2021 Subaru Forester Review

By Alexi Falson on 28 Mar 2021
image for 2021 Subaru Forester Review Midsize SUVs remain a popular choice of car among Australians, and one of the latest, the 2021 Subaru Forester, is a new version of the popular Subaru model.

Here’s our review of the latest model, comparing the price, specs, comfort, features and fuel-efficiency. 

What does it cost?

The 2021 Forester has an average driveaway cost of around $41,990 but can cost between $35,000 and $45,000. Some versions are more expensive. The Hybrid S-model for example has a higher driveaway price of over $46,000. 

An average cost for a service over a 12-month period (12,500 kilometres) is around $470. This is quite a high cost of service compared to other cars.

How much can you save with OnlineAuto? 

Using OnlineAuto’s car buying service, you could save between $1,800 and around $5,000 by sourcing one of our car specialists to help you find the best value model for you.  

What features does the 2021 Forester have?

We’ll discuss some of these in greater detail below, but the 2021 Forester has a number of excellent safety and comfort features, like heated seats, reversing cameras, pedestrian and cyclist detection, comfortable leather seats and more. 

But there are other modern features it comes with that can make it worth using. Such features include:

  • Adaptive cruise control 
  • Keyless start and stop 
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • One-touch folding seats 
  • A clear, uncluttered display screen 
  • Ample storage (498L, 1,740L with the back seats down)
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity 
  • And more. This car lives up to the ‘modern technology’ benchmark. 

Is it comfortable to drive? 

The Subaru Forester is quite spacious on the inside and looks very modern. The dashboard has quite a simplistic design, despite having the above features, and the console is clear and easy to read and thanks to its central positioning, the driver can avoid looking down too much to use it. 

The seats have ample room for taller drivers, and as mentioned above, heated seats are a big plus on cold days. The engine is generally quite smooth and responsive but can be slightly noisy. The leather seats are a plus too, although it isn’t quite as comfortable to sit in as some of the other similar models. 

Is it safe? 

Yes, the Forester is very safe to drive, obtaining the maximum 5-star ANCAP safety rating and also comes with other safety features, like pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane-departure warning, blind-spot mirrors, rear-view cameras and sensors, adaptive cruise control and more. 

It also has autonomous emergency braking, and a braked towing capacity of up to 1800 Kg. Overall, this model scores very highly in terms of safety for urban, city and rural environments. 

Is it fuel-efficient 

Although the fuel-efficiency of the 2021 model (7.4 litres per hundred kilometres) isn’t bad by any means, it is arguably one of its weaker points, as this is a bit lower than other cars of its class. Two of this car’s main competitors, the Mazda CX-5 and the Toyota Rav4, for example, have a fuel-efficiency of about 6L/100km and 4.7L/100km respectively.

Our verdict:  Is the 2021 Subaru Forester worth it? 

Overall, the 2021 Subaru Forester is a relatively affordable, modern, roomy car that contains all the basics one might need for daily commuting. It's solid and safe, won't be pushed around in traffic and shows that you can be stylish and assertive at the same time. Just don’t expect it to be as powerful as other cars in its range, like the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4, nor as responsive, but if you prefer a nice look over lots of power, then this could be your car. 

The interior features as well, like good touch screens, warmed seats and excellent media compatibility could make it an ideal choice for long road trips with the family, although as mentioned the fuel-economy is slightly worse than you might expect, while it’s also more expensive to service on average. 

While it might not be perfect in every category, it’s another reliable and quality addition to the market from Subaru. 

5 specs you need to know:

  1. Engine: 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol
  2. Transmission and drive: All-wheel drive, Continuously variable transmission (CVT auto)
  3. ANCAP safety rating: Five Stars
  4. Official fuel economy: 7.4L/100km, ~$28 per week cost 
  5. Time from 0-100km/h as tested: 8.5 seconds 


  • Excellent safety features
  • Good interior features as well 
  • A decent upfront cost 
  • Good interior space and practicality 
  • Comfortable to drive 
  • Versatile


  • Slightly expensive to own 
  • Not the greatest fuel economy 
  • Doesn’t handle as well as similar cars
  • Can be noisy 


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

Have any questions? Call us on 1300 719 925

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