First Drive: 2025 Subaru Forester Ratchets Up the Refinement

More than anything, the Forester remains true to its roots as a sturdy, functional, and practical small SUV. As such, it looks well-poised against rivals like the Ford Escape and Bronco Sport, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5 and CX-50, Nissan Rogue, and Toyota RAV4. Keep in mind, the outgoing 2024 Forester was already a Consumer Reports Top Pick.

Pricing for the 2025 Forester starts at $29,695, then walks up the trims: Premium ($31,995), Sport ($34,495), Limited ($35,995), and Touring ($39,995). The destination charge is $1,395. About a year from now the new Forester is expected to be joined by a hybrid version.

If you’re a Consumer Reports member, the details of our initial expert assessment of the 2025 Forester that we rented from Subaru are available to you below. We plan to purchase a new Forester Premium for our test program soon. After it arrives at our track, we’ll log 2,000 initial break-in miles, as we do with every test vehicle, before sending it through more than 50 tests at the CR Auto Test Center, including those that evaluate acceleration, braking, handling, car-seat fit, and controls. CR members will get access to the full road-test results as soon as they’re available. 

Sign up for CR’s Cars email newsletter to be notified when we post our latest road-test results.

What we rented: 2025 Subaru Forester Touring
Powertrain: 180-hp, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine; continuously variable transmission; all-wheel drive
MSRP: $39,995
Options: None.
Destination fee: $1,395
Total cost: $41,390