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Consumer Reports Says 2023 Subaru Forester Is The Best Small SUV, But It Has 2 Flaws

Should you buy the 2023 Subaru Forester? The 2023 Subaru Forester is ranked the best small SUV you can buy by Consumer Reports under $30,000. Check out why the Forester still scores best in its class.

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What is the best small SUV under $30,000 you can buy this year? According to Consumer Reports (by subscription) recent tests and surveys, the 2023 Subaru Forester, has still ranked at the top of its class. CR says Forester is number one overall for its road-test performance, owner satisfaction, best-in-class reliability, and top IIHS safety scores. And Forester costs less than the average new car today.

The Forester scores number one compact SUV out of twenty models with a top score of 87, outscoring top models from Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, and Nissan. The scores are based on CR's most recent tests and owner surveys.

2022 Subaru Forester
photo credit: Schumacher Subaru

What does CR say?

Consumer Reports says, "This popular small SUV delivers a combination of a roomy interior, excellent visibility, commendable fuel economy, simple controls, a comfortable ride, and responsive handling. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder combined with the continuously variable automatic transmission yielded best-in-class fuel economy.”

Forester still has two flaws, according to CR

The Forester is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque. A CVT automatic is the only transmission offered. Is there a downside to the Forester? CR says, "acceleration isn't exhilarating, and the engine's noise isn't the most pleasant."

2023 Subaru Forester
photo credit: Schumacher Subaru

CR says, "The cabin is roomy, with a particularly generous rear seat and easy access. The simple controls include an infotainment system compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay."

What is the price of the 2023 Subaru Forester?

All 2023 Forester trim levels increased by $550. The 2023 Forester comes in six trim levels; The Base Forester starts at $27,620, Premium ($30,620), Sport ($32,190), Limited ($34,300), Wilderness ($35,245), and Touring ($37,720). Pricing includes dealer fees ($1,225).

What is the Forester fuel mileage?

The 2023 Subaru Forester compact SUV comes with standard all-wheel drive and gets an EPA-estimated 29 combined mpg and 26/33 city/highway mpg. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder Boxer engine powers the Forester.

How does Consumer Reports rank other Subaru models?

The 2023 Subaru Crosstrek and Legacy also score among the top new models under $30,000. Consumer Reports says the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek is also a top ten pick and one of the most reliable vehicles you can buy today. The 2023 Subaru Legacy scores the best midsize car under $30,000 in the latest rankings.

Why should customers consider Forester?

The Forester comes standard with all-wheel-drive, 8.7 inches of ground clearance, and X-Mode for improved severe weather traction. Forester also offers a new Wilderness trim level for customers who want to get further off the grid. The Forester Sport and Wilderness offer dual-function X-Mode with Deep Snow and Mud settings.

What are Forester's safety scores?

The Forester compact SUV earned the Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). It also gets the highest five-star rating from the NHTSA.

What's next for Forester?

The Subaru Forester compact SUV received a complete remodel for 2019. If Subaru stays with its five-year life cycle, the all-new sixth-generation Subaru Forester will arrive as a 2024 model.

The 2022 Forester received a "refresh," and the 2023 Forester arrives now and is a carry-over model with no upgrades. The current Forester is in its fifth generation, and the sixth generation will come with a new exterior, interior, and possible engine upgrades.

If everything goes as expected, the compact SUV will be redesigned in the second half of 2023 and be available as a 2024 model. The anticipated 2024 Forester release date in the U.S. is about one year away, in the Fall of 2023.

For customers who do not want to wait, the 2023 Subaru Forester is Consumer Reports' top pick in the small SUV class. It's also the best for under $30,000.

You Might Also Like: The All New Next-Generation Crosstrek And What Subaru Didn't Tell You

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report, where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Schumacher Subaru

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