Subaru has news for you. There’s little to distinguish the 2011 model from its 2010 counterpart. Up front, the grille and swept headlights work together to create a cohesive look that draws your eye down the side of the vehicle. Details like large insets for fog lights, flared fenders and boxy side-view mirrors help give the Forester more of an SUV flavor than other compact high-riders out there, and while we miss some of the wagon aspects of older Foresters.
Inside, there are includes the decorative swath of silver trim helps to brighten the cabin, the cockpit is still a little dark for our tastes. The driver is treated to a well-sorted steering wheel with controls for cruise, hands-free calling and the stereo within reach, and the set of somewhat plain gauges are easy to read day or night. 2011 Subaru Forester uses an engine that’s considerably more advanced than its predecessor. The old engine’s belt-driven, single-overhead cam design has been replaced with a chain-driven dual-overhead cam setup for better efficiency. The change helped net the engine an extra one mpg in the city on the EPA’s cycle. Additionally, the four-cylinder uses a marginally larger bore and longer stroke, tweaking displacement from 2,457cc to 2,498cc and helping to deliver an extra four pound-feet of torque 300 rpm sooner than the old 2.5-liter engine.
The new engine is still bolted to the same four-speed automatic transmission that Moses brought down from Mount Fuji. Whereas the 2010 Forester was saddled with the company’s characteristically tractor-esque rumble from under the rounded hood, the 2011 hums along with a fraction of the racket. The 2011 Forester still provides hilariously excellent driving dynamics given its lofty ride height thanks to a pile of DNA borrowed from the lovable WRX.