Updated for 2022, the Subaru Forester is a rugged, mid-size SUV that's well-known for its off-road capabilities. Here we take a look at the reasons why you might consider a Forester for your next vehicle.
We also suggest some alternatives that may appeal to drivers who want something a little different from what the Forester has to offer.


- Hybrid versions are available in both the S and the L configurations.
- New paint colours for 2022.
- Fresh capabilities added to the suite of autonomous safety features.
- Alterations to the suspension for added comfort.

Exterior and Interior

The exterior still has the chunky, boxy profile that helps to give the Forester its no-nonsense, capable vibe. An overhauled grille, headlights, foglights and bumper update the styling a little. Other than these improvements, the exterior is virtually identical to previous iterations. Subaru has included some new paint colours for 2022. If Cascade Green, Brilliant Bronze or Autumn Green sound like great options, look no further than the Forester!

Inside, there are plenty of features, but a large number of buttons and dials on the dash and steering wheel can be overwhelming. Subaru has also adopted a patchwork approach to interior textures and materials - numerous textures and shades are mixed and matched. Whilst there's certainly plenty of detail, if uncluttered minimalism is your preference, the Forester may not be ideal.

There are five different specifications - the 2.5i, the 2.5L, the 2.5i premium, the 2.5i sport and the 2.5i-S. Hybrid variants are available in the S and L level specs. The majority of the differences between these specs relate to interior materials and features. The 2.5i premium has leather seats for example. Heated seats and sat-nav are standard in the 2.5L and upwards.


Forester owners can choose between a 2.5l naturally-aspirated 4-cylinder petrol engine (136kw/239Nm of torque), or a hybrid version. The hybrid comprises a 2.0l 4-cylinder petrol engine that offers 100kw/196Nm of torque, operated alongside a battery that delivers 12kw/66Nm of torque. A CVT transmission is offered with both engine variants.

Reviewers rave about the comfort and superb handling that the Forester offers. The Forester has a suspension that's tweaked for Australian roads. In addition, the seating is designed to provide an exceptional level of support. The result is an SUV that's a joy to take on longer trips. It's also a great contender for off-road driving! The Forester incorporates a high-end AWD system. It also boasts 220mm of ground clearance which is significantly more than other mid-size SUVs offer.


When it comes to tech, the Forester certainly ticks all the right boxes. The vehicle comes with an 8" infotainment screen, complete with Apple Auto and Android Carplay. The Forester also comes with proximity locking, a powered tail lift, dual-climate control and a suite of autonomous safety features.

What's particularly good about the tech is that the majority of it comes as standard, which means that for $35,990 (base spec price), you're getting a push-button start, proximity locking and a well-equipped infotainment screen. In many brands, some of these features wouldn't be available until you splashed out on one of the higher specifications.


The Forester is 5-start ANCAP safety rated. It has a good suite of autonomous and physical safety features, which is what you need when looking for a family car.


Prices start at $35,990 for the base spec 2.5i, rising up to $47,190 for the Hybrid S variant.


- Base-spec has a good range of features and tech.
- Reviewers love the Forester's handling.
- Strong off-road performance.


- Cluttered interior.

Final Verdict

There's a reason that the Forester was the best-selling mid-size SUV in the first half of 2021, according to Canstar figures - it does offer exceptional value. Even if you buy the base specification, you're still getting features that many other manufacturers don't incorporate until several thousand more dollars have been added to the purchase price.

The hybrid version brings the Forester right up-to-date, as does the impressive selection of tech.

Continuing to showcase a number of features that provide excellent off-road performance, this is an SUV that's as at home on the mud as it is on the street.

Probably the worst thing you can say about it is that the interior's large array of knobs and switches, along with the collage of textures, creates a cluttered, yard sale vibe.

It's not going to score highly with you if you're a driver who values good looks in their SUV, but if value matters to you, then the Forester is going to be a strong contender.

Other Options to Consider

Toyota Rav4

If you like your SUV with more of a sporty, urban vibe, the Rav4 may be more to your taste. Spacious and well-equipped, it's also well-known for its exciting drive experience.
Winner of eight awards (including Drive 2020 Car of the Year), the Rav4 manages to combine the practicality, fuel efficiency and comfort needed for a family car with punchy performance that's appealing to drivers who like to drive. All that said, it's significantly more expensive than the Forester, so may not offer the best value.

Mitsubishi Outlander

The Outlander has undergone a significant overhaul for 2022, resulting in more tech, improved safety and an interior revamp. The base spec is $1,500 cheaper than the Forester ($34,490 as against $35,990). It's also a 7-seater, whereas the Forester is only a 5-seater.
Although you may not wish to use the third row for children or longer trips (seats are small and there is limited airbag protection for third-row passengers), if you need two additional seats from time to time, the Outlander provides them for a very competitive price.

Ford Escape

If you're not too concerned about size but are concerned about price, the Ford Escape, sub-compact SUV starts at just $27,755. Admittedly you don't get very many features for that price, but it's possible to easily incorporate upgrades if you're prepared to pay for them.
It may lack the presence of the Forester, but the Escape is a friendly, unassuming SUV that could be just the thing to ferry you and the family from a to b, economically.

For a great deal on financing your new purchase, contact Australia's best reviewed finance broker on 1300 Credit (1300 273 348) today or visit CreditOne.com.au

Jordan Ballard

Jordan Ballard

Automotive Content Editor

Jordan is a car finance and automotive industry specialist at Only Cars. With over 20 years of experience with frontline and management roles in sales, finance and other areas, Jordan has an incredible understanding of the automotive industry. As Automotive Content Editor, Jordan loves sharing his passion for cars with the Only Cars audience.