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 Ч possibly the result of no rear stabilizer bar, which was standard on the outgoing model Ч 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 Ч the Mazda CX-7 springs to mind Ч 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:

    Roof rails with integrated crossbars (Outback)
    1) Integrated crossbars CAUTION ● For cargo carrying purposes, the bars must be used as crossbars and be used together with the genuine SUBARU carrying attachment. The bars must never be u ...

    Safety & Pricing
    The new Legacy has yet to be tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Standard safety features for 2010 include six airbags, an electronic stability system and antilock brakes. Click ...

    Towing
    If towing is necessary, it is best done by your SUBARU dealer or a commercial towing service. Observe the following procedures for safety. Never tow AWD models (both AT and MT) with t ...