What are the changes? 

2016 Forester with Premium Package
Outward visibility remains best in the industry. 

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Compare current Forester (2014 and up) with previous generation (2009 to 2013).

Executive Summary

The 2016 Forester is available at Planet Subaru now.  Learn more about ordering a 2016 Subaru Forester from Planet Subaru

Don't expect huge changes from last year's model. 
Dimensions, sheet metal, and most specifications will be identical. Introduced as an all-new car for the 2014 model year, the 2016 Forester represents the third year in Subaru's typical five-year product cycle. 

Subaru and other manufacturers would love to offer an all-new car every year but this overkill would drive up the cost of the vehicles significantly. 
Annually, Subaru makes very minor updates.  These include new upholstery patterns, new exterior colors, audio/connectivity upgrades, and the introduction or deletion of option packages.  Subaru only increased prices a few hundred dollars...which is less than the rate of inflation. 

The rumors flying about a very high performance Forester STi being slotted in above the Forester XT proved to be false.  While an STi version is offered in world markets, it appears that Subaru didn't anticipate enough volume in the North American market to justify the investment.  However, Subaru is introducing an STi "Sport" package on the 2016 Crosstrek...so maybe Subaru will offer a similar appearance package on the Forester some time in the future.  Time will tell, and as soon as we know, we'll tell you here.

Four Minute Planet-exclusive introductory video

Planet-exclusive 2016 Forester Photo Gallery.  Click to enlarge

Changes to Forester: 2016

Subaru upgraded Starlink capabilities

With new AT&T 4G LTE capability, Sirius XM Connected Vehicle Services will provide:
  • Stolen vehicle recovery,
  • Automatic collision notification,
  • Remote vehicle services such as lock/unlock via smartphone
  • Monthly vehicle health reports.

New center stack


The head unit for the infotainment system is now seamlessly integrated into the dash.

Optional Subaru Eyesight gets a tweak on 2016 Forester models. 
Subaru has offered Eyesight on the Forester since 2014, but for 2016 you now get steering responsive foglights too.  Using steering wheel inputs, your left or right fog light will illuminate automatically in certain turns to expand your night view.

Eyesight cameras.

When Subaru first introduced Eyesight on Outback and Legacy for 2013, it was available only on "Limited" models.  For 2014, Subaru added availability to the mid-level "Premium" models of Outback and Legacy.  Subaru typically introduces new technology on the higher-priced models and increases availability in subsequent years.  This is the best $795 you could spend...it's a safety feature you shouldn't live without.

2016 Forester keeps current generation Eyesight.

2015 Outback and Legacy offer the next generation, which includes many enhancements, including smaller color cameras and radar technology.  

Next generation Eyesight cameras.

We don't expect Subaru to offer the next generation Eyesight or its companion system, Blind Spot Detection/Lane Change Assist, until the 2017 model year. 

Standard Engine will remain
Currently, the 2.5 liter four cylinder Boxer engine produces 170 horsepower.  

Current model:

Continuously variable
automatic transmission:

24 city, 32 highway

Six-speed manual:
22 city, 29 highway

No hybrid powerplant will be offered. 

Manual transmission survives! 

Subaru did away with a manual transmission option on the Outback in the United States with the 2015 model year, so we would be surprised to see the option go away on the Forester since it would make sense to have at least one manual option available in one of Subaru's larger cars. 

No changes to the trim level structure on the 2016 Forester.

Alloy wheel on current 2.5i Premium
and Limited models.

High Luster Wheel on 2.5i Touring

Forester 2.5i model is available in base, Premium, Limited and top-line Touring trims. The turbocharged Forester 2.0XT, offered in the Premium and Touring trims is powered by a 250-horsepower 2.0-liter direct-injection turbocharged 4-cylinder Boxer engine.

Other than center stack, interior remains the same on the 2016 Forester.



It's just too expensive to change all these components (seats, dashboard, gauges, trim, etc) every year.  The five year product cycle allows Subaru to focus its development dollars on one great interior instead of five slightly different ones that are only mediocre.

Prices only increased by a few hundred dollars. 
See current pricing.

t's remarkable that Subaru can continue, year after year, to include more and more equipment with price increases that don't even match inflation.  It's a testament to Subaru's ever-increasing productivity.

Take an even deeper dive into the 2016 Forester:

The 2016 Forester 2.5i model is available in base, Premium, Limited and top-line Touring trims. The turbocharged Forester 2.0XT, offered in the Premium and Touring trims is powered by a 250-horsepower 2.0-liter direct-injection turbocharged 4-cylinder BOXER engine.

The 2015 Forester earned the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating with the available Subaru-developed EyeSight® system, which includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Pre-Collision Braking and Lane Departure and Sway Warning. EyeSight uses stereo camera technology developed by Subaru to provide a detection angle wider than that of radar-based systems.
New for 2016, Forester models equipped with EyeSight now also include Steering-Responsive Fog Lights, which use the pre-aimed fog lights to individually provide enhanced illumination in the direction of a turn.

All Foresters come standard with Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. The Forester 2.5i trims are powered by a 170-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder BOXER engine. When equipped with the Lineartronic® continuously variable transmission (CVT), they achieve EPA fuel economy estimates of 24 mpg city / 32 mpg highway / 27 mpg combined - figures that compare well to competitive models with front-wheel drive. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard for the 2.5i and 2.5i Premium, with the CVT an option.

The CVT is standard on all other 2016 Forester trims, and high-line CVT-equipped models also feature standard Hill Descent Control and a X-Mode, which provides extra control in certain driving conditions.

New SUBARU STARLINK Safety & Security
For 2016, the Forester Premium, Limited and Touring trims now feature the new SUBARU STARLINK Safety and Security features. Two STARLINK packages are available and are among the most affordable in the industry. The STARLINK Safety Plus package includes SOS Emergency Assistance, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Automatic Collision Notification, Maintenance Notifications, Monthly Vehicle Health Report and Diagnostic Alerts.

For even greater peace of mind, the STARLINK Safety Plus & Security Plus Package adds Stolen Vehicle Recovery Service, Vehicle Security Alarm Notification, Remote Lock/Unlock, Remote Horn and Lights and Remote Vehicle Locator.

STARLINK Audio Systems
All Forester trim lines for 2016 feature STARLINK, Subaru's in-vehicle platform that provides hands-free connectivity and entertainment services. STARLINK is designed to work seamlessly with the in-car head unit to provide smartphone integration and tap into nearly unlimited entertainment through apps such as Pandora®, iHeartRadio® Aha, and Stitcher. The technology can deliver live traffic alerts and also help reduce driver distraction by displaying texts and allowing the driver to use voice commands for music and navigation (when equipped).

The Forester 2.5i base model features STARLINK 6.2" Multimedia with a 6.2-in. single-touch gesture display, AM/FM stereo with HD Radio®, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Radio Data Broadcast System, single-disc CD player, Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming, iPod® control, iTunes® Tagging, a USB port and an auxiliary input jack. Smartphone integration features Aha and Pandora®, along with STARLINK cloud applications iHeartRadio®, Stitcher, Calendar, Music Player, News and Weather. The screen also provides the display for the standard rear vision camera.

The Premium, Limited and Touring trims have standard STARLINK 7.0" Multimedia Plus with a high-resolution 7-in. LCD screen featuring multi-touch gesture controls, much like a smartphone or tablet. In addition, STARLINK 7.0" Multimedia includes Bluetooth hands-free SMS text messaging and dual USB ports. Optional STARLINK 7.0" Multimedia Navigation features voice-activated controls and also includes SiriusXM Traffic® and NavWeather® (4-month trial subscription included). Navigation equipped models come with three years of complimentary map updates.

Renowned Subaru Value
The Forester 2.5i comes equipped as standard with a tilt/telescopic steering column, STARLINK 6.2" Multimedia, rear vision camera, Incline Start Assist, security system with engine immobilizer, carpeted floor mats, multi-function display, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming with steering wheel control switches and more.
The 2.5i Premium adds STARLINK 7.0" Multimedia, 17-inch alloy wheels, 10-way power driver's seat, reclining rear seatback, dark tint privacy rear glass, panoramic power moonroof and more. The All-Weather Package, which includes heated front seats, heated side mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer, comes standard with the 2.5i Premium with 6-speed manual transmission and is optional for the CVT-equipped model.

The 2.5i Limited model makes the CVT standard and also includes the All-Weather Package, perforated leather-trimmed seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, fog lights, automatic climate control system, Welcome Lighting, power liftgate, and more.

The Touring trim tops the Forester line. In addition to including all the Limited content, the Touring includes the harman/kardon 440-watt premium audio system, Keyless Access with Push-Button Start, a one-touch folding rear seatback and more.

Applicable option code
MSRP + destination and delivery ($850)
Forester 2.5i 6MT
Forester 2.5i CVT
Forester 2.5i Premium 6MT
Forester 2.5i Premium CVT
12, 13, 14, 15
Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
21, 22, 23
Forester 2.5i Touring CVT
31, 32
Forester 2.0XT Premium CVT
Forester 2.0XT Touring CVT
31, 32

All 2.5i models are Partial Zero Emissions (PZEV) certified
Destination & Delivery (D&D) is $850 and includes handling and inland freight charges to dealer's location and may vary in the following states: CT, HI, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, RI, & VT. D&D to dealers in Alaska is $1,000.

Option code
Standard model - 2.5i
Alloy Wheel Package (includes 17-in. alloy wheels and roof rails, a $900 value but with a $300 discount)
Standard model -- 2.5i Premium 6MT (includes All-Weather Package)
Standard model -- 2.5i Premium CVT
All-Weather Package (heated front seats, heated side mirrors and windshield wiper de-icer)
All-Weather Package + EyeSight
All-Weather Package + EyeSight + Navigation System
Standard model - 2.0XT Premium
Standard model -- 2.5i Limited
Navigation System + Audio w/ Harman Kardon® amplifier and speakers
Navigation System + Audio w/ Harman Kardon® amplifier and speakers + EyeSight
Standard model - 2.5i Touring and 2.0XT Touring
EyeSight + Navigation System

2016 Colors


Subaru made big changes when it introduced the current Forester generation as a 2014 model.  Compare last generation to current generation.

Forester Links:
  • See current pricing and trim levels.
  • Visit our Forester Center with pics and links.
  • Watch Nate's Three Favorite Things about the Forester. 
  • Watch a Forester pulling out of a glacier.
  • Learn about the Forester's class-leading safety performance.
  • See our humanely-treated free-range Foresters.
  • Peruse a fancy dynamic Forester Brochure. 
  • Read about how Forester is one of top ten cars for shorter drivers.
  • See Forester's number one outward visibility ranking.

Search our inventory for your Forester
or place a factory order:


Foresters through the years:



Slightly larger inside and out than the generation it replaces, Subaru literally cannot build enough to satisfy demand as their factories are running extra shifts.  Introducing a continuously variable transmission lifted fuel economy to 32 mpg from 27.  Other new features include the Eyesight driver assistance system, power tailgate, and X-Mode traction control.  It's our best-looking Forester ever, and outward visibility remains tops in the industry.  

2009 through 2013

Prior Foresters felt a little cramped, but sales took off with this larger Forester, bigger than its predecessor in every dimension. 
Subaru poured on the technology, with standard Vehicle Dynamics Control and six airbags.  Optional equipment included touchscreen navigation and Bluetooth.

2003 through 2008

Size remained the same, but Subaru modernized everything.  Side air bags became standard on every model, the interior moved upscale, ride quality improved, and appearance moved from utilitarian to stylish. 

1998 through 2002

Subaru created the Forester on the Impreza platform, installing a square body and bigger engine.  Along with the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V (both introduced in 1997), Subaru pioneered the "Small Crossover" segment.  It combined the  ride height, style, and versatility of a truck-based SUV without the poor fuel economy and sloppy handling.

Exclusive Planet Benefit:  Planet Passport Program




Planet keeps you up to date on all the changes to the 2016 Forester, and would like to do business with you if you're from Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, or the North Shore.