2016 subaru forester Model Overview
New for 2016
Subaru’s new Starlink infotainment system has been added to the 2016 Forester and comes with a 6.2-inch or a seven-inch touchscreen depending on the trim level. Premium, Limited, and Touring trims come with the new Starlink Safety and Security features, which includes SOS emergency assistance, enhanced roadside assistance, automatic collision notification and vehicle diagnostics.
The 2016 Subaru Forester is an all-wheel-drive, two-row crossover. Like all Subarus, the Forester comes exclusively with horizontally opposed engines.
Two flat-four engines are offered in the 2016 Forester, a 2.5-liter rated at 170 hp and 174 lb-ft, and a turbocharged 2.0-liter with 250 hp and 258 lb-ft. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard in the 2.5i and 2.5i Premium trims while a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is optional. The 2.5i Limited, 2.5i Touring, and all 2.0XT models all come exclusively with the CVT. Fuel economy is class competitive with the CVT-equipped 2.5i models being the most efficient at 24/32 mpg city/highway. Opting for the manual gearbox drops those numbers down to 22/29 mpg while the more powerful Forester 2.0XT is rated at 23/28 mpg.
When it comes to practicality, the 2016 Forester remains one of the most sensible choices, offering plenty of space for five passengers and their gear. There’s between 31.5 to 34.4 cubic feet of space depending on the trim level with the split folding rear seats up and 68.5 to 74.7 cubic feet with them down.
Standard safety features in all 2016 Foresters include dual front, front-side, and side curtain airbags. A driver’s knee airbag and a rollover sensor are also part of the standard array of safety features. On the Premium, Limited, and Touring trims, buyers can opt for the EyeSight suite of active safety and driver assistance features, which includes adaptive cruise control, sway warning, lane departure warning, and automatic forward emergency braking.
The NHTSA gave the 2015 Forester a five-star overall safety score (out of a possible five stars). In IIHS testing, the 2015 model received a Top Safety Pick+ designation after it received a Good score in five crash tests (Good is the highest possible score) and Superior front crash prevention rating because it was able to avoid a 12-mph and 25-mph collision (front crash prevention designations include Basic, Advanced, and Superior).
Trims, Packages, and What’s Standard
Standard features included in the base 2.5i trim include 60/40 split-folding rear seats, cloth upholstery, a 4.3-inch color multi-function display, Starlink infotainment system featuring a 6.2-inch touchscreen, a rearview camera, keyless entry, a USB port, and Bluetooth connectivity. Stepping up to the 2.5i Premium trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels, 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat, reclining rear seats, a panoramic sunroof and a larger seven-inch infotainment touchscreen. The 2.5i Limited grade adds leather upholstery, heated front seats and a power tail gate while the range-topping 2.5i Touring model adds 18-inch wheels, keyless entry and start, dual-zone climate control, HID headlights, a Harman Kardon audio system, and one-touch folding rear seatbacks in addition to the features found on the 2.5i Limited.
The more powerful Forester XT starts at the Premium trim and comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, cloth upholstery with sport bolsters, the Starlink infotainment system with a seven-inch touchscreen, and reclining rear seats. Range-topping Forester XT Touring variants come standard with HID headlights, a power tailgate, keyless entry and start, dual-zone climate control, and a Harman Kardon audio system. Navigation can be added as part of an optional package that also includes features such as the entire EyeSight suite of safety and driver assistance features or the All-Weather package, which comes with windshield wiper de-icer, heated side mirrors and heated front seats.
What We Think
Despite sporting one of the least interesting exterior designs in its class, the 2016 Forester continues to be one of the best crossovers, offering plenty of space, available turbo power, and all-weather capability. In a 2014 First Test review, we said that the XT model continues to be one of the most fun-to-drive crossovers, offering great handling for a tall vehicle and plenty of punch from its turbo-four. While the front seats don’t offer much support for enthusiastic driving, they are extremely comfortable, making them ideal for long drives. We noted in 2014 Forester 2.5i Premium First Test review that its interior is roomy, comfortable and spacious; however, the driver’s seat seemed like it was designed with smaller adults in mind, making it hard for taller people to find a comfortable position. In a comparison test that also included the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, and Mazda CX-5, the Subaru Forester placed second because it provided plenty of space, great visibility, and a well-tuned powertrain. The noisy ride, however, kept it from taking first place because every bump would echo throughout the cabin. On the road, the Forester was deemed fun to drive but it excelled as a highway cruiser because it had too much excess body motions when compared to competitors like the Mazda CX-5
The Subaru Forester is a two-time winner of Motor Trend’s SUV of the Year award.
- Available turbo-four has plenty of power
- Excellent safety scores
- Spacious interior
You Won’t Like:
- Ultra-conservative styling inside and out
- The driver’s seat isn’t comfortable for taller adults
- Noisy cabin