2018 Subaru Forester

MSRP $22,795 - $36,090

Ranked #11 in Suv

7.5

Overall Rating

2018 Subaru Forester Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: August 31, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The 2018 Subaru Forester, stands for practicality, and nothing else. Value for money, surely! Up for a major redesign next year, the Forester this year makes do with a certain amount of feature updates and also an uninspired Black Edition. Starting at a base price of $23,710 for the Forester 2.5i, the new optional Black Edition package will set you back by around $1150 and is only available with the 2.5i Premium variant.

In its fourth generation, the best-selling Forester comes with two engine choices- the standard 170 hp 2.5L flat-4 engine and the rather more powerful and optional 250 hp 2.0L turbo-4 engine. Backed by a decent ride comfort, the Forester also has a subtle and practical interior setup. The feature list is quite appealing, however, both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are set aside for 2018 still.

2018 Subaru Forester Latest Updates

  • Sep' 4, 2021 : 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness Revealed Read More »
See detailed review »

Pros

Potent engine setups

Best-in-class Subaru AWD system

Practical interior setup

Forester is quite frugal

Cons

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is still missing

Lags in terms of driving dynamics

What's New?

New Black Edition Package

EyeSight driver-assist package get reverse auto braking and high-beam assist

Torque Vectoring included in Forester 2.0XT Touring trim


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$22795

bodystyle

4dr Crossover

drivetrain

all wheel drive

engine type

displacement

152 cu.in.

horsepower

170 hp @ 5800 rpm

torque

174 lb.-ft. @ 4000 rpm

transmission

6-speed manual

chassis

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear double wishbone suspension w/anti-roll bar

dimensions

wheelbase

103.9 in.

length

181.5 in.

width

70.7 in.

height

66.4 in.

curb weight

3322 lbs.

ground clearance

8.7 in.

capacity

passenger volume

108.3 cu ft.

cargo volume

74.7 cu ft.

towing capacity

2000 lbs.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

22/24/28 mpg

highway range

445.2 mi. mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./ unlimited

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

2.5i$22,795 onwards

2.5i Premium$25,695 onwards

2.5i Limited$29,395 onwards

2.0XT Premium$29,495 onwards

2.5i Touring$33,090 onwards

2.0XT Touring$36,090 onwards

Colors and Styles

2018 Subaru Forester in Crystal Black Silica color
Crystal Black Silica

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

Features

7.5

Engine and Performance

7.7

Fuel Economy

7.0

Interior

7.0

Exterior

6.5

Safety

9.0

7.5

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.5

Overall Rating


The 2018 Forester also gets a couple of updated safety tech features installed, as the EyeSight driver-assist package now includes reverse auto braking and also high-beam assist. Nimble handling is what the Forester is known for, and to uplift that, the 2018 iteration also gets the Torque-vectoring system as standard. The base 2.5L boxer-4 delivers a balance of adequate power and superb fuel economy while the 2.0 L turbocharged boxer-4 can give you that kick in the back. However, competitors, such as the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, and the Toyota RAV4 are becoming increasingly more efficient. But if you need genuine off-road capability with adequate fuel economy and everyday usability on a budget, nothing comes close.


7.5/10
Features

7.7/10
Engine and Performance

7.0/10
Fuel Economy

7.0/10
Interior

6.5/10
Exterior

9.0/10
Safety


2018 Subaru Forester Features

7.5/10

The 2018 Subaru Forester comes in over 6 trims, namely 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited, 2.5i Touring, 2.0XT Premium, and 2.0XT Touring, with prices starting from an MSRP of $23,710 for the base 2.5i trim, whereas the top-end 2.0XT Touring goes for $37,005. The 2.5i trims get a 2.5L Boxer-4 engine, whereas the 2.0XT trims get a 2.0L turbo-four engine. Both CVT and a 6-speed manual are offered this time around. The feature list offered is certainly one of the best-in-class, and as you go up the trim table, the premium factor increases as well.

Trims 2.5i 2.5i Premium 2.5i Limited 2.5i Touring 2.0XT Premium 2.0XT Touring
MSRP $23,710 $26,610 $30,310 $34,005 $30,410 $37,005
Key Features Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive Includes 2.5i key features and adds: Includes 2.5i Premium key features and adds: Includes 2.5i Limited key features and adds: Includes 2.5i Premium key features and adds: Includes 2.5i Touring key features and adds:
  SUBARU STARLINK Multimedia Available EyeSight Driver Assist Technology Leather-trimmed upholstery 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels Turbocharged 250-hp SUBARU BOXER engine Leather-trimmed upholstery
  Vehicle Dynamics Control Power-tilt/sliding panoramic moonroof All-Weather Package w/ heated front seats Dual-zone automatic climate control 18-inch alloy wheels Heated steering wheel
  Bluetooth with USB and iPod control capability 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels Blind-Spot Detection/Rear Cross-Traffic Alert Heated steering wheel All-Weather Package Power driver’s seat w/ memory
  Available Power Rear Gate SUBARU STARLINK Safety and Security Leather-wrapped steering wheel 8-way power driver’s seat A leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter handle One-touch folding rear seatback

We Recommend

While the base 2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i is sufficient to meet your daily needs, the 2.5i Touring, which sets you back by an MSRP of $34,005, should be the trim you go for. The reason being, apart from all the bells and whistles the Forester Touring trim gets, it also has the safety Eyesight tech as standard now. Apart from that, focusing more on the comfort part, rather than the aesthetic part of the crossover, the 2.5i Touring is arguably the most practical choice in this lineup.

2018 Subaru Forester Engine and Performance

7.7/10

Subaru’s 2018 Forester is the rare crossover SUV that’s equally adept on-road and off-road – Kelley Blue Book

The 2018 Subaru Forester comes with two engine options. The standard one is a 2.5L Flat-4 engine producing about 170 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque, whereas it also gets an optional turbocharged 2.0L turbocharged Flat-4 engine, good for 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The 2.5L focuses more on efficiency and affordability while the 2.0L is all about performance.

The Forester handles surprisingly well for a tall SUV with the top end 2.0XT Touring getting Torque Vectoring too. The base and 2.5i Premium trims can be had with a standard 6-speed manual setup, or an optional CVT too. While the rest of the trims are offered with a standard CVT setup. Despite having the manual setup, the Forester still lags that fun-to-drive character.

Models 2018 Subaru Forester 2018 Ford Escape 2018 Honda CR-V 2018 Toyota RAV4
MSRP $23,710 $23,850 $24,150 $ 24,510
Engine 2.5L Boxer 4 Gas engine 2.5L Inline 4 Gas engine 2.4L Inline 4 Gas engine 2.5L 4-cylinder Gas engine
Transmission 6-speed manual 6-speed Automatic CVT 6-speed automatic
Power 170 hp @ 5800 RPM 168 hp @ 6000 RPM 184 hp @ 6400 RPM 176 hp @ 6000 RPM
Torque 174 lb-ft @ 4000 RPM 170 lb-ft @ 4500 RPM 180 lb-ft @ 3900 RPM 172 lb-ft @ 4100 RPM

The CVT in the Forester does its duties well enough, and the lag in power witnessed is actually quite negligible. Coming over to the competition, the Honda CR-V, is yet again the most powerful SUV out here, even with a smaller capacity engine. 

2018 Subaru Forester Acceleration

The 2018 Subaru Forester does the 0-60 MPH run in just about 8.7 seconds. This is with the base standard 2.5L Boxer engine. The more potent 250 hp turbocharged 2.0L version will surely bring that time down to less than 8.5 seconds. The quarter-mile with the same base engine is covered up in just 16.9 seconds. This is pretty respectable for a family-centric practical SUV.

Models 2018 Subaru Forester 2018 Ford Escape 2018 Honda CR-V 2018 Toyota RAV4
0-60 MPH 8.7 sec 9.1 sec 8.6 sec 8.3  sec
Quarter mile 16.9 sec 16.8 sec 16.7 sec 17.0 sec

Subaru believes, that all compromises in the performance criteria only aids in for the best results on the MPG front, and rightly so, even if the Forester is the slowest accelerating car in the segment, it more than makes up for it in the fuel economy sector. The 6-speed manual transmission is not of much help here too.

2018 Subaru Forester Ride and Handling

The 2018 Subaru Forester is surely on the practical side of the handling department, rather than on the sporty side. Nevertheless, having said that, the Forester does have a certain agile and nimble handling characteristic to it. Taking on corners is not that cumbersome, as the body roll is minimal. The steering response is also the best-in-class. Add to it the torque-vectoring system now available in the higher-end trims, and sharp turns are no more a difficult task. The famed Subaru AWD system, also allows the Forester to take on any terrain with ease. It certainly strikes a nice balance between ride comfort and stability.

2018 Subaru Forester Braking

The 2018 Subaru Forester is equipped with 11.6-inch brake rotors up front and 10/8-inch rotors in the back. All of this partnered with plenty of braking tech brings the Forester to a complete stop from 60-0 MPH in just about 122 ft. The brakes do feel confident and have enough bite in them for emergency stops.

Model 2018 Subaru Forester 2018 Ford Escape 2018 Honda CR-V 2018 Toyota RAV4
Brake pads-front(in) 11.6 12.8 11.1 10.8
Brake pads Rear(in) 10.8 12 10.2 11.2
Curb weight(lbs) 3322 3552 3307 3455
60-0 MPH (ft.) 122 112 117 122

The competition on the other hand, in this case, with the Ford Escape, has the largest brake rotors in the segment, and also is the heaviest crossover of the lot. Thus it comes to a stop quite easily and earlier than the other rivals.

2018 Subaru Forester Fuel Economy

7.0/10

The 2018 Subaru Forester is rated at 22 MPG in the city and 28 miles to the gallon out on the highway. This is with the 2.5L Flat-4 engine along with the 6-speed manual setup. Opt for the CVT, and the Forester delivers 26 MPG in the city and 32 miles to the gallon out on the highway. Now naturally so, the 2.0L turbocharged engine unit will deliver even lower fuel economy figures. It is rated at 23 and 27 MPG in the city and highway respectively.

Model 2018 Subaru Forester 2018 Ford Escape 2018 Honda CR-V 2018 Toyota RAV4
MPG(City) 22 21 26 23
MPG(Highway) 28 29 32 30
MPG(Combined) 24 24 28 26
Fuel Capacity 15.9 gallons 15.7 gallons 14.0 gallons 15.9 gallons

Combine that with the segment-best 15.9-gallon fuel tank, and the Forester can stretch up to 445 miles between fuel stops. The Honda CR-V might be the best in the business in this fuel efficiency matter, but it is let down by its small 14-gallon fuel tank. All-in-all, we decipher that, the Forester compromises outright power figures for fuel-efficiency.

2018 Subaru Forester Interior

7.0/10

The doors open wide, there’s good rear-seat legroom, and there’s a ton of cargo space: over 30 cubic feet behind the rear seats, and around 70 cubic feet with the seats folded -Kelley Blue Book

2018 Subaru Forester Seating and Comfort

Subaru offers a bland although practical cabin layout. Capable of seating in 5 average-sized adults with ease, the comfort delivered by the Forester is right up there with some of the premium segment crossovers. The cabin is mostly unchanged from last year. The bolstered seats offer good support and keep you from getting tired on long journeys. The heating and ventilated seating function is reserved for the top trims.

The rear seats come with 10-way power-adjustability, while the front seats come with a more subtle 6-way setup. The Subaru has finally addressed the long-standing issue of irritating noise filtering in the cabin. There are plenty of soft-touch materials here and there, although the dashboard layout as a whole seems bland. Moreover, the new Black Edition package also brings in black cloth and faux-leather interior trimmings to the fray.

Model 2018 Subaru Forester 2018 Ford Escape 2018 Honda CR-V 2018 Toyota RAV4
Passenger capacity 5 5 5 5
Front (Head/Hip/Shoulder/Leg)(In.) 41.4/53.9/57/43 39.9/54.8/56/43.1 40.1/55.1/57.9/41.3 39.8/54.3/57.3/42.6
Second (Head/Hip/Shoulder/Leg)(In.) 39.8/53/56.5/38 39/52.4/55.3/36.8 39.2/49.5/55.6/40.6 38.9/48.9/55.4/37.2

Some of the interior features included with the 2018 Subaru Forester are-

  • 60/40-split folding rear seatback
  • Driver-information display
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Reclining rear seats
  • Adjustable-height power liftgate

2018 Subaru Forester Cargo Volume

The 2018 Subaru Forester can offer up to 34.4 cu. ft of cargo storage with the rear seats up. Fold them down in a 60/ 40 manner, and the space increases up to 74.7 cu. ft. The boxy silhouette, helps fellow passengers store more in the trunk. Add to that the automated rear liftgate, and loading and unloading of items are even more easier.

Model 2018 Subaru Forester 2018 Ford Escape 2018 Honda CR-V 2018 Toyota RAV4
Behind 2nd row (ft. cube) 34.4 34.0 39.2 38.4
With 2nd row folded (ft. cube) 74.7 67.8 76.0 78.4

The interior storage spaces are also plenty, with enough cubby holes to store your luggage for that long weekend getaway. Utilitarianism nature is why the Honda CR-V stands out to be the best crossover in the segment. It's 39.2 cu. ft of cargo storage is by far the best in the segment. 

2018 Subaru Forester Infotainment System

Subaru Forester comes with various latest infotainment tech features. Standard amongst those is a 6.2-inch touchscreen system, which is available in the base 2.5i models. The higher top-end trims get treated with the intuitive 7-inch touchscreen system. It is quite easy to use, and Navigation is included as well. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are missing this time too. For audiophiles out there, the base trims get a 4-speaker sound system, whereas the top trims get a 6-speaker Harmon & Kardon audio unit.

Some of the infotainment features on offer are-

  • Bluetooth audio streaming
  • A 3.5 mm auxiliary jack
  • 6-Speaker Harman Kardon Premium audio system
  • 7-Inch touchscreen infotainment with navigation
  • Satellite Radio

2018 Subaru Forester Exterior

6.5/10

As utility vehicles get sleeker, swoopier, and more stylized, the Subaru Forester’s restrained, handsome design is an old-school throwback - thearconnection

Slotted below the Outback, the 2018 Forester follows the same exterior silhouette as that of the previous iterations. It still has that wagon-like silhouette dominating it throughout, and which is in need of an urgent update. The base trims get a 17-inch wheel setup, while the higher trims get treated with an 18-inch setup. the boxy structure has a subtle horizontal grille and bulged headlights forming the ordinary front end.

Further changes to the tune of a Black Edition also adorns the 2018 Forester. The optional package kit comes with 18-inch black-painted wheels, a black exterior layout, and a gloss-black infused dashboard layout. The blacked-out Forester will set you back by $28,260. The dimensions have remained unchanged this year too. One of the lightest crossovers of the lot, it is decently quick and can take on corners more spiritedly without body roll. The old-school crossover also has the biggest ground clearance of all and hence can be taken for mild off-roading too.

Model 2018 Subaru Forester 2018 Ford Escape 2018 Honda CR-V 2018 Toyota RAV4
Curb Weight(lbs) 3322 3552 3307 3455
Length(in) 181.5 178.1 180.6 183.5
Width(in) 70.7 72.4 73.0 72.6
Height(in) 66.4 66.3 66.1 67.1
Ground clearance(in) 8.7 7.8 7.8 6.1
Wheelbase(in) 103.9 105.9 104.7 104.7
Track width(in) F/R 60.9/61.1 61.5/61.6 63.0/63.7 61.4/61.4

Some of the exterior features on offer are-

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Roof rails
  • Adaptive LED headlights
  • LED tail lamps
  • Hands-free rear liftgate

2018 Subaru Forester Safety

9.0/10

The Subaru brand has not often been synonymous with "safety", but things are about to change now. So much so that, the 2018 Forester gets a full 5 on 5-star rating from the NHTSA, whereas the IIHS gives it a "Top Safety Pick" honor. Moving onto the features at hand, the Forester trims as such get the EyeSight driver assistance technology, which is standard in some and optional in others. The package brings in reverse auto-braking and high-beam assist as standard now, apart from the few already available features.

The Subaru EyeSight include:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Pre-collision Braking
  • Lane Departure and Sway Warning
  • Lane Keep Assist

Some of the other safety features on offer are-

  • Airbag Occupancy Sensor
  • Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Side Impact Beams
  • ABS And Driveline Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • Tire pressure warning system

2018 Subaru Forester Competition

2018 Subaru Forester vs 2018 Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V is often dubbed as the best-selling crossover there is, and for a good reason too. Practicality and utilitarianism take precedence in this matter. Best in a lot of sectors, the Subaru Forester finds it quite hard to match up to the CR-V.

The fastest among the lot, the CR-V also has a comfortable cabin to indulge the passengers. In terms of fuel economy too, the Forester turns out to be the best. While the Forester can go off-road, the CR-V is more of a city-centric crossover. 

2018 Subaru Forester vs 2018 Ford Escape

The Ford Escape is definitely a good-looking SUV. But that's about it on the positive side for the Escape. Slowest amongst the lot, the Escape fails to derive good power output from its decent engine unit. The feature list in Escape is better than in the Forester.

Subaru prioritizes fuss-free usability over entertainment, and hence it does not get both Android Auto and Apple Carplay while the Ford offering does. Our choice of the two would still be the 2018 Forester.

2018 Subaru Forester Final Verdict

The Subaru Forester is a competent practical and utilitarian package, which is also an impressive off-roader. For a starting price tag of $23,710, the Forester ticks off a majority of boxes that one would look for in a family crossover. With capable handling dynamics, the Forester also makes up for the lack of power figures in the base engine with an even more potent setup. On the inside, it may not be as comfortable as the Honda CR-V, or as modern as the Mazda CX-5, but it can surely hold out its own, with a respectable feature list. Although having said all of this, it would be better to wait off for the 2019 Forester, as it, in turn, brings about a whole new revamped silhouette to the table.


2018 Subaru Forester FAQs

Is the 2018 Subaru Forester reliable?

The 2018 Subaru forester does decently well in terms of reliability ratings. It scored an average 77 on 100 in J.D. Power's reliability report, which puts it in the bottom half of the crossover segment. It loses out on the score, as the previous iterations have had complaints regarding a few issues. But that has been all resolved as of now.

Does the 2018 Subaru Forester come with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay?

The 2018 Subaru Forester does have a pretty competent infotainment system. Although it still does not come with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

How much can the 2018 Subaru Forester tow?

Subaru Forester comes with a potent engine setup and an effective AWD system, which allows it to have a total towing capacity of 1500 lbs, which is in line with the rest of the lineup, apart from the Ford Escape.

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