The showroom price tag for the Subaru Forester compares relatively well against its competitors. The base Forester offers decent standard equipment, too. It doesn’t include items like alloy wheels, leather seats or fancy sat-nav, but useful items such as automatic air conditioning, heated door mirrors, self-levelling suspension and cruise control are all standard equipment.
Running costs are less favourable, especially for the petrol model. The CO2 outputs of both the petrol and diesel engines put the Forester in an expensive VED band, meaning a year’s road tax will cost you more than in an equivalent Kuga or CR-V.
Stroke the petrol Forester along a motorway and you might return just north of 30mpg (despite there being no sixth gear), but on a more mixed touring route we managed only 28.8mpg. In town, expect that figure to drop into the low 20s; overall, we achieved a rather poor 23.8mpg. The diesel's official average is well over 40mpg, making it competitive with rivals, if not class-leading. Even so anyone who does more than very limited mileage will likely be better off buying the diesel.
Subaru dealers are now competitive when it comes to discounts, with a four-figure sum and more expected. However, in spite of their favour among the farming set, residual values are slightly below average for the type of car.