Forester Trim Levels – the confusion stops here

If you are having trouble figuring out which Forester Models to compare, EdsCarPage is the right place to figure it out.   Subaru organizes its cars like this:

  • Model (Forester)
  • Trim Package (Base, Premium, Limted, etc.)
  • Option Packages
  • Port Added Accessories (accessories listed on the window sticker)

There are several ways here for you to learn about Subaru Trim levels and Options.  This very long, five minute video running through the complete list of Forester 2.5i Trim Levels.  You watch individual videos about each Subaru Trim Level here.

Making sense of the 2016 Subaru Forester trim levels and options packages is one of the most common conversations I have at the Subaru dealership in Fresno.  The Subaru Forester has its roots in the Subaru Impreza line, but for a very long time, it has been the purest SUV in the Subaru Line.

Classified as a “small SUV” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Subaru Forster is the top selling Subaru model.  Utility – the “U” in SUV – is the Forester’s strength, it appeals to a wide range of drivers from young snowboarders and hikers, to mountain bikers and fishermen and dog owners of all ages.  Retired adults looking the next estate sale in their San Joaquin Valley neighborhood or the best the best Cabernet Sauvignon from the wine trails of the Central Coast to the Napa Valley find a Forester that works for them too.  There are so many ways to get a Forester, from a basic stick shift model to a leather trimmed model with power rear door, touch-screen, voice controlled navigation and Subaru impressive Eyesight technology.

The Subaru Forester comes in six different trim levels with a combination of option packages that are slightly different depending on the trim you choose:

  • 2.5i (known in the business as the “base” model)
  • 2.5i Premium
  • 2.5i Limited
  • 2.5i Touring (created in the 2014 model year)
  • XT Premium
  • XT Touring

The XT trims are powered by a 2.0 Liter inter-cooled, turbo-charged boxer engine.  The naturally aspirated, 2.5i Subaru Boxer® engine powers the 2.5i models.  This engine is common on other Subaru models including the Legacy sedan and the Outback wagon.

One reason the Forester trim levels confuse people is that they are usually presented as above, it a list from the least expensive Forester model to the most expensive turbo-charged Forester XT.   It makes more sense if you look at it like this:

  • 2.5i “base”
  • 2.5i Premium     →→→      XT Premium
  • 2.5i Limited
  • 2.5i Touring        →→→      XT Touring

As you can see, the XT Premium is equipped the same as the non-turbo 2.5i Premium.  Similarly, the XT Touring is equipped the same as the 2.5i Touring.  There are some unique qualities to the Forester XT trim levels.  For example, they only come with the black interior.  By comparison, a 2.5i Premium Forester in Ice Silver Metallic could come with the light gray interior or black.  Most of the 2.5i Forester colors come with a dedicated interior color, either black or gray.

I actually noticed a rare “true” base model tucked away behind my office in the Fresno Mitsubishi building at 5505 N Blackstone Ave, Fresno, CA 93710.  This is a 2.5i Forester without the “alloy wheel package” that gets added to most of the base models when the arrive at the port from Japan.  In recent model years, one that looks like this would be a stick shift:

It’s almost easier to describe the base model by saying what it doesn’t have compared to its sister trims.  The base does not have these features:

  • Roof Rails
  • Alloy Wheels
  • Privacy Glass (tinted rear windows)
  • Power Driver’s Seat
  • Panoramic Moon Roof
  • Reclining Rear Seats
  • Rear center armrest
  • Body color side mirrors

The 2.5i Forester comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission which is very popular with the Sierra Nevada mountain crowd who live on mountain roads just beyond the regular reach of the snow plow.   I have one customer who bought a base Forester just so he could get off-road and gather wood for his wood heated home.  It seemed perfect for him that his Subaru is called a “Forester”.  By the way, you can get a base model Forester with an automatic transmission for about $1,000 more.  In the most recent model years, those Foresters that came as base models with the automatic transmission also came with the “Alloy Wheel Package” which adds the signature front-to-back roof rails along with aluminum alloy wheels.