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:

    Example of accident in which the drivers/drivers and front passengers SRS frontal airbag(s) will most likely deploy.
    A head-on collision against a thick concrete wall at a vehicle speed of 12 to 19 mph (20 to 30 km/h) or higher activates only the drivers SRS frontal airbag or both drivers and front passe ...

    Winter (snow) tires
    Winter tires are best suited for driving on snow-covered and icy roads. However winter tires do not perform as well as summer tires and all season tires on roads other than snow-covered and icy ro ...

    Brake pad and lining
    While maintaining a speed of 30 to 40 mph (50 to 65 km/h), step on the brake pedal lightly. Repeat this five or more times. ...