With its roomy interior, capable engines, standard all-wheel drive, comfortable drive and excellent safety scores, the 2010 Subaru Forester is once again among the leaders in the compact SUV segment.
After a total redesign for the 2009 model year, the Forester is now larger than its earlier wagon-like models and closer to a more traditional SUV. Styling also has taken a more aggressive and rugged look, but the 2010 Forester still largely maintains its carlike performance due to a new double-wishbone rear suspension, wider front and rear tracks, and improved chassis rigidity.
There's also been a few minor equipment changes this year. The previous Premium package has now become a separate trim level and also adds a standard power driver seat. And now gone is the L.L. Bean Edition trim level. Bluetooth connectivity has also been added to the optional navigation system.
Trims, Standard Features And Options:
The 2010 Forester is available in a choice of five trims: 2.5X, 2.5X Premium, 2.5X Limited, 2.5XT Premium and 2.5XT Limited.
The base 2.5X is already quite decently equipped with standard features that include full power accessories, keyless entry, air conditioning, cruise control, 16 inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, a trip computer, a tilt steering column and a 4-speaker sound system with a CD player and auxiliary audio jack.
The Forester 2.5X Premium then adds a panoramic sunroof, steering-wheel audio controls, 17 inch alloy wheels, an 8-way power driver seat, reclining rear seatbacks and roof rails.
Standard features added to the 2.5X Limited include leather upholstery, the All-Weather package (heated front seats, heated mirrors and windshield wiper de-icer), automatic climate control and a 6-speaker audio system with a 6-disc CD changer.
The Forester 2.5XT Premium model is very much like the 2.5X Premium but has a larger engine, a tilt and telescoping steering column, foglights, upgraded cloth upholstery and a 6-way manual driver seat (not power). The 2.5XT Limited then adds the power driver seat as well as the 2.5X Limited's additional features.
While the All-Weather package is an available option on the 2.5X Premium, stand-alone options include satellite radio, an iPod interface, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and several exterior trim accent add-ons. And available for the Limited models is a navigation system with a touchscreen interface, Bluetooth, a single-CD player and an auxiliary audio/video input jack.
Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:
All Foresters come with standard all-wheel drive, as do all Subarus. Under the hood of the 2.5X models is a 2.5 liter horizontally opposed (flat) four-cylinder engine that pumps out 170 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. It's mated with a standard 5-speed manual transmission on the 2.5X and 2.5X Premium models, while a 4-speed automatic is an available option on these trims and standard on the 2.5X Limited.
The EPA-estimated gas mileage for a Forester with this engine and automatic transmission is 20 mpg city and 26 mpg on the highway. It should be noted that the 2.5X models sold in California-emissions states have also earned a super-clean PZEV emissions rating.
The 2.5XT comes with a turbocharged version of this engine that's good for 224 horsepower and 226 lb-ft of torque. It's available with the 4-speed automatic transmission only. In performance tests, a 2.5XT was timed from a standstill to 60 mph in a very impressive 6.8 seconds. And gas mileage for this engine decreases only slightly to 19 mpg city and 24 mpg highway.
Standard safety equipment for all 2010 Foresters include antilock brakes (ABS) with brake assist, stability control, traction control, front seat side airbags and front and rear side curtain airbags.
The 2010 Subaru Forester has also excelled in government crash tests by earning perfect five-out-of-five-star ratings in every frontal and side-impact protection category for both driver and passengers.
The cabin of the 2010 Forester is well-designed, very functional and attractive. It's also one of the more spacious contenders in its class, as it falls in between a compact and midsize SUV (like the Toyota RAV4 And Honda CR-V). Passenger room is ample for an SUV this size and cargo capacity is an impressive 33.5 cubic feet with the 60/40-split rear seatback raised and 68.3 cubic feet when folded.
While the bigger and taller Forester may have sacrificed some of its driving sportiness, it still possesses precise steering and a conveniently tight turning radius. And with its carlike maneuverability, it's provides one of the most comfortable drives in its class. Most drivers will likely find the tradeoff worth it.
Both engines are also quite competitive when it comes to power and fuel efficiency, although it would be even better with an automatic transmission with more than four gears. Overall, however, the 2010 Subaru Forester is a very capable performer, particularly in 2.5XT form.
How To Get The Lowest Price:
Best Negotiating Tactic: Well, there's definitely a 'best way' when it comes to new car buying. If you want to get the best bottomline, out-the-door price you need to know exactly who to talk to at the dealership, how to make the contact and how to make this person eager to quickly drop prices as low as possible to get your sale.
Those of you in the market for a used car may want to check out this article about how to buy a used car at the lowest price. It details a super effective buying method, one that often beats down prices to wholesale levels.
And somewhat related to this, here's another excellent method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.
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