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In-depth reviews

Subaru Forester hybrid reliability & safety rating

The Subaru Forester hybrid boasts class-leading driver aids and a great crash safety rating, but there's no spare wheel

Overall rating

3.0 out of 5

Reliability & safety rating rating

4.5 out of 5

Price
£34,195 - £40,895
Fuel Type:
Hybrid Petrol
Euro NCAPAdult protectionChild protectionSafety assist
5 stars (2019)97%91%78%

The Forester hybrid has multiple driver aids included as standard, from a system that monitors your attention level to a semi-autonomous mode and multi-camera parking and manoeuvring aids. It also did very well in Euro NCAP crash-testing, but our only niggle is that you can’t fit a spare tyre anywhere, which is a shame on a car that’s quite likely to see some rough roads.

Subaru Forester hybrid reliability & problems

The Forester’s hybrid powertrain is relatively new, so it's difficult to comment on long-term reliability issues. However, the 'boxer' petrol engine itself is well established as a very reliable motor and Subaru as a brand fares extremely well for dependability in the Driver Power customer-satisfaction survey. A three-year roadside assistance programme is included within the UK.

Safety

The Forester comes with an impressive array of safety kit called Subaru 'EyeSight'. The system features lane-keeping assistance, adaptive cruise control, traffic-sign recognition and traffic-jam assistance.

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The car will even alert you when the vehicle ahead has pulled away in traffic if you haven't noticed, and will brake, accelerate and steer to take the stress out of motorway driving, although you must always have your hands on the wheel and be paying full attention. 

The car will know if you are because it tracks where your eyes are looking and might bong a warning if it thinks you're not paying attention. It is clever but also very nannying, plus it's also not infallible because wearing sunglasses confuses it.

We love the side camera in the Forester; this beams the view of the front wheel onto the upper screen in the dashboard, making it easy to see any big rocks while driving off-road, or to avoid a kerb outside the school. Finally, there's a full suite of airbags, including a driver's knee airbag, as well as two sets of ISOFIX child-seat fittings in the back seats.

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Richard is editor of DrivingElectric, as well as sister site Carbuyer.co.uk, and a regular contributor to Auto Express. An electric and hybrid car advocate, he spent more than five years working on the news and reviews desk at Auto Express and has driven almost every new car currently on sale.

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