2010 Subaru Forester review

In its first full redesign since the 2003 model year, the Subaru Forester has moved closer to the mainstream than some fans might have hoped it would. The old model's boxy charm has been toned down, and what's left is a compact SUV whose driving dynamics are on par with some of the nimbler players in this segment. A few Forester diehards may cry foul, but I suspect the changes will widen the car's appeal to the market in general. The SUV remains as practical as ever, but now boasts enough refinement to merit serious consideration from anyone shopping the latest Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4.

Trim levels include the 2.5X and 2.5X L.L.Bean, along with turbocharged 2.5XT and 2.5XT Limited versions; click here to see a side-by-side comparison with the 2008 model. Subaru's full-time all-wheel-drive system is standard. I drove a number of configurations both on- and off-road at a press event in Southern California.

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Shock sensors (dealer option)
The shock sensors trigger the alarm system when they sense impacts applied to the vehicle and when any of their electric wires is cut. The alarm system causes the horn to sound and the turn signal ...

Convex mirror (passenger side)
WARNING Objects look smaller in a convex mirror and farther away than when viewed in a flat mirror. Do not use the convex mirror to judge the distance of vehicles behind you when changing lanes. ...

Seatbelt maintenance
To clean the seatbelts, use a mild soap and lukewarm water. Never bleach or dye the belts because this could seriously affect their strength. Inspect the seatbelts and attachments including the webbi ...