Yonkers, New York – The redesigned Subaru Forester emerged as Consumer Reports’ new top-rated small sport-utility vehicle, following testing of seven SUVs for their August issue. The Toyota RAV4 had previously been top-ranked by CR in that category.

The Forester 2.5XT Limited achieved an “Excellent” overall score in CR’s battery of more than 50 tests at its Auto Test Center in East Haddam, Connetticut. It outscored the previously-tested RAV4 Limited, which had been named a Consumer Reports Top Pick in its Annual April Auto Issue. The base Forester 2.5X also received an “Excellent” overall score and ranks closely behind the RAV4 Limited in CR’s Ratings.

The Forester was tested as part of a group of six small SUVs that also included the less-expensive Forester 2.5x, the Mitsubishi Outlander LS, Nissan Rogue SL, Kia Sorento LX, and Jeep Liberty Sport. The Outlander and Rogue also scored near the top of CR’s small SUV ratings, with “Very Good” overall scores. The Sorento earned a “Good” score, while the Jeep Liberty was last in the ratings with a “Fair” score. While it’s routine for vehicles to achieve a better score following a redesign, the Jeep Liberty scored lower than its predecessor.

“The Forester has the most comfortable ride of any small SUV yet it also has agile and secure handling,” said David Champion, senior director of automotive testing for Consumer Reports. “Its cabin is quiet, with very good fit and finish and it has a roomy rear seat. Safety equipment includes standard curtain air bags and electronic stability control, and crash-test results are excellent.”

The August issue also contains an “Auto Test Extra” report on the Dodge Journey, a midsized SUV with three rows of seats. CR rated the Journey “Good” overall and described it as one of Chrysler’s better recent offerings.

Of the vehicles in this report, Consumer Reports is Recommending only the Forester and Outlander. Consumer Reports only Recommends vehicles that have performed well in its tests, have at least average predicted reliability based on CR’s Annual Car Reliability Survey of its more than seven million print and web subscribers, and performed at least adequately if crash-tested or included in a government rollover test.

Full tests and ratings of the test group appear in the August issue of Consumer Reports, which goes on sale July 1. The reports are also available to subscribers of ConsumerReports.org.

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