2017 Subaru Forester

Research, photos, specs, and expertise
7 photos

Subaru Forester highlights

Customer rating


  • Spacious Interior
  • Good fuel economy
  • Available turbo engine


  • Low tow rating
  • CVT is not very responsive
  • Not particularly sporty

Mileage (EPA estimate)

22 city, 27 highway, 24 combined

Pricing for current inventory

(no current inventory)

7 photos

The 2017 Subaru Forester is a 5-passenger crossover SUV with standard all-wheel drive

One of the best-selling models in the Subaru lineup, the Forester slots between the entry-level Crosstrek and the larger Outback. Unlike many of its rivals, the Forester comes standard with full-time all-wheel drive and good ground clearance for the occasional off-pavement excursion. For the 2017 model year, the Subaru Forester gets a freshened exterior, more standard features, added noise insulation, and updates to the brand’s EyeSight® suite of advanced driver-assist systems.

Subaru offers the Forester in a range of trim levels with two available engines, including a powerful turbocharged engine that bumps up from the standard motor’s 170 horsepower to a healthy 250 hp. A manual gearbox is also available on the more basic models with the small engine—otherwise, the Forester gets a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The Forester holds its own against popular competitors like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and Nissan Rogue.

All Subaru Forester years

What is new for the 2017 Subaru Forester?

  • Forester trims have been upgraded with Blind Spot Monitor, Heated Steering Wheel, Memory Seat(s), and Navigation System as standard equipment this year.
  • Remote Start and Full Roof Rack features are now available as options on select trims.
  • The 2.0XT Touring trim now comes with Bluetooth Technology as standard equipment.
  • The 2.5I Limited trim now comes with Bluetooth Technology as standard equipment.
  • The 2.5I Premium trim now comes with Bluetooth Technology as standard equipment.
  • The 2.5I Touring trim now comes with Bluetooth Technology as standard equipment.
  • The 2.5I trim now comes with Alloy Wheels as standard equipment.
  • The 2.0XT Premium trim now comes with Bluetooth Technology as standard equipment.

Subaru Forester photos

5 reasons to buy the 2017 Subaru Forester

What We Like 

  • Comfort: The Forester has a spacious cabin that offers good legroom and headroom for passengers in front and back, as well as large doors for easy entry and exit. The seats are comfortable, with good padding, and the driver's seat gets 10-way power adjustability. Overall, the cabin has good-quality materials and feels solid and well built. 

  • Utility: The Forester has a sizable cargo area that can handle up to 34.4 cubic feet of cargo, or almost 75 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. There’s also plenty of room for storage throughout the cabin, with space for smaller items in the center console as well as large door pockets that can handle a big water bottle. 

  • Driving: While the base engine is rather underwhelming, the 2.5-liter turbocharged motor delivers excellent performance with instant throttle response and quick acceleration. Steering is good, and brakes offer predictable stopping power for smooth modulation. The Forester can confidently handle a twisty road, but with 8.7 inches of ground clearance, the small crossover excels when the pavement ends. The ride is good across all surfaces, and the all-wheel drive provides more than adequate grip for slick or rough conditions.  

What Needs Improvement 

  • Technology: The high-resolution seven-inch touchscreen display is a significant improvement over the Forester’s previous infotainment display, but the lack of Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto phone integration will disappoint many consumers. 

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Ratings & reliability

Customer ratings

The 2017 Subaru Forester is a compact SUV that is perfect for daily driving in the city and long trips. Customers like that the car is roomy and has a lot of features.
Above Average

RepairPal gave the Subaru Forester an overall reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars, which RepairPal describes as Above Average. This rating ranks Subaru Forester 22nd out of 29 among Compact SUVs.

View RepairPal's full rating of the Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester features and specs

2.5I Limited 4WD/AWD 4D Sport Utility

Standard Features

  • 4WD/AWD
  • ABS Brakes
  • Air Conditioning
  • Alloy Wheels
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Auxiliary Audio Input
  • Blind Spot Monitor
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • CD Audio
  • Cruise Control
  • Front Seat Heaters
  • Leather Seats
  • Overhead Airbags
  • Panoramic Sunroof
  • Power Hatch/Deck Lid
  • Power Locks
  • Power Mirrors
  • Power Seat(s)
  • Power Windows
  • Rear Defroster
  • Rear View Camera
  • Satellite Radio Ready
  • Side Airbags
  • Traction Control
  • Alloy Wheels
  • Automated Cruise Control
  • Full Roof Rack
  • Harman Kardon Sound
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Navigation System
  • Remote Start
  • Tow Hitch

Drive Wheels

All Wheel Drive (4WD/AWD)

Engine size




Torque (ft-lbs)


Engine type


Fuel capacity




Overall length






Leg room

F 43"/R 38"

Head room

F 40"/R 37.5"

Front tires


Rear tires


Seating capacity


Max towing capacity

150/1500 lbs.



2017 Subaru Forester FAQ

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