(Subaru had no need for me to review the new Forester, but the idea came to me while I was in my parents car on the way home, so I asked if I could borrow it for a bit, they said that I could so long as I don't try and drift it, I said I promise I wouldn't, with my fingers crossed behind my back and I set off in a semi rapid pace, something that would soon stop after driving it for a bit.)
4/10:Handling-Why didn't I drift this? Because the handling is vague at best, the steering is non-communicative yet some how super twitchy. Rolly is the best way to describe it. And because of the increase in body height and lower suspension setup, with the steering wheel that feels like a gigantic bus steering wheel, it makes the entire ride feel dangerous especially around 60-70mph on the highway, like you are going to tip over if you try to correct even in the slightest of ways. In slow speeds there is almost no feel, almost like a Tesla's drive by wire steering. You don't get the sense that the steering wheel is attached to the front wheels.
6/10:Brakes-Good, they really are, but the first inch of travel is almost no pressure then much better of a pedal feel. When you just want a little bit of brake there is almost no feel and no pressure to tell you that the rotors are actually stopping you, which makes you press it harder and then the brakes come on much harder than you wanted to begin with. It's a very fine line you need to walk and apply, really you just need to get used to these brakes. I think Subaru could have done a better job with them overall.
7/10:Power-Small but peppy for such a large CUV. Lets put it this way, its no Koenigsegg Agera R. It is a 2.5 Boxer with about 170hp, curb weight is around 3300lbs, that power to weight ratio is never going to beat a landspeed record but it does get up and go when you want it to, and being a NA engine, there is no lag, the little power it has is immediate and provides a nice boxer noise.
8.5/10:Transmission-This is actually quite nice, much better than old 4 speed auto on last generation, that automatic was truly the work of the devil. How much did it suck, think Twilight levels of suckage. This CVT is actually really good, which I know in this crowd is blasphemy, however it makes me think that the WRX could be good with this trans, if that's what you want in a WRX which you shouldn't be getting anyways. Having a CVT that acts more like a 6 speed is great, it nets better gas mileage and it just makes the entire car feel smoother.
4/10:Comfort-A very soft suspension setup allows for great ride quality, you float over bumps without really feeling anything, which is great for a time but it feels less connected to the road as stated above. One of the worst cock ups with this car is the lack of sound deadening material which makes the road noise terrible, it is so loud in the cabin that you can barely hear yourself think let alone have a conversation with anyone when the car is going about 60mph. You also get a lot of noise from the windows from the wind rushing past them. You would think that a manufacturer like Subaru would have noticed the massive amounts of noise penetrating the cabin before they started selling it to the public, but they were probably to busy widening it and pretending like it has the best off road capability of anything on the planet outside Dakar car.
5/10:Interior-Space is up from last generation, way up, the rear cargo area is massive and fits 3 dogs, a cooler and a laundry basket when we need it to. However, while more practical, the interior feels cheaper than the last generation. The seats are not as nice as they were, and all interior plastics feel worse. They feel gritty or chinsy. However headroom is fantastic, for me being 6'4" I have at least 4" between me and the roof if not more.
5/10:Exterior-fatter, like most things in America these days, the body was widened and stretched to fit middle America, Subaru themselves said they made the American cars and SUV's bigger, it is also way uglier than the last generation, the proportions are off, the ride height vs the body start line is much lower giving more space in the interior, but it makes the doors look like they are for giants.
5.5/10:Audio-not great, granted this is the base model, but I expected more, the bass is too prevalent, but at the same time not very well defined, the head unit is the same as the last generation, but this one came with buttons on the steering wheel which is handy but the buttons don't always work that well, they have a tendency to stick in certain position or not do what you just asked it to do.
4/10:Toys- none except the roof rack which were installed backwards creating even more wind noise, and I haven't gotten the chance to flip them to the proper position yet.
6/10:Value-for the money I think it's a good car, however, the Mitsubishi Outlander or Outlander Sport both feel like better cars, and the last generation Forester felt like a better overall car, I don't get why Subaru is trying to become a more general public car manufacturer, Subaru's are supposed to be fun and quirky, not dull, fat and depressing, they aren't supposed to be pretty either; they are supposed to have fabulous AWD systems and be able to have a butt load of cargo space. This one just feels bloated and excessively cheap. Can it drift, I have no idea, I would rather not have died that day. I still think people will buy it because it does meet the needs of a lot of non car people and Subaru fans, but I know I wouldn't, sorry dad.