The Subaru Forester is designed with the outdoor enthusiast in mind. It boasts a standard all-wheel drivetrain, exceptional ground clearance, a practical yet refined interior, and a standard suite of active safety features. The 2021 edition makes LED headlights and automatic high beams standard across the board, and the Limited trim now comes with a seven-speed manual mode for its continuously variable transmission (CVT). A new rear center-console storage tray has also been added to all trims except for the base.


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Powertrain and Fuel Economy


The 2021 Subaru Forester is offered in base, Premium, Sport, Limited, and Touring trim levels. All are driven by the same 2.5-liter flat-four-cylinder engine that produces 182 hp and 176 lb.-ft. of torque. As mentioned, all Foresters have a CVT and an all-wheel drivetrain. Based on EPA estimates, the fuel economy for all trims is 26 mpg around town and 33 mpg on the highway.


Standard Options and Features


The base comes with 17-inch wheels, LED steering-responsive headlights, a 60/40-split fold-flat rear seat, automatic climate control, and a rearview camera. Roof rails are optional. The Premium gets the roof rails along with fog lights, a roof spoiler, a panoramic moonroof, a windshield wiper de-icer, keyless entry with push-button ignition, heated power-adjustable front seats, a reclining rear seatback, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and a fold-down rear armrest with cupholders. A power rear liftgate and a removable cargo tray are available.


The Sport trim yields 18-inch wheels, LED fog lights, side mirrors with built-in turn signals, sport cloth upholstery with orange contrast stitching, and paddle shifters for a more hands-on driving experience. The removable tray in the cargo area is also included. The Limited removes the LED fog lights, transmission paddle shifters, and sport cloth upholstery and adds a leather-trimmed interior, the power rear liftgate, and dual-zone automatic climate control, plus it's eligible for a heated steering wheel. The Touring is appropriately loaded with the LED fog lights, heated steering wheel, and paddle shifters as well as heated rear outboard seats, a one-touch folding rear seatback, and memory functions for the driver's seat.




Each of the 2021 Subaru Forester trim levels comes with the Subaru EyeSight suite of active driver aids. This safety-enhancing technology package consists of a pre-collision braking system, pre-collision throttle management, lane departure and sway warning, and advanced adaptive cruise control with lane centering. The Sport adds high beam assist, blind-spot monitoring with lane change assist, and rear cross-traffic alert (which is optional on the Premium). Reverse automatic braking is available. Reverse automatic braking is also available for the Limited, but it's standard in the Touring along with a driver distraction mitigation system.




The base is issued an infotainment system 6.5-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth hands-free and audio streaming, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite and HD radio, dual USB ports, and a four-speaker audio system. The Premium introduces a six-speaker audio system and an onboard 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot; dual rear USB ports are optional. The Sport adds the rear USB ports and is eligible for an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen with voice recognition and a premium nine-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. The Limited gets the 8-inch infotainment touchscreen unit, but the premium audio system remains available along with integrated navigation. Both of these are included on the Touring.