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Consumer Reports Says Subaru Forester Is Your Best Fuel-Stingy SUV Buy Now

How good a value is the 2024 Subaru Forester? Consumer Reports say it's the best SUV you can buy. See why a perfect storm is brewing at Subaru and how it affects buyers now.

The Old, the New, and the Best Value now. 

The 2024 Subaru Forester is the elder statesman. It needed a remodel, and for the 2025 model year, it received some pretty significant upgrades. You can read my next-gen Forester report here

But before the 2024 Forester makes its exit, Consumer Reports (by subscription), in an updated report, says it's the best fuel-efficient mainstream (non-luxury) SUV you can buy now. 

CR Recommends The Forester

What is a CR-recommended model?

CR says, "Keep performance, reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety in mind, too. These are all part of the Overall Score that Consumer Reports gives to new cars it tests, and those virtues are factored into a model's eligibility for recommendation." 

Consumer Reports did the heavy lifting and dug up what people actually paid for 2024 model-year SUVs in the past month. Then, they put the models through the filters of best fuel efficiency, models they recommend, and then ranked the vehicles by how good a deal they are relative to the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP).

Forester, The Best Fuel-Stingy SUV Selling Under MSRP 

I'll give you the details and then explain if you should buy the next-generation 2025 Forester instead. Here's the current data on the 2024 Forester from Consumer Reports.

2024 Subaru Forester - Your Best Buy Now 

  • Price Range:  $27,095 - $37,395
  • Consumer Reports MPG:  Overall 28 / City 20 / Hwy 38 mpg
  • CR rates Forester the #2 of 31 Compact SUVs

Which mainstream Compact SUV is rated higher than the Forester? It's the Toyota RAV4 Prime. It gets a total score of 89, while Forester is one point lower (88). But you'll pay significantly more for the Toyota RAV4 Prime, which starts at $43,690. Despite this, the Forester still ranks #2 among 31 Compact SUVs.

CR says the 2024 Subaru Forester Premium AWD is the best trim to get the best deal from retailers. 

  • MSRP: $30,295
  • Average spent under MSRP: $435
  • Average transaction price: $29,860

Anytime you can get a new Subaru Forester under the manufacturer's suggested retail price is a good day and a smart decision for potential buyers. 

NOTE: Subaru Corporation recently stopped production, so the 2024 Forester is in limited supply, and not all U.S. retailers have them. However, you might still be able to find one at some retailers. Subaru has been selling near-record numbers (read my report here) to make way for the remodeled 2025 Forester. 

If you can still find a 2024 Forester, here is the current MSRP pricing.

The 2024 Forester has six trim levels: Base ($28,190), Premium ($31,390), Sport ($32,960), Limited ($35,070), Wilderness ($36,015), and Touring ($38,490). Pricing includes destination and dealer fees ($1,295).

Now For The New

You won't get the same deal on the new 2025 Forester as on the 2024 Forester. 

There's a lot to like about the next-gen Forester. Here are some of the highlights from Consumer Reports. The 2025 Forester gets:

  • A quieter cabin
  • A more comfortable ride
  • It's easy to see out of
  • It has easy cabin access
  • A spacious rear seat
  • Refined engine power
  • Composed handling
  • Solid brake feel
  • Useful cargo area
  • Straightforward controls

CR says, "The redesigned sixth-generation Subaru Forester continues with its core virtues of great outward visibility, easy functionality, a roomy cabin, and standard all-wheel drive. Looking past the new styling with its chunky fender flares, beefier grille, and slick headlights, the most significant change to this small SUV may be the increased use of sound deadening in the interest of a quieter cabin—long a weak point for the Forester."

NOTE: The remodeled Forester is significantly more expensive. This is due to the extensive upgrades the new model received. 

Consider sitting down. 

  • The Base Forester increased by +$2,900
  • Premium +$2,000
  • Sport +$2,930
  • Limited +$2,320
  • Touring + $2,900

The 2025 Forester has five trim levels: Base ($31,090), Premium ($33,390), Sport ($35,890), Limited ($37,390), and Touring ($38,490). Pricing includes destination and dealer fees ($1,395).

There's No Next-Gen Forester Wilderness, Yet

The 2024 Forester Wilderness carries over with a starting price of $36,265—destination and delivery ($1,345). I expect the next-gen Forester Wilderness to arrive a year from now. Stay tuned. Read my report here.

The all-new 2025 Subaru Forester is in the house. 

The remodeled 2025 Forester compact SUV is arriving now at U.S. retailers, and a new configurator tool from Subaru of America allows you to build it to your specifications and to see which 2025 Forester trim is best. Read my report here. 

Further Down The Road

Hold off for a year, and get ready to be excited. Subaru of America will launch a new Forester Hybrid trim level sometime next year, offering a new fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain. 

The upcoming Forester Hybrid will offer a new fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain featuring new fuel-saving tech. It will compete with CR's top-ranked Toyota RAV4 Prime, which will have similar technology since Subaru Corporation is tapping Toyota for the hybrid tech. Read my report here.

The 2025 Subaru Forester is available now for compact SUV shoppers to order. A new online tool allows customers to build the Forester with the features, upgrades, and trim levels they want and see pricing before they visit a Subaru retailer. 

What do you think of the 2025 Subaru Forester? Will you wait until next year to get the new fuel-stingy Forester Hybrid? Click the red Add New Comment link below and let us know.

I am Denis Flierl, a top Torque News reporter since 2012. I’ve invested over 13 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role, working with every major car brand. I am an experienced Rocky Mountain Automotive Press member. You'll find my expert Subaru analysis here. Follow me on my X SubaruReportAll Subaru, WRXSTI, @DenisFlierlFacebook, and Instagram.

Photo credit: Tucson Subaru


James P. (not verified)    June 13, 2024 - 7:25AM

Back in April we purchased a 2024 Forester Touring at $3500 below MSRP which included all those extra fees, sales tax, registration transfer fee and dealer fees. This is our 13th Subaru in our family and we love it.

Dexter Adams (not verified)    June 16, 2024 - 12:13PM

Will wait for the new Forester hybrid. Is the charging system 110 volts plug-in? How long does it take to fully charge?

David Armstrong (not verified)    June 19, 2024 - 2:54PM

I bought my first Subaru two years ago, a Forester Limited. I love it but I'm keen about the hybrid version. l look forward to a proper review.