7. Subaru Forester – Solid Value
Green Score: 44
Fuel economy rating (EPA city/highway combined): 27 mpg
Base price range: $23,045-$33,945
With a sophisticated all-wheel drive system coming standard across the line, the conservatively styled, yet eminently capable, Subaru
Forester is one of the better bargains among midsize crossover
SUVs. It receives its highest green score for the base model with the standard 2.5-liter 170-horsepower “boxer” four-cylinder engine (it features two banks of cylinders configured in horizontal opposition to each other rather than in the usual upright and inline fashion) and optional gearless CVT automatic transmission; the latter features a manual operating mode that affords “shifting” among six operating ratios. A six-speed manual transmission is standard with this engine. Meanwhile, a 2.0-liter turbocharged boxer four is alternately available that puts all of 250 horses to the pavement and truly enlivens the Forester with V6-like acceleration, albeit with a minor dip in fuel economy; the turbo-four is only available with an “eight speed” CVT, however. With either engine the Forester delivers a reasonably smooth ride and secure, though not necessarily sporty, handling. Subaru
dropped the price on the Forester’s available EyeSight suite of accident avoidance technology for 2015, which includes adaptive cruise control, automatic pre-collision braking, and vehicle lane departure warning systems.