The Subaru Forester is The Best Small SUV of 2018

November 1, 2018

The Forester 2.5i-S won praise for its compact size, no-nonsense design, top-of-the-line symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system and excellent value.

Meet The Best Small SUV of 2018

The Subaru Forester 2.5i-S has advanced to the top of its class with Drive adorning it with the title of Best Small SUV for 2018.

A Winner in Its Class

The Forester 2.5i-S won praise for its compact size, no-nonsense design, top-of-the-line symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system and excellent value. The 2.5-litre flat four-cylinder petrol Boxer engine totes 136kW of power at 5,800rpm and 239Nm of torque at 4400rpm, as well as a Continuous Variable Transmission, 8.7 inches of ground clearance and Subaru’s award-winning EyeSight safety technology. It beat out the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, the Skoda Karoq, as well as last year’s winner, the Volkswagon Tiguan.

The Forester 2.5i-S trim includes 18-inch wheels, a leather interior, LED headlights and an eight-speaker Harmon Kardon stereo complete with an 8-inch infotainment screen and separate 4.2-inch and 6.3-inch screens for car performance information. It’s rated at 7.4L/100 km for fuel consumption and is priced starting at $41,990.

Unbeatable Handling

While the Forester 2.5i-S is clearly a compact SUV, it handles more like a car thanks to Subaru’s world-renowned All-Wheel-Drive system, which makes driving on slippery, snowy, wet roads and steep hills a breeze. The Forester is both fun and functional, and sportier than it looks – while it isn’t built for speed, it’s got a good amount of torque and impressive acceleration even on unpaved trails. It was lauded for its “peerless” traction in slippery conditions due to its All-Wheel-Drive system running at all times.

Industry Leading Credentials

Drive editor Andrew MacLean called the Forester 2.5i-S a “pragmatic family SUV” that “ticks all the boxes, in terms of vision, comfort, space, safety and capability.” It received first place votes from six out of seven of Drive’s judges. Subaru’s EyeSight safety technology, which includes Lane-Keeping Assistance, Rear Cross Traffic Alert Systems, Blind Spot Monitoring, Active Cruise Control and Autonomous Emergency Braking, was singled out for its industry-leading credentials.

Class Leading Safety & Value

“It’s the only system here which recognises and acts on changes to brake lights on the car in front, making it both smoother and safer in the real world,” Drive said. “High-grade models such as the Forester 2.5i-S tested here come with reverse automatic braking as standard, potentially preventing low-speed accidents involving children in driveways or carparks.”

Drive editors were also a fan of the facial recognition system, which can be programmed to remember your preference for seat position, mirror and climate control options, and most importantly, its ability to warn motorists if any signs of drowsiness is detected.

“It watches you, to see whether you’re watching the road. If you fuss with your phone, turn to speak with passengers or drop your vision for too long, you’ll get a friendly reminder to focus on the task at hand, or even take a break.”

The Forester 2.5i-S was also given the nod for giving the best bang for its buck among the lineup, coming fully-stocked without having to put down any extra cash.

“Even metallic paint is free,” Drive noted.

The Subaru Global Platform

The Forester 2.5i-S is, at its heart, a compact family SUV, but Subaru’s propriety technology takes it up a notch for someone who’s looking for someone who wants a vehicle they can have a bit of fun with on the weekend or in the bush. The Subaru Global Platform brings a quieter cabin, more comfortable ride as well as sharper handling and flexibility, while Subaru’s All-Wheel-Drive system and high-riding suspension makes the car lighter, more playful and more adventurous than your average SUV. It was recognized for its ability to “glide” over rough terrain, potholes and other road challenges, and the responsive horizontally-opposed Boxer engine performs like a dream.

“It’s the definition of what Subaru stands for as a brand,” Drive judge Nathan Ponchard said. “The Forester does all of those things better than every other car in the lineup.”