Is it a station wagon? Is it small SUV?  What the heck is it? We are speaking about the Subaru Forester, and whatever you want to call it, make sure you also call it successful.

The Forester debuted in the late 1990s as an answer to the other Japanese companies and their new SUVs.  It is essentially a tall station wagon with all-wheel drive, and in the United States it was an instant success.  The off-road crowd did not warm up the Forester, and with good reason since it was not built for that rugged driving.  No, it was the soccer moms who decided the Forester was the perfect vehicle for their growing families.  It gave them the head room that they needed, sure-fire handling in bad conditions and unlike the earlier SUVs, the Forester was built on a car body so it drove smoothly and handled better, like a car.

The current Forester is classified as a five-passenger compact crossover SUV and that’s as good a description as any.  What we do know about it is that it has great cargo space and interior space, just what the housewife ordered for her loading problems.  You have two choices in engines, a 2.5-liter, naturally aspirated, horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine with 170 horsepower.  That comes with a five-speed manual transmission and a four-speed automatic as optional.  The other engine is a turbocharged version of the first engine and it give 224 horsepower with the automatic transmission.  All versions, of course, come with all-wheel drive, a classic trademark of Subaru.

Standard equipment includes all power accessories, cruise control, air-conditioning and a trip computer.  You can upgrade to leather upholstery, rearview camera, a power driver seat, automatic climate control and upgraded stereo system.

The only drawback to the current Forester is that the gas mileage is below the competition, but rumor has it that the 2014 has addressed that problem, meaning that the Forester is every bit as good if not better than anything that Honda or Toyota has in this field.

And don’t you worry about finding replacement parts for the Forester. As one of the most popular cars in America, replacement parts are easy to find….but will you find them at a great price?  You will if you shop at All Import Auto Parts and buy used Subaru parts.  Then and only then can you count on getting quality merchandise at very low, low prices.