Among dozens of compact crossover SUVs, the 2018 Subaru Forester is the only one to offer standard all-wheel drive, which alone has made it popular in cold weather states — but that isn’t the Forester’s only edge in terms of performance.
Every 2018 Subaru Forester is available with one of two boxer engines — a term referring to their flat layout, which allows them to be placed lower in the vehicle. This subsequently lowers its center of gravity and thus enhances stability. The base engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 170 horsepower and 174 lb-ft of torque, while the optional engine is a 2.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injected four-cylinder that makes 250 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Though it wasn’t necessarily built for it, the Forester can still tow up to 1,500 pounds if needed.
The 2.5-liter engine can be paired with either a six-speed manual transmission or a Lineartronic® continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), both of which do a good job of routing power to all four wheels; in fact, the 2018 Subaru Forester is downright quick for an SUV, able to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in about six seconds. Meanwhile, the 2.0-liter engine gets the High-Torque Lineartronic® CVT, which comes with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters and can emulate six or eight virtual gear ratios, allowing you to take full control of the Forester.
The 2018 Subaru Forester is underpinned by sport-tuned springs and dampers that help increase your confidence behind the wheel. Combine this with Subaru’s famous Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD) and 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, which contribute to a generous ground clearance of 8.7 inches, and you’ll quickly feel as though there is no trail or dirt path you cannot conquer. Off-roading capability gets even better with X-MODE™, a standard feature starting on the Premium trim with the Lineartronic® CVT. At the push of a button, X-MODE™ will optimize the AWD, traction control, stability control and Hill Descent Control to help the Forester tackle steep inclines and slippery surfaces as well as physics permit.
When shopping for a family-friendly SUV that doesn’t shy at the first hint of snow or mud, the 2018 Subaru Forester ought to be at the top of your list.
This article is presented by Autoteam Delaware in Wilmington, Delaware.