You'll Only Find 2 Drawbacks in the 2021 Subaru Forester

Andrew Koole
· 4 min read
The 2021
Forester’s report card would make any parent proud. Car critics from all the major magazines gave this year’s model the thumbs-up.
Consumer Reports
(CR) gave it the best score of any compact SUV of the year, giving it a score of 89—a full six points better than its next competitor, the Mazda CX-5. Engine noise was the only drawback listed.
Other publications also knocked the Forester’s lackluster towing capacity but otherwise agreed that this year’s model is a great buy for anyone looking for something small with decent off-road capability.
The 2021 Subaru Forester has a lot going for it.

Is the 2021 Subaru Forester a good car?

There’s a reason the Subaru Forester made every major car magazine’s list of the top-10 compact SUVs of 2021. From its spacious interior to its standard all-wheel drive and high-tech safety features, the Forester seems to check all the boxes people look for in a crossover.
The one area that it doesn’t quite measure up to its competitors is its power. Subaru only offers one engine for all five trim levels: a 2.5-liter, 182-horsepower, flat-four-cylinder engine that can only tow 1,500 pounds. According to Car and Driver, rivals like the Mazda CX-5 and the Kia Sportage can pull up to 2,000 lbs.
But most people looking for towing capacity are shopping within different segments than the compact crossover category that the Subaru Forester belongs to. Where the Forester excels is where this type of vehicle should excel.
Excellent ground clearance and standard AWD give it the best off-road capability in its class, and a combined estimated fuel economy of 29 miles to the gallon will satisfy any driver trying to save at the pump.
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How other critics compared the 2021 Subaru Forester to its competitors

MORE: Subaru Knows How To Make SUVs That Customers Love
CR might’ve ranked the 2021 Subaru Forester as the #1 compact SUV of the year, but other publications weren’t quite as nice.
Car and Driver
gave it eighth place,
Kelley Blue Book
(KBB) gave it fifth, it landed at fourth in
’ list, and
put it in third. In all of these lists, the Mazda CX-5 and the Honda CR-V ranked better than the Forester.
The Honda CR-V took home two first-place ribbons this year. Critics praised the CR-V for its optional hybrid powertrain, spacious cabin, and excellent fuel economy. Even the gas engine gets an impressive average of 32 mpg. With the hybrid, that moves way up to 38 miles to the gallon.
The Mazda CX-5 got similar scores, taking third place with KBB and Edmunds, second with Motortrend, and first with Car and Driver. Its eye-catching exterior, luxurious driving experience, and impressive list of standard features have experts recommending it across the board.

Insuring your compact SUV

MORE: This Car Is the Most Affordable Compact SUV of 2021
Buying a crossover like a Subaru Forester shouldn’t cost you too much on car insurance. Most people pay about $1,200 a year for a compact SUV—about $400 cheaper than the national average.
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