2014 Subaru Forester Overview
2014 Subaru Forester Overview
The 2014 Subaru Forester is a five-passenger, compact crossover available in six trim levels with some trims meeting more stringent emission standards: 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited, 2.5i Touring, 2.0XT Premium, and 2.0XT Touring.
Every Forester includes standard all-wheel drive, so whether its is used as a substitute for a midsize family sedan, a commuter vehicle serving up sure-footed traction during inclement weather, or even as an SUV alternative transport for outdoor-activity enthusiasts, the redesigned 2014 Forester provides plenty of solutions. Just as importantly, Subaru made very modest price increases on the 2014 Forester, which means that this already compelling option now serves up more value at prices roughly equal to its front-wheel-drive rivals.
New for 2014
A full redesign on the 2014 Subaru Forester brings along a more powerful engine, increased fuel efficiency, enhanced safety options, as well as expanded interior room and refinement.
- A new optional, 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine serves up much more power than the previous 2.5-liter, turbocharged engine
- A new, six-speed, manual replaces the outgoing five-speed manual
- A much more efficient and smoother continuously variable transmission (CVT) replaces the four-speed automatic
- A rear-vision camera and an EyeSight active-safety system become available for 2013
- New convenience options include a revised multi-function display and a powered rear lift gate
The 2014 Subaru Forester borrows many of the new Impreza’s styling cues, which makes for a sportier and less rugged looking crossover. Subaru made the big changes in the details while maintaining the Forester’s overall size and theme. The Forester’s new grille and sculpted sides make it more contemporary, and it stays away from the chunky and heavily creased panels found on most of its rivals and on its XV Crosstrek sibling. Overall, the Forester looks less rugged and more civilized.
Wheel options range from utilitarian 17-inch steel wheels on the 2.5i to 18-inch alloys on the top 2.0XT Premium. Rear privacy glass, a panoramic sunroof, and rear spoilers all come on agreeably low trim levels. An All-Weather package adds heated mirrors and automatic headlights. Xenon high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights and a powered rear lift gate are available as either standard or optional on different trims. Roof rack storage accessories, rear spoilers, and numerous other dealer-installed options will ensure that buyers should have no trouble customizing the Forester to suit their individual tastes.
Interior & Cargo
Like nearly all Subaru models, the 2014 Forester’s new interior is practical and rugged, but features higher quality materials and a more upscale look than previous Foresters. However, rivals still offer more luxuriously appointed, upscale interiors, and aside from the 6.1-inch LCD color touchscreen found on upper trims, the Forester’s interior is all about functionality and simplicity.
The new Forester houses all new instruments and displays; most trims include a color multi-information screen that displays audio and trip information, images provided from the rear-camera, and various off-road related information when driving in X-Mode (a system that monitors, controls, and optimizes all-wheel drive, transmission, and traction functions). Even the base 2.5i trim includes a 4.3-inch LCD that displays exterior temperature and trip-computer related information. All trims include Bluetooth connectivity, Bluetooth audio streaming, steering-wheel audio controls, and a security system with engine immobilizer. Tops trims include an upgraded navigation system that includes a 6.1-inch touchscreen, voice-activated controls, and a slew of smartphone and tablet influenced app functions. Touring models feature a 440-watt, eight-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system that also offers full smartphone integration.
As primarily a family vehicle, what the Forester offers in people and cargo carrying ability may be one of the Subaru’s most important features. Fortunately, the redesign brought along a rearrangement of interior elements, which makes for an increase in useable space. The new design yields an impressive increase of 3.7 inches of rear legroom, and opens up an additional six cubic-feet of usable cargo space. The stadium-type seating configuration only adds to the sense of spaciousness. In the end, the 2014 Forester offers an impressive 74.7 cubic feet of cargo storage with the rear seats folded.
The 2014 Subaru Forester provides a commendable list of both active and passive safety features. It now boasts a stronger, stiffer body than before and includes traction control, stability control, and all-wheel drive. Active-safety features include the EyeSight system, which integrates adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking systems, and a lane departure warning system, all of which spot road hazards and alert the driver. Rounding out the notable features are a rear-view camera, and Hill Descent Control which automatically reduces speeds on steep and slippery slopes.
Safety rating organizations have yet to test the 2014 Forester; however, it continues a long tradition of being one of the safest compact crossovers, and is expected to produce equally as impressive safety scores. The previous generation was a perennial Top Safety Pick, and with its newly reinforced structure, the 2014 Subaru Forester should prove to provide even better occupant protection.
The new Forester weighs in with a few extra pounds and won’t win any street races with its base, four-cylinder engine. Nevertheless, what it lacks in accelerating street prowess it more than makes up for in fuel economy, civility, and reliability. In normal day-to-day driving conditions, the Forester delivers stable and composed handling along with an exceptionally quiet ride. But perhaps the Forester’s real secrets are its ability to blaze down unpaved roads compliments of its X-Mode driving system, along with its ability to surprise unsuspecting crossover drivers when equipped with its turbocharged, four-cylinder engine. Another key element of the 2014 Forester’s competition-munching features is the much improved and fuel-efficient CVT. The Forester’s CVT can now easily be considered one of the better transmission options in the compact crossover segment; when matched to the 2.0XT’s turbocharged engine, the Forester nearly becomes a competent driving enthusiast’s machine. In addition to the extra power contained in the turbocharged engine, upper trims also benefit from Subaru’s SI-Drive system. This system offers three driving modes which adjust throttle and powertrain responses and include: Intelligent (I), Sport (S), and Sport Sharp (S#) settings.
Every 2014 Subaru Forester benefits from standard all-wheel drive. The 2.5i trims feature a 2.5-liter, horizontally-opposed (boxer), four-cylinder engine that produces 170 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission comes standard on the 2.5i and Premium trims, while a CVT is also available. The fuel-economy boosting CVT comes standard on all other trims. Stepping up to the 2.0-liter, turbocharged, horizontally-opposed, four-cylinder engine brings markedly higher performance. This engine matches to the CVT transmission, produces 250 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, and can be manually shifted via steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. The new CVT matched to the turbocharged engine helps it deliver better EPA rated 23/28 mpg city/highway fuel economy. The 2.5-liter with manual transmission delivers EPA rated fuel economy of 22/29 mpg city/highway, and when matched to the CVT delivers a 24/27 mpg city/highway EPA rating. Judging from these fuel economy ratings and considering the performance increase, the marriage of the Forester’s turbocharged engine and CVT transmission may be one of the compact-crossover segment’s best combinations.
Key Competitors of the 2014 Subaru Forester
- Ford Escape
- Honda CR-V
- Mazda CX-5
- Toyota RAV4
- Hyundai Tucson