Taking 10.1 seconds to accelerate zero to 60 mph certainly will not win you any races, but the thoughtful engine in the 2013 Subaru Forester 2.5X Limited Crossover SUV will save you a ton of money at the pump. The 2.5-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine produces 170 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque and returns 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. This standard all-wheel drive vehicle gets a very outdated four-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode. Surprisingly, despite the lack of power, it can tow about 2,400 pounds with no problem. One of the greatest things about the Forester 2.5X Limited is the comfortable ride. The four-wheel independent suspension absorbs bumps like a sponge, even on rough terrain. Also, considering it has an 8.7-inch ground clearance, you will want to take the road less traveled on this vehicle. As a bonus, its tight turning circle ensures that you will have no problem maneuvering in tight spaces.
• Audio - Standard on this trim is a six-speaker audio system, CD player, USB port, auxiliary jack, HD radio™, iTunes® tagging capabilities and Bluetooth audio streaming.
• SiriusXM - Add on a subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio to enjoy more than 100 digital quality, commercial-free channels of music, sports, broadcasting and news.
• Bluetooth - The three-spoke steering wheel features all your Bluetooth buttons, so you can send, end and receive calls with a tap of the finger.
• Rear Vision Camera - This optional feature allows you to see what is directly behind you when you put the vehicle is in reverse.
• Auto Dim Mirror - This accessory can be added on that makes driving at night more comfortable. It includes homelink and a compass.
The 2013 Forester 2.5X Limited definitely excels in safety. When braking was tested, it took 122 feet to stop from 60 mph, which is average. As far as crash test ratings are concerned, the vehicle was rated “Good” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in front, roof and side-impact protection. A few safety features worth mentioning include:
• Vehicle dynamics control
• Brake assist
• Electronic brakeforce distribution
• Reverse assist sensors
• Whiplash protection system in front head restraints
• Traction control
• Keyless entry system
• Antitheft security system
• Engine immobilizer
• Child seat anchors
• Rear door safety locks
• Seatbelt pretensioners
• Rollover sensor
• Tire pressure monitoring
Unfortunately, the showy hood scoop is not available on this trim, or the vehicle might actually border on charming. It is simple, but not utterly boring, as a few points of interest do help, including the body colored side mirrors, raised roof rails, panoramic moon roof and 17-inch five-spoke aluminum alloy wheels.
As long as you don’t expect too much from the passenger cabin then you shouldn’t be overly disappointed. On the positive side, it is definitely roomy. Passengers in both rows have all the leg and head room they need, and even the rear seat reclines for maximum comfort. Standard leather upholstery covers the seats, which seems to distract from the overuse of cheap plastic. There are also an abundance of storage compartments throughout, which anyone can appreciate. On the downside, the styling is boring. There are no exciting focal points and the rear seat sits up so high that passengers will feel as though they are looking down on those in the front seat. To top things off, wind noise can be quite bothersome.
The Forester 2.5X Limited offers plenty of cargo space; its squared back end makes it easy to load even bulky items. An impressive 68.3 cubic feet is behind the front seat, but even behind the rear seat you get 33.5 cubes for everyday use.