2014 Forester

LOS ANGELES (Bloomberg) — The Subaru Forester small SUV beat Honda Motor Co.’s CR-V and other rivals in testing by Consumer Reports, which ranked the model as its top pick in that segment.

The revamped 2014 model light truck won praise from the non-profit magazine for “space- efficient design, large windows, and big square doors.” Those and other features helped it outscore CR-V, Toyota Motor Corp.’s RAV4 and Mazda Motor Corp.’s CX-5, Consumer Reports said.

“If you’re looking for a small SUV that’s very functional and fuel-efficient, the Forester is hard to beat,” Jake Fisher, director of auto testing at Consumer Reports, said in an e- mailed statement. The magazine also said the Subaru model has quicker acceleration and leads competitors in fuel economy.

Praise from the influential publication comes after Subaru’s Japanese parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., this month said it will invest $400 million to boost U.S. capacity by the end of 2016 as demand rises for its vehicles including the Forester SUV.

U.S. Subaru sales for the Toyota-affiliated Fuji Heavy unit rose 17 percent this year through April, the biggest increase among Asia-based carmakers. Compact SUV and sport wagon sales are up 15 percent to 1.05 million units in the first four months, according to Autodata Corp.

Consumer Reports said its review of the Forester will appear in the magazine’s July edition.

Last week, the Forester and the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport won top honors from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, becoming the only small SUVs to ace the group’s new “small overlap” crash test.

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