Consumer Reports names redesigned Subaru Forester top small SUV

The redesigned 2014 Subaru Forester captured the top spot in Consumer Reports' reviews of small SUVs.

It bested similar crossovers that were recently redesigned, including the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5, in what has become a competitive segment of the auto industry.

Consumer Reports noted that Subaru resisted a trend in which other automakers have made their small SUVs sportier. Instead, Subaru focused on utilitarian basics, such as a space-efficient design, large windows, and big square doors. That has given the Forester a spacious cabin with good visibility.

“Overall, if you’re looking for a small SUV that’s very functional and fuel-efficient, the Forester is hard to beat,” said Jake Fisher, director, Consumer Reports Auto Test Center.

The Forester also gets a segment-leading 26 miles per gallon overall and 35 mpg on the highway, Consumer Reports found.

Still there are some glitches. Consumer Reports dinged the Forester for a jittery ride, calling its handling responsive but not as agile as the Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5 or Toyota RAV4.

This was the second big endorsement for the Forester in recent weeks. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said it earned the best rating on a test that measures damage from front-end collisions with fixed objects such as a tree or pole.

Most compact sport-utility vehicles scored poorly on the test. Of the 13 models tested, only the Forester earned an overall rating of “good.” The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport was the second-highest-scoring model, receiving an “acceptable” rating. The rest were rated “marginal” or “poor.”


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