2009 Subaru Forester 2.5X
2009 Subaru Forester 2.5X
2009 Subaru Forester 2.5X. Click image to enlarge

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2009 Subaru Forester

As we enter the third and final month of our “Bring it on!” winter comparison, it would appear we’re being set up for a March that will preview spring, rather than rewind on winter.

In the grand scheme, you’ll hear few complaints about this from me. But it does make it difficult to judge the winter-readiness of a vehicle, as I experienced with last month’s Ford Flex, and it’s a bit of a shame, too, given that this month, I’m behind the wheel of Subaru’s new-for-2009 Forester crossover.

Subaru calls this the third generation of its Impreza-based compact CUV (crossover utility vehicle), but it might be more accurately described as a second-generation model given that the original went 10 years without any major structural alterations.

This one, however, is significantly larger. It’s a more conventionally-styled little CUV too; the old model’s proportions – tall, wheels-to-roof, but relatively short tip-to-tail – were a little awkward. That said, it could be argued that this new Forester lacks some of its predecessor’s charm.

We’ll take that, though, in light of this one’s extra interior space and handsome exterior. Headroom is generous, front seat space seems improved and rear-seat space is definitely a step up.

Our tester is a relative stripper as Foresters go, dressed in entry-level 2.5X trim, with the only option being a four-speed automatic transmission. As equipped, our tester rings in at $26,895 (plus freight charge); standard equipment includes all of the items shoppers in the small CUV class expect, like power windows and locks and heated power mirrors. Air conditioning is standard, too, naturally, as is cruise control. A nice bonus in all Foresters is the standard heated front seats.

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