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2006 Subaru Forester Sport Utility Crossover

4dr 2.5 X L.L. Bean Edition Auto

Starting at | Starting at 23 MPG City - 28 MPG Highway

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  • Average Retail is not available
  • $26,895 original MSRP
Printable Version

2006 Subaru Forester Sport Utility Crossover

Printable Version

2006 Subaru Forester Sport Utility Crossover

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2006 Subaru Forester

Source: MSN Autos

The first Subaru Forester arrived for 1998 and was ahead of its time because it was among the first car-based sport-utility vehicles. Now called "crossovers," such vehicles are becoming increasingly popular.

The 2006 Forester is based on Subaru's Impreza sedan. It thus can be called a now-fashionable crossover, although it's officially a compact SUV.

Subaru has come a long way since it sold small, cheap economy cars in the 1970s. The Forester was revised for 2003 with crisper styling and more room, refinement, comfort and safety items. And an early 2004 version got a horsepower-boosting turbocharger and hood scoop to attract younger folks.

Major Revisions
The latest Forester gets more major revisions. It still looks pretty bland despite revised styling up front, with a new grille, headlight clusters, hood, bumper and fenders—besides a new taillight cluster and rear body trim panel.

The oversized hood scoop looks cartoonish, although at least it's a functional scoop and not some silly cosmetic add-on.

Faster and Generally Better
There's also additional power, besides refined drivetrain, suspension and brake systems. The new Forester goes faster, with better handling, an improved ride and surer braking.

Hidden are strategic items such as a strengthened rear crossmember. It increases lateral rigidity to help improve handling, as do revised coil spring rates and shock absorber valving.

Also helping improve performance are revisions to the 5-speed manual gearbox and four-speed automatic transmission, although the Forester really should have a more modern 5-speed automatic.

Ground clearance is up to 8.1 inches from 7.5 inches to enhance all-road, all-weather driving capability. The solidly constructed Forester is surprisingly capable during fairly rugged off-road driving. But it's mainly designed for slippery, rotten roads. It's not for nothing that Subarus long have scored well during rotten New England winters.

More Power
Horsepower of the compact, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, with its Porsche-style opposed piston design, is increased from 210 to 230, thanks to higher compression and a redesigned intake-exhaust system.

The added power makes the 2006 Forester a hot rod crossover, able to do 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds with the manual transmission. And new emissions controls let the engine meet a stricter Low Emissions Vehicle regulation.

The non-turbocharged base 4-cylinder's horsepower jumps from 165 to 173. That's not a major increase, but this engine has a new variable-valve lift system that makes it more responsive.

The base engine is rated at 20 mpg in the city and 26 on highways with the manual gearbox and 21 and 26 with the automatic. The turbo engine delivers 22 and 29 with the manual and 23 and 28 with the automatic. The regular engine only needs 87-octane gasoline, but the turbo engine calls for 91-octane.

List prices range from $21,795 to $27,895. The base Forester 2.5 X has air conditioning, an AM/FM/Weatherband stereo with CD player, power mirrors, windows and door locks with remote keyless entry, split-folding rear seatbacks, anti-lock brakes—and new body color bumpers and side cladding.

Huge Power Sunroof
Step up to the 2.5 XT with the Premium Package and added are a huge power glass sunroof that even covers a good part of the rear seat area. This trim level also has automatic climate control, power driver's seat, alloy wheels, a 6-disc CD changer, along with heated front seats, windshield wiper de-icer and heated body color side mirrors with turn signals.

The L.L.Bean Edition's extra equipment includes an automatic transmission (an $800 option for other trim levels), a new wood-and-leather steering wheel and unique alloy wheels. This is the only version with a self-leveling rear suspension.

The top-line XT Limited is the only Forester with the turbo engine, and it also adds leather upholstery and an upgraded audio system.

Fun to Drive
The Forester is generally fun to drive, particularly with the turbo engine, and there seemingly is a trim level for nearly everyone. This is among the most car-like, comfortable crossover vehicles, although the ride sometimes gets a little bouncy.

The steering is rather heavy, but not objectionably so, and is quick and accurate. The low-set engine helps provide a low center of gravity and enhances the Forester's car-like handling. The standard, unusually good all-wheel-drive system provides good road grip. The brake pedal is almost too soft, but its linear action allows smooth stops.

The manual shifter provides easy fast gear changes, even without the $345 short-throw shifter option. However, it works with a stiff, rather long-throw clutch that can be a pain in stop-and-go traffic.

A downshift from fifth to fourth gear is needed for quick passing on open roads, and the engine registers a high 3000 rpm at 70 mph—although high-speed cruising is no problem.

Sitting High
It's easy getting in the quiet, nicely designed interior, which has supportive front seats, easily read gauges and large climate controls. Occupants sit fairly high and four fit comfortably, although a tall rear passenger will want more legroom if a driver moves his seat back a lot.

Front cupholders are OK, but the pop-out dual rear ones look so flimsy that I'd be reluctant to put even moderately heavy beverage containers in them. Curiously, the front armrest swings back 180 degrees to provide two additional rear cupholders, which are more substantial.

Cost-cutting is shown by no lights for the sun visor vanity mirrors and an awkward manual hood prop.

High Crash-Test Ratings
Front-seat side airbags are standard, but side-curtain airbags are not available. However, the Forester has received high crash-test ratings.

The hatch has no separate-opening window, but the roomy cargo area has a low, wide opening and can be enlarged by flipping the rear seatbacks forward.

The Forester is a sound alternative to larger, less efficient sport-utility vehicles. Now, if Subaru would only do something about its styling.

Printable Version

2006 Subaru Forester Sport Utility Crossover

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Rollover Resistance
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Std
Fog Lamps Std
Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Opt
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std

Security

Alarm Std
Printable Version

2006 Subaru Forester Sport Utility Crossover

Subaru Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

84 months or 100,000 mile powertrain (whichever comes first) from original warranty start. Many upgrade options available.
Age/Mileage Eligibility Current model year or preceding 5 yrs/80,000 miles
Lease Term Certified Yes
Point Inspection 152
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible No

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2006 Subaru Forester Sport Utility Crossover

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