Rugged Forester Sport now gains big safety features as standard

A couple big features thrown in and one optional package make the Sport a good value

The new fifth-generation Forester brought with it a more rugged Sport trim back in 2019. Two years later for 2021, the Subaru is doing nice by adding big safety features that were formally a option. 

Starting at $30,445 (including $1,050 destination charge) and just over $36,000 in Canada, the 2021 Forester Sport sits in the middle of the pack between the Base and Premium trims on one side, and Limited and Touring on the higher end. The looks is, well, sportier — or as Subaru puts it “offers unique exterior and interior elements for a youthful and rugged appearance.”

Under the hood, all 2021 Foresters find the same 2.5L engine with CVT transmission, good for 182-hp and 176 lb-ft of torque.

Forester Sport changes for 2021

But the big update for 2021 is the addition of Blind-Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert as standard. It’s a move Subaru has been implementing with many of its new models, including the 2021 Outback, by throwing in more features that would otherwise cost more; all while keeping the starting MSRP within reason, only bumping up the price by around $200 or so. 

2019 subaru forester sport
Forester Sport finds a gloss black trim, black-finish 18-inch wheels and a black rear roof spoiler. Photo: Subaru

For 2021, even the entry-level Base and Premium Foresters now gain Steering Responsive LED headlights along with High Beam Assist previously only standard on the top two models. 

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Overall, the Forester Sport sits higher with exterior shoulder lines that follow around the pillars, and the front, side and rear underguards are standard on all models with colour finish according to trim line. Add new LED headlights and some new exterior colours (green, blue, and red) for good measure.

Taking the Forester off the beaten track, the Sport trim features Dual X-MODE for increased capability in a wider range of conditions, rolling on black-finish 18-inch wheels and a black rear roof spoiler. The exterior also gets touches of orange on the side and front lower valances and roof rail mounts, coupled with a contrasting orange Sport badge on the back. 

Inside, the Sport’s cabin retains that rugged look with a distinct grey colour with contrasting orange stitching. We reviewed the 2019 Forester Sport and our writer’s opinion on the interior was: “the Forester tries a little harder to be trendy in a bid to win over a more youthful demographic.” Of course, that’s a personal choice.

2019 subaru forester sport interior
Forester Sport interior with grey look and orange accents. Photo: Subaru

One 2021 Forester Sport package available 

For 2021, there’s only one package to choose from priced at $1,645. It adds some good stuff and coupled with the new blind spot detection and lane assist now at no cost, the middle-of-the-pack Sport is offering good value. This package adds:

  • Reverse Automatic Braking
  • 8.0-inch Multimedia Plus system
  • Harman Kardon premium sound system
  • Power Rear Gate

Check out all our past Forester reviews here.

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