2017 Subaru Forester 2.0 XT Touring Review: A Crossover Made for Outdoor Family Adventure

Subaru Fosrester
Subaru Forester makes a great companion for hiking trips.

Have an Outdoor Loving Family? This is Your Crossover.

The 2017 Subaru Forester 2.0 XT Touring may be a smaller crossover, but don’t let that fool you. With a 250-horsepower Direct-Injection Turbocharged SUBARU BOXER® engine, this car packs a punch. It adds power and performance for the adventurer in your family. You don’t need a full-sized SUV to live your outdoor life fully, the Subaru Forester 2.0 XT Touring is more than enough.

From days on the ski slopes to nights out by the lake, the Forester can handle whatever adventure you want to throw its way. The balanced design of symmetrical all-wheel drive creates uniform stability and delivers an optimal distribution of power for maximum traction. I had this vehicle during a snow storm, and the Forester performed better than our other AWD vehicle. It didn’t even hesitate on the snow and ice.

For those that are environmentally conscious, the Forester (along with all Subaru products) is built in a zero-landfill plant, helping you respect the earth you love to explore so much!

With a base price of $34,295 the Subaru Forester is an investment that your family can feel comfortable making. Subaru is one of the most reliable brands on the market, and the car will last you for years to come.

Subaru Forester

The sleek front end takes away the boxy feel of the car and gives it a more streamlined design. Photo: Jenn Greene

Who The 2017 Subaru Forester 2.0 XT Touring Is For 

• Singles, couples or families of four or less
• Empty nesters who want to downsize or love to road trip
• Buyers who want above-average MPG
• Buyers who want a good value in a crossover

Subaru Forester

It’s all in the details in the Forester! Photo: Jenn Greene

What It Costs

  • Base price: $34,292
  • Premium package (Starlink NAV System, pre-collision braking, lane departure warning, RAB braking system) $1595
  • Price of the model we drove: $36,765

An Extra Set of Eyes, An Extra Foot On The Brake

When you hear Subaru, you think of a reliable and safe car. The Subaru Forester 2.0XT touring offers an extra set of eyes on the road, and an extra foot on the brake. EyeSight monitors traffic movement, optimizes cruise control, and warns you when you’re swaying outside your lane. The Pre-Collision Braking feature can apply full braking force in emergency situations. Here are some of the other Subaru features designed with your safety in mind:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control was my favorite feature. As opposed to choosing the speed you want to go, you choose the distance you want to keep from the car in front of you. EyeSight adjusts your speed to keep that safe distance. I took the car out on the highway to test this feature and LOVED it. It gave me piece of mind that even with cruise control on I would never get too close to the car in front of me.
  • Lane assist is always a welcome feature, especially when traveling on two lane roads. That warning of going out of your lane may save your life.
  • Pre-Collision Throttle Management will actually detect an object in front of you and reduce power from the engine to avoid a full force impact. I will take Subaru’s word on this feature, I wasn’t about to test it for myself.
Subaru Forester 2.0 Xt Touring

Adaptive Cruise Control was my favorite function included in EyeSight Technology. Photo: Subaru

The addition of the EyeSight technology allowed the Subaru Forester 2.0xt Touring to receive a 2017 IHS top safety pick rating which could result in savings for you on your auto insurance. Safety is first and foremost for Subaru, and this new technology is certainly proof of that.

Standard Safety Features 

  • Blind Spot Detection & Lane Change Assist
  • Whiplash Protection Front Seats
  • Driver’s Side Knee Airbag
  • Daytime running lights
  • Brake Override system
  • Rear Backup Camera (look out for kids!)
  • High Beam Assist
  • Steering responsive headlights (they move with you)

STARLINK Safety and Security includes Automatic Collision Notification, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Stolen Vehicle Recovery, and added convenience with Remote Services. Whether you’re in your vehicle or on a mobile device, STARLINK Safety and Security helps keeps not only your vehicle safe, but you as well.

Subaru Forester 2.0 Xt Touring

Starlink gives you piece of mind and added security. Photo: Jenn Greene

Comfortable Interiors Make For Epic Road Trips

The Subaru Forester is certainly ready for road trips with a large and comfortable interior. The front seat is huge! I couldn’t believe how much room there was between the driver and passenger seats. Lots of room to store our phones, drinks, and my purse on the front passenger side floor without encroaching on the passengers space. No more fighting with the driver over the temperature in the front seat, the dual-zone climate control takes away that argument. This is a life-saver for my husband and I when we are on long trips, I like to be warm and he likes it cooler in the car. Remember when I said it snowed during my time with the Forester? I loved the heated steering wheel, it’s the little things…like not having to wear gloves…that always makes me happy.

Subaru Forester 2.0 Xt Touring

A large front center console gives the Forester a roomy feel. Photo: Jenn Greene

Additional Interior Features

  • All Weather package includes heated front seats to warm up your bottom after you hit the slopes all day.
  • Memory Seating: This option is fantastic when on road trips: when you change drivers you won’t spend 20 minutes finding your settings. One button and you are ready to go.
  • Premium Infotainment System: You can set the radio, navigation, check the weather and even your stocks. When I say this system has it all, it really does.
  • 7 inch TOUCHSCREEN. At the touch of your finger you can check gas mileage, change the station or look at tire pressure. You can also find local hotels if you need to rest after a long day of traveling.
  • Premium Audio system for you to load up your road-trip play list. With eight speakers throughout the car everyone can jam out.
  • Bluetooth and Hands free connectivity
  • 8 cup holders! I don’t think I need to explain how important this is with kids in the car.
Subaru Forester 2.0 Xt Touring

Everything you need is at the touch of your hands in the Forester, including the weather! Photo: Jenn Greene

Part of the STARLINK technology is the ability to load your favorite apps and sync them with the car. We loaded up WAZE for our trip and instead of messing with the phone it was linked directly to the touchscreen.  With everything in one place you can focus more on the road and less on the other devices in the car.

Gotta Love a Large Cargo Space

While this is a small crossover there is ample storage space. With the rear passengers in the car you can not only use the rear cargo space but also the under floor cargo space which is ideal for storing smaller items such as toys, small sports equipment or beach towels. Every bit of free space helps, especially when traveling with family.

Subaru Forester 2.0 Xt Touring

How many kids can you fit in the giant moonroof on the Subaru Forester 2.0 XT Touring?

Grocery trips just got a little easier with hooks in the rear to hold bags– I get so tired of bags all over the trunk when I get home. You can also put up the easy cargo net to keep groceries and small items from rolling out. To keep the rear space clear there is a cargo mat that covers the upholstery. Bought too much at the store? No worries with the easy one touch rear folding seat option. With this much cargo room, the Forester is great at handling big hauls. In fact, the large rear opening delivers up to 74.7 cubic feet of space with the rear seats down.

Open and close the lift gate at the touch of a button on your key fob, from the dashboard or on the hatch door. No more fumbling at the grocery store for trunk keys.


Subaru Forester 2.0 Xt Touring

Ample Cargo Space even without the rear seats down. Photo: Jenn Greene

Not Your Parent’s Subaru

The Subaru brand has been on the road for years–but it has come a long way since your parents bought the family truckster. The bold new design of the Forester 2.0 XT Touring gives the crossover a modern and sleek look. And with the added rear spoiler and dual exhaust, it certainly isn’t the Subaru you remember. The model I drove was the 2.0XT  which features a 250-horsepower Direct-Injection Turbocharged SUBARU BOXER® engine that adds a little power under the engine. While I didn’t use the paddle shifters because the weather wasn’t so great here, you can choose to drive in 6 or 8 speed manual mode to give yourself a little more giddy up. Who knew you could get power from a Subaru? Did I mention the 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and 8.7 inches of ground clearance?  This is why I was able to maneuver in the snow so well.

Subaru Forester 2.0Xt Touring

18 in alloy wheels and large ground clearance make the Forester able to drive through anything with ease. Photo: Jenn Greene


Overall, I Loved the Subaru Forester 2.0 XT Touring

There is so much to love about the 2017 Subaru Forester 2.0 XT Touring. The leather trimmed seats give the interior a sleek finish and the front bucket-style seats suck you in for a comfortable and relaxed time behind the wheel. There are plenty of extra conveniences: from eight cupholders, front door pockets to large rear seat-back storage.  The moonroof was a hit with the kids, it was huge and added tons of  sunlight. If I had driven the Forester in better weather, I would have spent some time sitting by the creek star-gazing through the moonroof!   Getting 32 MPG highway was a BIG plus for me since I live in the country about 20 miles from the closest city. The fuel efficiency for a crossover blew me away.

The back seat was quite large and had two USB ports for the kids to keep all the devices charged for trips, without fighting. Even with the center cup holder down they still had a ton of room in the back.

Subaru Forester 2.0 Xt Touring

The spacious backseat was a win for the girls for sure. Photo: Jenn Greene

If you are in the market for a family crossover with an affordable price tag, this is the one you should test drive–especially if you are an outdoor loving family.

Mom, Wife, Writer and Avid Traveler Jenn wears many hats. She grew up in the car industry and has... More about Jenn Greene