2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i Review

2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i Road Test, Review

The Subaru Forester now comes with a number of important features standard across the range.

This enhances what is already a well kitted out, pragmatic, and popular model that is ideal for families and some light off-roading.

Out for a test drive was the Forester 2.5i which has much to offer even at entry level starting from $33,490.


Not too dissimilar from the previous model, the new Forester is a little more attractive on the outside.

Possessing a tad more detail it appears to be more complete in an otherwise unchanged outline.

Other minor differences include the taillights that hug the rear end like little hands and the fuel cap door is now round and not square (is that a crucial observation??).

2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i interiorInterior

The interior of the Subaru Forester was always, in my eyes, the odd one out in the Subaru range.

The seats and dashboard were squarish and upright giving off a more practical feel than say, the Outback.

It’s now fresh and modern with an interesting dash shape branching from door to door, patterned inserts and a prominent centre console.

The cabin is a place I want to be.

There is still the upper display perched at the top of the dash now with a longer hood, showing safety systems, gradient, AWD, audio and fuel economy.

Storage is great all around with big bottle/cup holders, other storage areas, and a good sized glovebox.

Buttons are big and easy to press on both the wheel and the centre stack which is a real plus point.

Only grievance was probably the touch screen. It had good graphics and nice fonts but the text is small and the display could have been just another inch wider.


In the Forester 2.5i you get some rather generous features.

However it’s devoid of sat-nav in this spec level. Also odd is a dial for traction control rather than the usual button.

2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i rear

  • Paddle shifters
  • Adaptive cruise control/speed limiter
  • X-mode
  • Steering Responsive Headlights
  • Push button start
  • Electric park brake with auto hold
  • Digital radio
  • Apple CarPlay/Android Auto

Drive and Engine

Powering the Subaru Forester 2.5i is (surprise, surprise) a 2.5 litre petrol engine that has a decent max output of 136kW/239Nm.

This is coupled with a CVT, which is not my first choice, but selects gear well and frankly wasn’t perceptible in my drive.

You can always be guaranteed of AWD in a Subaru with the X-mode system for those occasions you need a little extra traction.

There is some noise when you step down hard on the accelerator but the ride itself is quiet.

The Forester takes in bumps really well and handling is obedient.

2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i bootSafety

Subaru can always be counted on for their advanced and comprehensive driver assist safety features packaged as their Vision Assist and Eyesight system.

  • Blind spot monitor
  • Lane change assist
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane keep assist
  • Pre-collision braking and throttle management

The driver does get a collision and cruise control indicator – not an HUD perse – but a small light that projects red or green onto the windscreen in front.

Good Bits

  • Nicer interior
  • Standard inclusions
  • Great suspension

Not So Good Bits

  • Sensitive driver assist
  • Small touchscreen

2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i sideSummary

Not too many changes here from the previous Subaru Forester.

Though the interior is the standout presenting a more up-to-date, attractive cabin.

Safety, practicality, drive and ride are all as assured as ever before.

Facts and Figures: 2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i

  • Engine: 2.5L four-cylinder petrol producing 136kW/239Nm
  • Transmission: CVT
  • Warranty: 3 years/ unlimited km
  • Safety: Not tested
  • Origin: Japan
  • Price: from $33,490

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