A fun AWD crossover with tons of space.

Subaru Forester Review | CarMax

The Subaru Forester is a great AWD midsize crossover with a variety of standard and optional features. So, if you need an excellent crossover with standard AWD and lots of cargo space, look no further. Whether you're navigating the urban commute or exploring the road less traveled, the Forester should definitely be on your shopping list. While we currently do not have many 2020 Subaru Foresters on our lots, we look forward to selling more in the future.

The 2012-2018 fourth-generation Forester is a great choice, as is the newly updated 2019 fifth-generation Forester. So, if you love the 2020 model, you should also consider prior model years of the Subaru Forester with similar features.

Below are average prices of prior model year Subaru Foresters at CarMax.

  • 2018 - Average prices less than $26,000.1

Here's what you'll learn in this 2020 Subaru Forester review:

Key Specs & Features


  • The 2020 Subaru Forester comes standard with AWD, a 2.5L engine, and a Lineartronic® CVT automatic transmission, and it gets an EPA-estimated 29 mpg combined city/highway.2

Cargo Space:

  • Total cargo space is 76.1 cubic feet with the rear seat folded flat, and 33.0 cubic feet when carrying a full load of passengers.

Towing Capacity:

  • The 2020 Subaru Forester's towing capacity is an estimated 1,500 lbs. with the 2.5L four-cylinder engine (when properly equipped).3

Seating Capacity:

  • The 2020 Subaru Forester can seat up to five people across its two rows of seating areas.

Engine Options:

  • The 2020 Subaru Forester is only available with one engine, a 182-horsepower 2.5L naturally aspirated BOXER® four-cylinder.

Tech Features:

  • Standard 6.5-inch Subaru STARLINK® touchscreen infotainment system (base model)
  • Available Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ capability
  • Two standard USB ports (base model)
  • Eight-inch infotainment screen (Limited and Touring trims)
  • Navigation system (standard on Touring trim; optional on the Forester Limited)
  • 576-watt Harman Kardon™ stereo system (standard on Touring trims; optional on Sport and Limited trims).


The Subaru Forester has a strong sales history at CarMax. It has been featured in these ranking lists:

5 Reasons to Buy


Like most cars and crossovers across the Subaru lineup, the 2020 Subaru Forester comes with standard AWD on all trim levels. That means more peace of mind in all weather conditions. It also means you can go farther off the beaten path. So your next road trip might be a bit more interesting—and include fewer paved roads—thanks to the Subaru Forester.


2020 Subaru Forester: Backseats | CarMax

The 2020 Subaru Forester has a maximum passenger volume of 111.9 cubic feet. That means you can bring more family and friends to enjoy the fun. With space for five people, you're all set for a road trip, a weekend city adventure, or the carpool lane.


2020 Subaru Forester: Tech Dash | CarMax

All 2020 Forester models come with standard EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology and standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. You can also opt for Subaru's available DriverFocus™ Distraction Mitigation System, which is standard on the Forester Touring. That translates to more confidence even beyond the standard traction of AWD to help you conquer rough conditions.


2020 Subaru Forester: Trunk Cargo | CarMax

With total cargo space of 76.1 cubic feet with the rear seats folded flat, your Forester can max out the trip to the home improvement store. Even when carrying a full load of passengers, you'll still have a very usable 33.0 cubic feet. it's not just people that the Forester can haul, it's also plenty of cargo.


The Forester isn't just a great family hauler. With 8.7 inches of ground clearance, you can overcome quite a few obstacles as well. Add the available X-MODE® off-road system (standard on all trim levels but the base Forester) and the Forester will tackle bad weather and off-road trails to take you away from the hustle and bustle for a nice long weekend.

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What You Need to Know

2020 Subaru Forester: Available Trims

The 2020 Subaru Forester comes in five distinct trim configurations:

  • Forester: The base Forester includes features like LED headlights, EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, automatic climate control, a 6.5-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, six-way manually adjustable driver seat, four-way manually adjustable front-passenger seat, rearview camera, satellite radio, and more.
  • Forester Premium: The Forester Premium adds a rear spoiler, panoramic moonroof, leather-wrapped steering wheel, power adjustable driver seat, reclining rear seats, X-MODE off-road system with hill descent control, heated front seats, 10-way power-adjustable driver seat, a windshield de-icing system, and heated mirrors.
  • Forester Sport: The cool Sport adds additional features like SI-DRIVE with Sport Sharp mode, unique exterior and interior accents, LED fog lights, sport gauges with color LCD display, an additional 6.3-inch LCD display on top of the dash, rear USB ports, and keyless entry and ignition.
  • Forester Limited: Adds leather-trimmed upholstery and chrome exterior trim plus a power liftgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, adaptive LED headlights, an eight-inch infotainment system, and dual rear USB ports.
  • Forester Touring: Adds heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, power adjustable front passenger seat, navigation system, a high-end Harman Kardon audio system, driver aids like DriverFocus™ Distraction Mitigation System, and reverse automatic braking.

2020 Subaru Forester: Available Colors

The 2020 Subaru Forester is available in the following nine colors:

  • Crimson Red Pearl
  • Crystal Black Silica
  • Crystal White Pearl
  • Dark Blue Pearl
  • Horizon Blue Pearl
  • Ice Silver Metallic
  • Jasper Green Metallic
  • Magnetite Gray Metallic
  • Sepia Bronze Metallic

2020 Subaru Forester: Interior

2020 Subaru Forester: Front Seats | CarMax

The 2020 Subaru Forester is available with lots of great interior features:

  • 76.1 cubic feet of total cargo space with the rear seat folded flat, and 33.0 cubic feet when carrying a full load of passengers.
  • Seating capacity up to five adults, with standard cloth and available leather seating surfaces.
  • Standard 6.5-inch Subaru STARLINK touchscreen infotainment system, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability with available eight-inch infotainment screen.
  • Standard six-way manually adjustable driver seat and four-way manually adjustable front-passenger seat, with available 10-way power driver seat and eight-way power front-passenger seat.

Average CarMax Prices

The 2020 Subaru Forester is a newer model year, and we may not have many on our lots. See below for average CarMax prices for previous model years of the Subaru Forester.

  • 2018 - Average prices less than $26,000.1

Similar Model Years

If you like the 2020 Subaru Forester, check out some previous model years of this vehicle with similar features.

RepairPal | CarMax

Safety and Reliability

RepairPal® Reliability Ratings for the Subaru Forester.4

The 2020 Subaru Forester is a newer model and we currently have a limited number in our inventory. You may also consider other used Subaru Foresters with similar features. Below are RepairPal reliability ratings for prior model years of the Subaru Forester.

  • Overall RepairPal Reliability Rating - 3.5/5.0
  • Average annual cost of unscheduled repairs and maintenance: $632.00

RepairPal Reliability Ratings are based on the actual cost, frequency, and severity of unscheduled repairs and maintenance on make/model data for select 2010-2019 vehicles. The reliability of a specific vehicle may vary depending on its maintenance and driving history, model year, trim, and features. Learn more at www.carmax.com/repairpal-reliability

NHTSA Safety Ratings - 2020 Subaru Forester

The 2020 Subaru Forester received five-star safety ratings by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Certain vehicles may have unrepaired safety recalls. Click here to look up a specific vehicle.

Similar Vehicles

If you're interested in the 2020 Subaru Forester, you should also check out these similar vehicles from previous model years.

Subaru Outback

The 2020 Outback marks the model's sixth generation, but you can find a ton of great options with the same AWD prowess and wagon practicality in earlier model years. The 2017-2019 Outback has:

  • Seating for five.
  • A maximum of 73 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats folded, and a still-impressive 36 cubic feet with the rear seat in place.
  • A 175 horsepower 2.5L four-cylinder or an optional 3.6L six-cylinder with a healthy 256 horsepower.
  • The updated EyeSight Driver Assist Technology suite.

Subaru Crosstrek

Looking for a great compact crossover with Subaru AWD? Compact design doesn't have to mean compact space inside, so you should definitely check out the Subaru Crosstrek! The 2017 Crosstrek has great features like:

  • A 2.0L flat-four engine with 148 horsepower. (2018-2019 models have 152 horsepower from their updated 2.0L four-cylinder).
  • Seating for five. (All 2018-2019 Crosstrek models have up to 55 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats folded, and 21 cubic feet with all seats in place).

Updated for 2018, the Crosstrek added standard features like:

  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Active torque vectoring
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

The Bottom Line

The 2020 Subaru Forester offers style, versatility and plenty of features. You get a sporty AWD crossover that can handle a variety of conditions, with a practical SUV layout that can haul people and cargo. If you're up for an adventure, the Forester is definitely one to add to your shopping list.

Want to learn more about the 2020 Subaru Forester and similar vehicles? Check out these related articles:

1Based on CarMax average prices from December 2019. Actual prices may vary based on your selected model year, features, and trim packages. Prices do not include tax, title, tags, and any applicable fees.
2Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates when vehicles sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov for details.
3Various factors may impact towing capacity, including weight of passengers, cargo, and options/accessories.
4RepairPal Reliability Ratings are provided by RepairPal and CarMax is not responsible for their accuracy. Learn more at repairpal.com/reliability.
Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.