"I agree with the sentiments that the Forester seriously needs another gear," says assistant Web producer Scott Evans, "but I have to say it really isn't noticeable around town. The turbo would be nice as well, but again, getting around L.A., the Forester feels plenty peppy from stoplight to stoplight. Sure, the whole thing is a bit simple and basic, but it gets the job done remarkably well. It drives nicely, outward visibility is excellent, and the controls are easy to use." Assistant Web producer Carlos Lago notes, "I took the Forester on a camping trip at Joshua Tree this weekend. The Forester makes for a decent tent. Sleeping in it isn't bad at all: With the second row folded, the cargo area has just enough room for a small air mattress. That same space also made it easy to lug the bulk of the group's camping gear around. As many in the camping group noted, there's nothing special to the Forester. It's a workhorse."


2009 Subaru Forester
Months/miles in service 9/20,092
Avg econ/CO2 21.8 mpg/0.89 lb/mi
Unresolved problems None
Maintenance cost $372.70 (2 - oil change/inspection/rotate tires, replace engine air filter)
Normal-wear cost $0