• Alain Kuhn Von Kuhnenfeld

2021 Subaru Forester Sport

This week we are reviewing the 2021 Subaru Forester Sport. Our vehicle was assembled at the Ōta plant in Japan and has an MSRP of $37,908 CAD.


Subaru Forester 2021

Fun Factor: 6

Can it Family: 9

Fuel-Friendly: 7

HWY-warrior: 7

Karaoke-Friendly: 5

Baby-Friendly: 7

City Cruising: 6



The Forester's boxy shape is almost a trademark for Subaru. While this 5th generation is not as square-shaped as past Forester's, it remains the vehicle of choice when affordability & practicality are in question. It's powered by a 2.5L Boxer engine making 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque; it's adequate for the job. It may not be the most performant and may not scream performance with its CVT, yet, when the boxer engine rev's up, the sound it produces totally recuperates the full enjoyment of driving. Most 4-cylinders are not pleasing to the ear, and this one did not sound like anything in its segment. Add in the legendary and standard all-wheel drive, and you get a winning combination, especially for our harsh Canadian winters. It's an easy to maneuver SUV that almost drives like a car.



Families will love the Forester, especially in the winter; we drove while winter was in full swing. The cabin heats up fairly quickly and remains warm even when driving at higher speeds. The seats are ergonomically comfortable for longer journeys; taller drivers will rejoice with the available headroom. It is one of the vehicles that offer the best headroom in its category. In our Sport variant, the orange interior accents and orange stitching made for a distinctive look compared to other Foresters.



We observed an average fuel economy of 8.7L/100km during our 2000km test. In the HWY, the average was 7.8L/100km, and in the city, it was 9.6L/100km. It's pretty close to the fuel economy that Subaru announces 8.2L/100km, 7.2L/100 on the HWY and 9.0L/100km in the city. During our test, the temperatures oscillated between +13 and -15c.



The low window lines make visibility one of the Forester's strong points. It is easy to maneuver, barely having the traditional crossover characteristics while driving it. On the HWY, the cabin is quiet enough to carry a regular conversation with passengers. With Eyesight being standard on all Forester, it becomes an interesting proposition for families with young drivers, as it gives a second layer of security while driving. We tested the adaptive cruise control with the lane centering assist and found that it worked quite well.



Our Forester was equipped with the standard 6-speaker sound system, which did a good job, but if you wish to get the fancy-sounding Harman Kardon 9-speaker system, you will need to climb up to the Limited trim for the best-sounding system for your vehicle. Subaru made sure the vehicle is future and past-proof; it offers a CD player and connectivity for your Android and Apple devices with dual USB ports. The infotainment responds quickly enough; even leaving the vehicle outside in the cold weather, it stayed responsive.


Installing a car seat or more is straightforward in the Forester. The Isofix ports are hidden under little covers on both sides of the outer seats and are easy to access. When using 2 car seats, the middle seat is no longer available. While it's possible to install 2 car seats, you would not be able to have a 3rd passenger in the middle. The belts are positioned in such a way that they are accessible for younger children to buckle themselves. It's pretty rare to have comfortable, well-bolstered and sturdy fabric seats, but Subaru nailed it, and we expect that they would stand the test of time with kids.



In the city, you could almost forget that the Forester is an SUV. It's easy to steer, which translates into making parking maneuvers so simple you could imagine yourself being in a much smaller vehicle. Again, the visibility is quite helpful around the city and permits to rely on the technology less. The Hybrid variant being available in Europe, we were surprised to see it wasn't offered in North America. The start/stop system is quite ruff when the vehicle starts again in cold weather.



Why would we buy the Subaru Forester, or what we liked about it? Excellent visibility, great fuel economy overall, lots of space for the family, great for taller drivers, Eyesight standard



Why would we not buy the Subaru Forester, or what we did not like about it? No Hybrid variants, no performance variant, and no manual version is on offer; if you want an AWD manual vehicle, you need to shop for a Crosstreck.


Subaru has lent us this vehicle one week as a press vehicle. We have no affiliation with Subaru Canada. The above is a recollection of our personal opinion of the car referred above. #subaru #subarucanada #subaruforester #carreviews #familycarreviews #family

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