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CR’s 6 Best SUVs Under $30K - One Subaru Model Is The Number One Overall Pick

Is the 2023 Subaru Forester the best SUV under $30,000 for new compact model shoppers? The 2023 Subaru Forester is rated the best SUV by Consumer Reports. Check out why it scores number one overall.

What are the best SUVs under $30,000? According to an updated Consumer Reports scoring (by subscription), the 2023 Subaru Forester is now the top pick and best compact SUV under $30,000 in their latest ratings.

Why is the Subaru Forester ranked so high by Consumer Reports? They say it's the top choice because it offers good performance, it's safe and fuel-efficient. In addition, reliability is a critical factor in the Consumer Reports' scoring.

2023 Subaru Forester

Consumer Reports' six best SUVs Under $30,000

In order of ranking from best to last, CR says the 2023 Subaru Forester is still the best under $30,000, with a score of 87 points. The 2023 Nissan Rogue is second-best with 81 points. They are followed by the Mazda CX-50 (78), Toyota Corolla Cross (77), Hyundai Tucson (77), and Mazda CX-5 (77).

What does Consumer Reports say about the Forester?

Consumer Reports says, "This popular compact SUV combines 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 yields 28 city/highway mpg, among the best in class. But acceleration isn't exhilarating, and the engine's noise isn't the most pleasant. The cabin is roomy, with a remarkably generous rear seat and easy access. The controls are simple, including an infotainment system compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. "

2023 Subaru Forester

Is the Forester reliable?

CR says, "We expect the 2023 Forester will be more reliable than the average new car." The 2023 model has a predicted reliability score of 4/5.

What is the 2023 Forester fuel mileage?

All Forester compact SUV trim levels come with standard all-wheel drive and an EPA-estimated 29 combined mpg and 26/33 city/highway mpg. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder Boxer engine powers the Forester.

What are Forester's safety scores?

The 2022 Subaru Forester compact SUV earned the Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

A new report from Money picks the best autos of 2023 and says the Forester is a top value pick for new model shoppers and one of the top five picks in the 2-Row SUV segment. In addition, they pick Forester best for its stellar safety scores.

Money says, "The Subaru Forester stands out for its safety features and off-road ability. Named a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Forester received top marks for headlight safety – the only model in the category to ace the agency's headlight test for nighttime visibility across all trim levels."

What is the price of the 2023 Forester?

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).

The 2023 Subaru Forester is the number one compact SUV under $30,000 in the latest Consumer Reports rankings. CR says Forester is the best 2023 SUV pick under $30,000 for new SUV shoppers looking for an affordable and reliable option.

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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: Subaru USA


H. Dan Smith (not verified)    May 21, 2023 - 11:11AM

Nice review on the Forester. I moved to the mountains and the Corvette just didn’t cut it; my neighbors called it “Dan’s work truck.” I looked at the reviews and went with the Forester Sport. I love this damned thing … such a Billy-goat in the hills. Fit and finish is great, it’s economical and easy to drive on these roads, and it behaves great in winter conditions. The AWD system is spectacular… it gets me to places where others just can’t go … like my house! Love this car.

Brooklyn (not verified)    May 26, 2023 - 1:20PM

Subaru owner here and I gotta tell you I will NEVER buy a Subaru again. Recall after recall. Problem after problem. Complete nightmare of a car.