylinder was powerful compared to previous years, but it isn’t the fastest SUV around. The 0-60 mph time came in at an unimpressive 9.2 seconds, but it isn’t worth taking the Forester off your list yet.

Owners say that the continuously variable transmission (CVT) works well but is loud under acceleration. It gets an overall 28 mpg, which ties the Honda CR-V EX for fuel economy. That puts it in the number one spot with the CR-V for overall fuel economy.

Consumer Reports says the ride and handling have improved over the 2020 version, noting it handles better than other SUVs in the category. There is less body roll and faster steering response as well.

The Forester still beat the 2021 Mazda CX-5 and the 2021 Honda CR-V by a few points, which makes it the most dependable compact SUV in the segment.

Edmunds agrees with Consumer Reports

Edmunds found that the 2021 Subaru Forester was a reliable choice as well. It has all-wheel-drive standard and comes with many driver-assist features. Edmunds also noted that the better-than-average ground clearance is an additional benefit. Some of the cons noted were the less-than-impressing engine and a low tow rating. This is a limiting factor for the overall utility of the Forester.

Like what Consumer Reports noted, it has many extra features that come standard and some upgraded tech. These make the Forester a good buy for someone looking for a smaller SUV. Edmunds gave it a 7.8 out of 10 overall, with the interior and tech leading the way.

The experts at Edmunds suggest the Premium trim for the panoramic sunroof and alloy wheels. Consumer Reports agrees that the Premium trim is worth the extra cash and suggests the All-Weather package for heated front seats. Priced between $24,795 and $34,895, the Forester is a fun little SUV that will get the job done.

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