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Why CR Says Subaru Forester Is Now The Most Comfortable SUV Under $35K

Which cars and SUVs are the most comfortable? The 2021 Subaru Forester now scores one of the five comfort superstars for 2021.

Which compact and midsize SUVs and cars are the most comfortable models for the money? A new study from Consumer Reports (by subscription) ranks the 2021 Subaru Forester as one of the five comfort superstars. You don’t have to buy a luxury SUV to get a comfortable vehicle.

Consumer Reports says five areas make a model best regardless of price. CR came up with a comfort score for vehicles and says ride quality, cabin noise, front and rear seat comfort, driving position, and ease of access are the five things for shoppers to look for in a new vehicle.

2021 Subaru Forester pricing, features, specs
photo credit: Subaru of New England

The five comfort superstars are the 2021 Subaru Forester: best small SUV under $35,000, the Lexus RX: best midsize Two-Row SUV $35,000-$55,000, Kia Telluride: best midsized Three-Row SUV $35,000-$55,000. The 2021 Subaru Legacy: the best midsize sedan under $35,000, and Chrysler 300: best large sedan $35,000-$55,000.

The 2021 Subaru Forester picks up high marks for its road test scores, excellent visibility, ease of access, and interior roominess. CR says, "We found the Forester to be one of the most comfortable SUVs toward the lower end of the price scale, with its great elbow room, endless headspace, and, on most models, a driver's seat with adjustable lumbar support. Drivers also have great visibility, among the best to be found anywhere."

2021 Subaru Forester pricing, features, specs

What is the downside to the 2021 Subaru Forester?

Consumer Reports says the 2.5-liter engine doesn't have "exhilarating acceleration," and the engine's noise "isn't the most pleasant." Read the Torque News report on Forester getting a new turbocharged engine for the 2022 model year change here.

What is the price of the 2021 Subaru Forester?

The 2021 Forester comes in five trim levels, and the base trim has an MSRP of $25,845, Premium ($28,845), Sport ($30,445), Limited ($32,445), and Touring ($35,945). Pricing includes $1,050 destination. Consumer Reports says the average market price for the Premium trim is $26,451 after dealer incentives.

What is next for the 2022 Subaru Forester?

If you don't need a new SUV right now, you might want to wait for the 2022 model. The 2022 Forester is in the fourth year of its life cycle and gets a refresh. A new rugged 2022 Forester Wilderness is coming later this year, and it could get a new turbocharged engine. Customers with active lifestyles will want to wait for the new outdoor off-road trim.

You Might Also Like: New Subaru Forester Joins Wilderness Sub-Brand Next - Two Questions Remain

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: main image Budds Subaru


Ben (not verified)    April 14, 2021 - 3:40PM

Subaru used to be the best around until they got rid of the manual transmission. Th CVT is not very responsive and seems to hesitate.