Search Cars for Sale

The Subaru Forester STI Was Real, Rare and Very Cool

Here’s something you may not have realized: Subaru once made an STI version of the Forester. Disappointingly, it wasn’t sold in North America, or anywhere outside of Japan, but it existed, and it existed in the best way possible: Subaru took the Forester, they put in the WRX STI engine and they added a giant hood scoop.

I love the Forester STI because it’s what all car enthusiasts would make if we ran a car company. We have a popular crossover, we have a high-performance sedan … why not marry them? It’d be like adding the Ford Mustang’s 5.0-liter V8 to the Explorer, which is, of course, a laughable decision from a business standpoint, but you can’t tell me that wouldn’t be a fun thing to see actually take place.

So what exactly is the deal with the Forester STI? It was offered on the second-generation Forester, which was available from 2003 to 2008. That’s still back when the Forester was more station-wagonny than SUV like, as it is today, so the STI version made even more sense. And, indeed, Subaru did exactly what I said: they took the STI’s 2.5-liter turbocharged flat four and they dumped it in the Forester, where it made 265 horsepower. It also got the requisite modifications that an STI car would need: a few styling upgrades, a hood scoop, bigger wheels. It was delightful.

Unfortunately, it was only sold in right-hand drive, as it was only offered for the Japanese market — and it wasn’t delightful for long, as Subaru only offered the Forester STI for one generation, and they haven’t returned to it since. But the idea is wonderful, and the Forester STI was cool long before sporty SUVs really started to take off as a "thing." Find a Subaru Forester for sale

Video | The 1996 Ford Bronco Is How SUVs Used to Be
Video | Here’s Why the Mini Clubvan Is One of the Rarest Cars Ever
Autotrader Find: 2018 Bugatti Chiron for $3.5 Million

Sign up for Autotrader newsletters

The best cars and best deals delivered to your inbox

Email Address 

By subscribing, you agree to our privacy policy

Where You Can Buy

Loading dealers...

Most Popular Articles

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: First Look

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid jumps to the head of the hybrid class.

How Much Money Should You Put Down on a Car?

Determining the right down payment for a new- or used-car loan or a new-car lease depends on more than just the buyer's finances.

Best SUV Deals: September 2020

Now is a great time to buy an SUV. Those who can afford a new ride are in luck because there are some great cashback and lease incentives right now.

Research by Style

More Articles Like This