Ride & Handling

The original Forester was one of the first SUVs to adopt a four-wheel-independent suspension, and this year's model has a new double-wishbone rear setup. Several journalists on the media drive complained of excessive body roll possibly the result of no rear stabilizer bar, which was standard on the outgoing model but I think most drivers will find that the Forester's handling ranks among the sportier SUVs in its class. The chassis remains poised over curvy roads, and Subaru's all-wheel-drive system delivers unflappable grip accelerating out of a turn.

The steering system offers a quicker turning ratio this year. It delivers lively response, with reasonably crisp turn-in and more feedback about changing road conditions than you get in some sedans, let alone SUVs. Some SUVs accomplish this sporty feel by dialing back the power-steering assist so much that the steering wheel becomes too stiff at low speeds the Mazda CX-7 springs to mind but the Forester's steering is well below this threshold, and its 34.4-foot turning circle beats eight of its major competitors, some by more than 5 feet. Outstanding.

Subaru says it took extensive steps to address road and wind noise this time around, and indeed, highway noise now seems about average for a small SUV. It's not as quiet as a Honda CR-V, but it's a distinct improvement over the previous Forester.

    See also:

    Installing forward facing child restraint
    Installing forward facing child restraint 1. Place the child restraint system in the rear seating position. 2. Run the lap and shoulder belt through or around the child restraint system following th ...

    Deleting the speed dial
    1. Select the PHONE BOOK menu. 2. Select DEL SPD DIAL by operating the TUNE/TRACK/CH dial or select DELETE SPEED DIAL by using the voice command system. Preset buttons 3. Press the preset b ...

    ABS warning light
    The ABS warning light illuminates when the ignition switch is turned to the ON position and turns off after approximately 2 seconds. This is an indication that the ABS system is working properl ...