2016 Subaru Forester Strikes a Highway Pose
2016 Subaru Forester Strikes a Highway Pose

First Look: 2016 Subaru Forester

Behind the Outback, the Subaru Forester is the second most popular selling model in the North American lineup.  The Forester continues to perform well for Subaru as the company posted strong May sales.

While the Outback was completely redesigned inside and out for 2015, the Forester soldiers on with minimal changes. For 2016, the Subaru Forester carriers over its relatively unchanged design, but gains a new audio system and a host of safety technologies.

The model range receives a minor price bump.

First Impression

For some (me included) it feels like the design of the current Forester is a bit boxy and old when you compare it to competitors OR even its own cousin, the Outback. But, regardless of its aging design, the Forester has been very successful and has found itself a very loyal following worldwide.

But, when something is not broken, why bother fixing it? To keep the Forester in the middle of the entry level crossover segment, particularly in the North American market, Subaru engineers and designers have updated the crossover with minor tech and safety features.

This is the reason for the minor price hike for 2016.


Like last year, the base engine in the 2016 Subaru Forester is a 2.5 L naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine with 170 horsepower and 174 lb.ft. of torque. The engine is backed by a standard 6-speed manual transmission, but customers can opt for the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) for an additional $1000. 

For people who want a bit more oomph from their crossover, the Forester can be optioned with a more powerful 2.0 L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with 250 horsepower. Unlike the 2.5 L engine, the 2.0 L engine only comes with the CVT transmission.

Regardless of the engine and transmission selection, all 2016 Subaru Forester crossovers come fitted with the company’s legendary Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive.

2016 Subaru Forester Features Symmetrical All Wheel Drive, which in harsh weather conditions, provides additional traction.
2016 Subaru Forester Features Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, which in harsh weather, provides solid traction.

What’s New

The base Subaru Forester 2.5i with 6-speed manual starts at $23,245 and the top-of-the-range, 2.0 XT Touring has a starting price of $34,645.

The new base price is an increase of $200 over the 2015 model year, but now includes the $850 destination fee. As previously stated, owners who want to equip their 2.5 L powered Forester with a CVT will need to spend an additional $1000. 

However, the minimal price change on the base model does result in some new standard features, including a backup camera, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 6.2 inch infotainment system.

The 2016 Subaru Forester Premium now costs $26,145 for manual transmission and $26,645 for the CVT gearbox, which is an increase of $700 over a comparable 2015 model. Upgrading to this trim nets the buyer a set of 17-inch rims, a 7.0 inch infotainment screen, powered driver seat, tinted windows, and a panoramic roof.

The 2016 Subaru Forester Limited now costs $29,645 and includes an all-weather package (heated front seats, heated side mirrors, and windshield de-icer), leather seats, fog lights, power liftgate, and automatic climate control.

To top it all off, the 2016 Subaru Forester Touring now costs $31,645 and comes loaded with a premium audio system, keyless entry, and push-button start.  Pricing for the more powerful 2016 Subaru Forester 2.0 XT Premium and Touring is $30,045 and $34,645.

For 2016, the Starlink safety system gets updated for the Premium, Limited, and Touring models. The optional Starlink safety plus package adds emergency assistance, enhanced roadside assistance, collision notification, maintenance reminders, and vehicle health reports.

Additionally, 2016 Subaru Forester owners can also equip their crossover with Starlink safety plus and security package which adds stolen vehicle recovery, remote lock/unlock, and remote vehicle locator.


The mildly updated Subaru Forester crossover should be hitting your local Subaru dealerships by end of summer or early fall.

Though the new models see a slight uptick in price, I believe the additional dollars do net you some valuable safety and tech features and will, for sure, make owning a Forester much more enjoyable.

Overall, the Forester is a good value for the money and if a vehicle is not perfect or practical, it would not have gathered the following this crossover has.

Additional Subaru Forester Images:  2015 Model Year

Information and Image Source: Subaru of America