The Inside

The Forester's dash sits higher against the windshield than you'll find in many SUVs, which gives the cabin a more carlike feel and a lower perceived driving position. Thanks to the large side and rear windows, however, overall visibility remains excellent.

A height-adjustable driver's seat is standard, but the steering wheel in most models only tilts, and its adjustment range is limited. You have to upgrade to the turbocharged model to get a telescoping wheel, which allows drivers of varying sizes to position themselves a safe, comfortable distance from the steering wheel and its airbag. It's an unfortunate omission, seeing as both the CR-V and RAV4 have telescoping wheels across all trims.

Interior quality is good, if occasionally inconsistent. The materials vary: The upper dash panels have an upscale finish, but some of the plastics lining the glove compartment look grainy and cheap. If you like silver plastic, your day has come: The stuff has spread like foreclosures in Tampa. Here it adorns the center controls, dash, steering wheel, gearshift and doors. The steering wheel has a satisfying grip, but I found the blue-and-white gauges a bit tacky. Other controls, from the turn signals to the window switches, show sturdy construction, and overall fit and finish is respectable.

    See also:

    Cargo area cover (5-door Ц if equipped)
    The cargo area cover is provided for covering the cargo area and to protect its contents from direct sunlight. This cover is detachable to make room for additional cargo. ...

    LOCK
    The key can only be inserted or removed in this position. The ignition switch will lock the steering wheel when you remove the key. If turning the key is difficult, turn the steering wheel slightly t ...

    Volume control switch
    Press the switch to the У+Ф side to increase the volume. Press the switch to the У−Ф side to reduce the volume. A number indicating the volume will be shown on the audio display. ...