The Forester 2.5X Premier is a version of Subaru's highly successful Crossover SUV that first saw the light of day almost fifteen years ago. Initially launched in 1997, the original Forester was based on Subaru's rally winning Impreza models. Traditionally operating on an all-wheel drive (AWD) system, the Forester was developed to present drivers a crossover between a generously proportioned family sedan and a sport utility vehicle. In either setting, the Subaru Forester would provide its driver and passengers with an even and secure ride, combined with outstanding road handling abilities.
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The Series Two Forester was launched in 2002, with some accolades and largely positive reviews. With the Series Two Subaru came cosmetic changes, particularly an upgraded interior and some low level engine tweaks. While reviews for the Series Two were rather encouraging, there was a general feeling that the vehicle had become somewhat stale, and that a major upgrade would be required to allow the Forester to maintain its market share.
Subaru took their time to make these changes, nine years in total, and when they did launch their Series Three Forester 2.5X Premier Crossover SUV in late 2011, the changes were indeed formidable, and the reviews generally very favorable.
The Forester 2.5X is available in six different trims, including 2.5X, 2.5X Premium, 2.5X Limited, 2.5XT Premium, 2.5X Touring and 2.5XT Touring. All trims are powered by one of two engines variations of the same engine. First, the 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine delivers 170 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. XT trims receive the same engine, only it is tweaked to produce 224 horsepower and 256 pound-feet of torque, which is a considerable difference. Depending on the model, the Forester 2.5X can accelerate zero to 60 mph in anywhere from 6.8 to 10.1 seconds.
Like most other Subaru vehicles, the Forester 2.5X excels in safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated it "Good" in frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength crash tests. Antilock brakes, thoughtfully placed airbags, child seat anchors, engine immobilizer, tire pressure monitoring, emergency braking assist and electronic brakeforce distribution play their roles in safety.
It is hard to find fault with the Subaru Forester 2.5X, yet it is often overshadowed. Its boxy shape allows you to haul awkward cargo and the handling and steering are responsive and crisp. One complaint that does seem to be mentioned a lot is regarding wind noise. The cabin does get noisier than others in its class.