Subaru Forester, 2009: Roman Mica's Rambling Review

James Raia

Subaru Forester, 2009: Roman Mica's Rambling Review 1Way back in the prehistoric days of the crossover car era, the Subaru Forester was one of the first vehicles to be forged from the primordial soup that combined the DNA of a car with that of the SUV.

When the elements cooled and the steam drifted away, the Forester stood tallish and proud in the vanguard of the new crossover craze. Others would follow in its tracks, but it was the Forester that showed them the way.

It will come as no surprise that for 2009 the Forester has gotten bigger, taller, and even fatter than the very first model that rolled out of the Subaru’s primordial soup.

Is it a giant station wagon, or a small SUV, and does it really matter to most new car buyers?

I suspect what matters to Subaru is that the Forester is now in the same price range and size category as to compete with such heavy weight crossover sellers as Toyota’s RAV4.

Subaru Forester, 2009: Roman Mica's Rambling Review 2

But before I get to the nitty-gritty details of the review here are some cheers and jeers from a week spent driving the car:


* Ginormous sunroof that lets the sunshine in as the good times roll.

* La-Z-Boy level of comfort and ride over springtime potholes in desperate need of repair.

* Trusted and true driving experience that only an old dog and good friend can bring to a relationship.

* User friendly ergonomics that are easy and straightforward to operate.


* 5-speed manual transmission that’s about as fast, precise, and accurate as wooden spoon in wooden bowl of bear mush.

* La-Z-Boy like slow motion acceleration that has you seriously considering if you really need to pass that garbage truck after all.

* Ginormous sunroof that seems to take an eternity to close, and for some mysterious reason unknown to me stops on its own before it completely shuts.

* Cup holders questionably located under the sliding arm rest that likes to decapitate any drink that’s not in a 12 ounce can.

Subaru Forester, 2009: Roman Mica's Rambling Review 3

The nitty-gritty:

The Subaru Forester is one of those cars that over time will endear itself to you.

Not because it stands out in the latest crowd of crossovers.

And certainly not because it breaks any new styling or technology ground.

And most certainly not because it is fast or even furious — you’ll want to get the Forester XT with that 2.5 turbo engine if speed and acceleration is what you crave.

No, what will make the Forester your best automotive friend is that it just goes about its business in a confident and straightforward manner.

The symmetrical all-wheel drive inspires confidence in any sort of weather be it rain, snow, or sleet which means the Forester just feels solid, secure, and highly reliable.

The car never screams about its intentions, but like a good friend it is always ready and willing to:

* Help you move your all stuff to a new place;

*Take you skiing or riding on those days when the roads are horrible and the slopes are incredible;

* Be there for you when you need it most to start like when you’ve stayed up way to late, and you need to get to work way too early.

All these attributes seem to be buried deep down in its genetic makeup. And perhaps that’s one of the best reasons for buying the car that was first forged when the primordial crossover soup was still red hot.

2009 Subaru Forester Facts & Figures

Price as Tested: $24,064. Engine, Transmission: 2.5 Liter Horizontally-opposed SOHC 5-Speed Manual; Horsepower: 170; PocketDyno Test Data 1/4 Mile: 17.49 seconds at 87.42 mph, 9.64 0-60 mph; Max Acceleration: 0.35 g’s; EPA Fuel Economy Estimates, City: 20 mpg; Highway, 26 mpg; Combined 22 mpg; As tested, 24.5 mpg; C02 per year: 10,207 lbs.

To read more of Roman Mica’s car reviews, visit: www.TFLCar.com.

Article Last Updated: May 6, 2009.

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