2012 Subaru Forester

MSRP $20,595

Ranked #16 in Suv

6.7

Overall Rating

2012 Subaru Forester Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: August 3, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


Subaru has managed to secure a significant position in the market and Forester has played a big role in it. This beloved family crossover has six trim levels available for the 2012 year model. The starting price of the Subaru Forester is $20,595 which can go up to $29,895 and comes with two different engines and transmissions given on the 2012 Subaru Forester. 

2012 Subaru Forester Latest Updates

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Pros

Pleasant ride

Powerful engine option

Cons

Low-quality interior material

Dull acceleration

What's New?

Standard Height-adjustable front row passenger seat


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$20595

bodystyle

dr Crossover

warranty

roadside assistance

No


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$20,595 onwards

Colors and Styles

2012 Subaru Forester in Dark Gray Metallic color
Dark Gray Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Feature

6.0

Engine and Performance

7.0

Fuel Economy

6.0

Interior

8.0

Exterior

7.0

Safety

6.0

Competition

7.0

6.7

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

6.7

Overall Rating


With the sophisticated cabin, clean exterior design, and class-leading safety ratings, the Subaru Forester is stealing the hearts of the masses. With a 2.5-liter flat-4 gas engine Forester is producing a healthy 170 hp. The main competitors of the Subaru Forester are the exceptional Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, and Nissan Rogue.


7.0/10
Engine and Performance

6.0/10
Fuel Economy

8.0/10
Interior

7.0/10
Exterior

6.0/10
Safety


2012 Subaru Forester Features

There are six trim levels offered on the 2012 Subaru Forester. The trim range starts with the 2.5X a.k.a. Base trim. It also has basic features which you will expect from an entry-level trim. From 16-inch steel wheel and cloth upholstery to 4-speaker audio system to 60/40-split flat-folding rear seats. The 2.5X Premium trim adds bigger wheels, Bluetooth, and a panoramic moonroof.

The Limited trim gets an extra 2-speaker in the audio system while heated seats are standard on this trim level. Touring has a 7-speaker sound system and comes with a dual-zone climate control system. The XT trim does not differ from other trim except that they have a more powerful engine. The XT Premium has more sporty features as compared to the Premium trim whereas the XT Touring has a combination of features given on the Premium and Touring trim.

Trim

2.5X 

2.5X Premium

2.5X Limited

2.5X Touring

2.5XT Premium

2.5XT Touring.

MSRP

$20,595

$23,295

$26,595

$27,895

$27,095

$29,895

Key Features

2.5-liter flat-4 engine

Adds or replaces in ‘2.5X’ 

Adds or replaces in ‘2.5X Premium’ 

Adds or replaces in ‘2.5X Limited’ 

Adds or replaces in ‘2.5X Premium’ 

Adds or replaces in ‘2.5X Premium and Touring’ 

 

16-inch steel wheels

17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels

Fog lights

HID low-beam headlights

2.5-liter turbo flat-4

Aluminum-alloy pedal covers

 

Cloth upholstery

Raised roof rails

Leather-trimmed upholstery

Dual-zone automatic climate control system

rear roof spoiler

 

 

4-speaker single-CD audio system

Bluetooth

Automatic climate control system

7-speaker single-CD audio system

hood scoop

 

 

Manual air conditioning

10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat

Heated front seats

HD radio

   

 

Keyless entry system

Panoramic moonroof

 

One-touch folding rear seatbacks

   
 

Rollover sensor

Rearview camera

 

Leather-wrapped steering wheel

   
 

Antitheft security system

         

The TomTom navigation suite is given optional on the Premium trim and adds a 4.3-inch touchscreen with navigation, rearview camera, and TomTom traffic feature. The all-weather package which is optional on the Premium and standard on all trim except the base and XT Premium trim adds the Windshield wiper de-icer, heated side mirrors, and heated front seats.

We Recommend

We would recommend you select the 2.5X Premium trim. The reason is simple, it adds all the features of the base trim and it has an optional weather package which you can select as per your choice. Therefore, if you want to go economy class trim and also want to enjoy a great deal of comfort the 2.5X Premium is your best choice.

2012 Subaru Forester Engine and Performance

7.0/10

Two engines can be found under the hood of the 2012 Subaru forester. All the trim levels from base to Touring trim has a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated gas flat-4 engine which puts out 170 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque. It is mated to a standard 6-speed manual transmission which can be replaced with optional 4-speed automatic transmission. The power in the Forester is directed towards all the wheels just like any other Subaru child.

With the base engine, the 2012 Forester can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 9.4 seconds. 2.5XT Premium and Touring trims come with a 2.5-liter turbocharged flat-4 engine which generates 224 hp and 226 lb-ft of torque. With these figures, Foresters 0-60 mph time gets reduced by 3.1 seconds. Unlike 2.5X Premium trim, the 2.5XT Premium trim has a standard 4-speed automatic transmission.

Model

2012 Subaru Forester 2.5X

2012 Nissan Rogue S

2012 Honda CR-VLX

2012 Hyundai Tucson GLS

MSRP

$21,795

$23,370

$23,745

$23,945

Engine

2.5-liter flat-4

2.5-liter inline-4

2.4-liter inline-4

2.4-liter inline-4

Drivetrain

AWD

AWD

AWD

AWD

Transmission

4-speed automatic

CVT

5-speed automatic

6-speed automatic

Power

170 hp @ 5800 rpm

170 hp @ 6000 rpm

185 hp @ 7000 rpm

176 hp @ 6000 rpm

Torque

174 ft-lbs. @ 4100 rpm

175 ft-lbs. @ 4400 rpm

163 ft-lbs. @ 4400 rpm

168 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm

0-60 MPH (seconds)

9.4

8.7

9.2

8.8

Quarter mile (mph)

17.2

16.5

17.1

16.9

Top speed (mph)

125

120

112

128

The fastest crossover in the competition is the opponent from Nissan which has nearly the same engine output but finishes the 0-60 mph 0.7 seconds earlier as compared to the forester. The Hyundai Tucson is next, which does the 0-60 mph 0.1 seconds later than the Nissan Rogue. Lastly, the Honda CR-V which has the lowest torque in the bunch finishes the 0-60 mph in 9.2 seconds. 

2012 Subaru Forester Fuel Economy

6.0/10

According to the EPA, 2012 Forester with the base engine provides a fuel economy of 21 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 23 mpg combined. These figures drop by 2/3/2 mpg in the city/highway/combined respectively. The Forester might not be the most fuel-efficient car in the segment but it has the biggest fuel tank of all.

Model

2012 Subaru Forester 2.5X

2012 Nissan Rogue S

2012 Honda CR-VLX

2012 Hyundai Tucson GLS

MPG (city)

21

22

22

20

MPG (Highway)

27

26

30

27

MPG (Combined)

23

24

25

23

Fuel Capacity

16.9

15.9

15.3

15.3

Range (City/highway)

355/456

350/413

337/459

306/413

The Honda CR-V snatches the least thirsty SUV title from the Nissan Rogue as it returns a fuel economy of 22/30/25 mpg in the city/highway/combined respectively. Meanwhile, Rogue has 4 mpg and 1 mpg less in the city and combined as compared to the Honda CR-V. Lastly, Hyundai Tucson is crying in the corner as the least fuel-efficient car in the city.

2012 Subaru Forester Interior

8.0/10

The interior of the 2012 Forester cabin is opulent and well organized. However, the quality of the material is decent. Seats are covered in standard cloth upholstery. The steering wheel and gear shifter knob have leather wrapping on higher trims. Headroom and legroom are generous which allow three adults to sit comfortably in the rear row. The steering wheel has 3-spokes and a silver trim can be seen across the dashboard.

Front seats have 6-way manual adjustability but the driver seat can have 10-way power adjustment with lumbar support. Rear seats can fold in a 40/60 pattern for convenience. Front heated seats are optional on the Premium trim but standard for other trims beyond it. Some other standard features are manual air conditioning which can be replaced with dual-zone automatic climate control on higher trims, manual tilt-telescopic steering column, eight-cup holders, and driver-side auto up and down power window.

Model

2012 Subaru Forester 2.5X

2012 Nissan Rogue S

2012 Honda CR-VLX

2012 Hyundai Tucson GLS

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

41.6/56.1/43.1

40.4/55.9/42.5

39.9/58.6/41.3

39.4/57.1/41.2

Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

40.4/55.6/38.0

38.3/53.6/35.3

38.6/56.4/38.3

39.1/55.1/38.7

Cargo Capacity (cu-ft)

33.5

28.9

37.2

25.7

The Forester has the biggest front-row legroom while the Tucson has the biggest second-row legroom. The Rogue has the most congested second row whereas the CR-V offers the most spacious second-row shoulder room. In terms of cargo capacity, the CR-V has the lead but the Tucson offers the lowest cargo capacity of all. The Forester is following the lead of CR-V and provides 33.5 cu-ft of cargo capacity. Lastly, the Nissan Rogue has a cargo capacity of 28.9 cu-ft. Major interior features include:

  • Cloth upholstery
  • Heated seats
  • Tilt steering column (base trim)
  • Tilt and telescopic steering column
  • Removable cargo-area tray
  • One-touch folding rear seatbacks
  • Leather-trimmed upholstery

How intuitive is the 2012 Subaru Forester’s infotainment unit?

The standard features given on the base Forester are just a 4-speaker single-CD audio system and aux jack. The Sirius and XM satellite radios are given as available dealer-installed accessories. As you move up in the trim range, you get a 6-speaker or 7-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, USB port, and HD radio. The 4.3-inch touchscreen is optional on the Premium trim while the 6.1-inch touchscreen and voice control are optional on the Limited and Touring trims. Major infotainment features include:

  • 4-speaker audio system
  • CD player
  • Bluetooth
  • 4.3-inch touchscreen (optional)
  • 6.1-inch touchscreen (optional)

2012 Subaru Forester Exterior

7.0/10

The exterior design language is not very ecstatic in our opinion but the simple and elegant design of the Forester is what makes it special. At the front, high-intensity discharge headlights are given on Touring trim. Hood beauty curves down at the front and meets the bold front grille. On the side profile, there is no flat-black on the fender treatment. 

At the top, black finish raised roof rails are optional on the base trim which can be replaced with the silver finish on high trims. The panoramic moonroof is given standard in Premium trim and beyond.16-inch steel wheels are standard for the 2012 Subaru Forester but they can be upgraded to 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheel on the base and 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels on high trims.

Model

2012 Subaru Forester 2.5X

2012 Nissan Rogue S

2012 Honda CR-VLX

2012 Hyundai Tucson GLS

Curb Weight (lbs)

3,300

3,428

3,426

3,366

Length (in.)

179.5

183.5

178.3

173.2

Width (in.)

70.1

70.9

71.6

71.7

Height (in.)

65.9

65.3

65.1

66.3

Ground Clearance (in.)

8.7

8.3

6.7

6.7

Wheelbase (in.)

103.0

105.9

103.1

103.9

As far as length is considered, Nissan has the lead. As for other dimensions, there is no marginal difference among Subaru Forester and fellow rivals. However, if we look at the ground clearance, Hyundai and Honda have the least to offer. That said, Nissan has the biggest wheelbase in the competition. Major exterior features are:

  • 16-inch steel wheels
  • HID headlights
  • Black-finish Raised roof rails
  • Fog lights (dealer-installed)
  • Panoramic moonroof
  • Rear spoiler
  • Functional hood scoop

2012 Subaru Forester Safety

6.0/10

The Subaru Forester received different ratings from NHTSA and IIHS in 2012. On one hand, NHTSA has given an overall 4-star safety rating but on the other hand, IIHS has picked 2012 Forester as ‘top safety pick’ while giving it all ‘Good’ ratings in the crashworthiness tests. In terms of safety features, Forester comes with a number of active and safety features which include cruise control, vehicle dynamics control, brake assist, rollover sensor, rearview camera, electronic brake-force distribution, and ABS. Major safety features are:

  • Brake assist
  • Cruise control
  • Rearview camera (optional)
  • Rollover sensor
  • Vehicle dynamics control

2012 Subaru Forester Final Verdict

If performance is taken into consideration then there are rivals such as Honda CR-V which are faster than the Subaru Forester. Again, as for the fuel economy, the Forester is not the best in class. However, it does have a good amount of passenger volume and the trunk is big. Hence, Forester has its own perks and loses against its rivals. Therefore, you can either go with a Subaru Forester which has good driving capabilities or pick someone like a Honda CR-V or Hyundai Tucson from the opponents.