The 2013 Subaru Forester 2.5X Touring Crossover SUV gets the same fuel-efficient engine as the Base, Limited and Premium trims. A 2.5-liter aluminum-alloy four-cylinder engine mates with a four-speed automatic transmission to deliver 170 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. Although the vehicle does not offer a ton of power, it can tow a couple of snowmobiles, as towing capacity is 2,400 pounds. Zero to 60 mph is accomplished in a pokey 10.1 seconds, making it one of the slowest crossovers on the market. Of course, most people are not looking for speed when they look to the Forester; they want the practicality of a sport utility vehicle without breaking the bank. Not only is the MSRP budget-friendly, fuel-economy is great as it returns 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. This is an all-wheel drive vehicle, so it will always be prepared for changes in terrain or weather. Plus, its tall 8.7-inch ground clearance ensures that it won’t be stopped by a few rocks along the way. A tight turning circle, crisp steering and smooth ride all work together to make this vehicle a top pick.
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• Navigation - A voice-activated navigation system is available on this trim. It works through a 6.1-inch high-resolution screen to deliver maps, directions and more. It also integrates with SiriusXM NavTraffic, should you add on a subscription.
• Rear Vision Camera - Standard on the Touring is a rear vision camera that shows you a behind-the-vehicle picture on your screen when you shift into reverse.
• Audio - A seven-speaker audio system includes CD player, auxiliary jack, HD radio™, Bluetooth audio streaming, iTunes® tagging capabilities, CD player and USB port.
• SiriusXM - Enjoy more than 100 digital quality channels with SiriusXM satellite radio.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2013 Forester 2.5X Touring a “Good” rating when they performed crash tests on side, roof and front protection. The vehicle also scored about average when braking capabilities were tested, taking 122 feet to stop from 60 mph. Four-wheel antilock brakes and an advanced airbag system with rollover sensor helps to keep passengers safe. Other safety features include:
• Keyless entry system
• Traction control
• Whiplash protection system in front head restraints
• Reverse assist sensors
• Electronic brae force distribution
• Vehicle dynamics control
• Brake assist
• Tire pressure monitoring
• Rollover sensor
• Seatbelt pretensioners
• Rear door safety locks
• Child seat anchors
• Engine immobilizers
• Antitheft security system
The 2013 Forester 2.5X Touring is a vehicle you buy because you are blown away by its fantastic exterior styling. It is simple, but not horrible. It is a clean-looking and straightforward vehicle that wasn’t designed to be flashy, but the roof racks, fog lights and 17-inch five-spoke aluminum alloy wheels do help to spice things up a bit.
The first thing you notice about the passenger cabin is its simplicity. Some may even call it boring, controls are nicely placed and the leather upholstery helps to draw your eyes away from all the hard plastic found throughout. The Touring trim does get a few upgrades, including 10-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and an analog speedometer that features electroluminescent lighting. What the vehicle lacks in ambiance, it makes up for it in spice. Both rows have ample leg and head room and the driver is granted great visibility all the way around. Rear seat passengers may find the elevated seat height a little awkward though.
Accessing the full cargo capacity in the Forester 2.5X Touring is a breeze, thanks to the one touch folding rear seat. Behind the seat, you enjoy 33.5 cubic feet fulltime while 68.3 cubes are opened up when you fold the seat down.