2013 Subaru Forester Review


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Avg. Price: $18,844
2.5X Convenience
2.5X Convenience PZEV
2.5X Limited
Avg. Price: $21,825
2.5X Premium
Avg. Price: $19,809
2.5X Touring
Avg. Price: $22,934
2.5XT Limited
2.5XT Premium
10 national listings
Avg. Price: $22,541
2.5XT Touring
Avg. Price: $24,441

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45 stars

Based on 1 review

Great Family Car by pilotstevek
 — This is a great family car with AWD capability. It handles well in the snow or on dry pavement. The engine is designed with color-coded items for people to self-maintain the car. The towing capacity i... Read More

2013 Subaru Forester Overview

Overall User Score

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Based on 1 review

2013 Subaru Forester

They say it's darkest before the dawn, and with the debut of Subaru's 2013 Forester, we begin to see some of that updating predawn of the next generation, with previously optional features becoming standard for the 2.5X models. But nothing changed in this final Forester of the third generation, unless you're counting the change you would get because you won't have to buy those options at retail. The last 4 iterations of this Forester since the 2009 shedding of its wagon skin have been good to Subaru and its fans, earning it a coveted place among the compact SUV competition for its impressive cargo capacity and cabin comfort. Although road manners, technology and efficiency remain points of concern for some, Subaru hopes to change that in the next generation's start for 2014.

That said, PZEV (Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle) standards are expected to come fully into play for the 2013 Forester, so you may notice some differences in performance in this new model—most especially in the turbocharged 2.5XT editions. The naturally aspirated 2.5X engine is rumored to already be largely PZEV-compliant, so it looks like only the XT will get the more expensive catalytic converters and tweaked ECM programming, but you should expect some discrepancies between the advertised performance and efficiency figures versus real-world experience no matter which level you get into for 2013.

That doesn't mean it should perform worse—to be sure, if you're going to spring for a catalytic converter with that much precious metal, you would expect improved performance beyond meeting the carbon emissions protocol. However, since no 2013 versions are available for testing just yet, nobody knows for sure whether or how the new setup will affect the X's present 21 mpg city/27 highway estimate, or the XT's 19/24. Subaru assures there will be no change, but plenty of drivers have found differently in the past—sometimes pleasantly, but sometimes for the worse, too.

Some of the X models were designated as PZEV for 2012, and while none of the drivers note any significant differences, there are a lot of drivers complaining about poor manufacturing consistency. In other words, Subaru was still working the kinks out for 2012, and several bad apples left the line with some pretty severe problems, ranging from a dead starter to a leak somewhere triggering the Check Engine dummy light, which may not even be separate problems. The 5-speed manual versions seem to work just fine, but the 4-speed automatic not only hampers fuel economy, but is also rife with problematic reviews. Don't expect that to improve much for 2013, since Subaru intends to replace that automatic with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) for 2014.

You can, however, safely expect the same but relatively new 2.5-liter boxer 4-cylinder to send power to all 4 wheels throughout 2013 and 2014, with the familiar 170-hp naturally aspirated version marked as the 2.5X and the 224-hp turbo denoted as the 2.5XT. Premium and Touring remain the only trims for the 2.5XT level, and these carry over into 2013 absolutely unchanged. The stereo and navigation systems from the XT are now standard in the base 2.5X, 2.5X Premium, 2.5X Limited and 2.5X Touring, and the Value Package is updated with the display-type audio system and other options previously available only to the upper tiers. Other than that, it's the same Subaru Forester you could get in 2012, but the last of its kind.


Your prototypical "Tom Girl" Patricia got her start digging into Ford engines before she aged into double digits. Gifted with a mechanical mind, her favorite pass-time in the summer is picking up a fixer-up'r at the local public auction and massaging its every ailment until it's primed for a new lover. From dirt bikes to land yachts, every partner offers something truly special in her love affair with the road - just don't tell her husband.

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Looking for a Used Forester in your area?
CarGurus has 24,679 nationwide Forester listings starting at $1,900.

Subaru Forester Questions


What Does It Take To List My Subaru Is For Sale ?

8 views with 1 answer (last answer 2 months ago)

What Would Be The Best Year And Make To Buy A Used Crv?

I will be moving to Colorado for the winter and need an automatic car that I can rely on in the snow. I have a Toyota Camry now and love it...but worried about the snow.

134 views with 2 answers (last answer 4 months ago)

Can Panel Lights On 2013 Forrester Made Any Brighter?

can hardly see panel lights. can lights be made brighter?

170 views with 1 answer (last answer 2 years ago)
Kris Martin

Is It Possible To Have A Remote Starter For A Car With A Manual Transmissio...

This may be an incredibly stupid question, but is it theoretically possible to have a remote starter for a car that has a manual transmission? Obviously I'd have to stop leaving my car in gear wh...

96 views with 1 answer (last answer 11 months ago)

Subaru Forester 2013 Electric Power Steering Failed Could Only Move The Ste...

Backing out of a car park power steer failed could only move the steering wheel by becoming a gorilla. Steering came right after a short time & then failed again at the next car park. Made it home but...

411 views with 4 answers (last answer about a year ago)