Subaru Forester 2.5i-S
The family car of choice for those who want to tackle one or two roads becomes a little more attractive.
Things have changed dramatically since the first Subaru Forester came to our shores in 1995. There is little forest to begin with.
The car landscape has also changed. Forester is a pioneer: a smaller, more city-friendly alternative to the big barges that people have to drive if they want to venture down a dirt road.
Now it is just one of several SUVs vying for the attention of buyers. Competition is fierce and if you stand still, you will be left behind.
With that in mind, Subaru gave his fourth-generation Forester a slight tweak. We are driving in the middle of the 2.5i-S range, starting at $ 39,490 plus on the road.
Forester has always been more about utility than style. Box-shaped profiles may not be the most attractive in the block but it pays dividends in the cabin.
The generous front and rear space makes it the SUV of choice for professional basketball players, while the leg room is also generous at the back. Visibility is also higher than the driver’s seat with the side pillars upright to allow unobstructed view of surrounding traffic.
The Model S costs $ 6500 more than the base model but additional features include a more powerful engine.
Like some Subarus before, the fit and finish of the interior has been improved since the dark days after GFC, when the beanstalk is on the top and the cheap plastic surface is filled in the cabin. The latest Forester cabin is comfortable, functional and attractive.
The touch screen multimedia menus are very simple to use, while the sound is above average and the Bluetooth and voice prompts work well. The S model costs $ 6500 more than the base model, but additional features include a more powerful engine, leather upholstery, auto-emergency and satnav.
Subaru is one of the few brands that has full-size parts on a midsize SUV, admirable but comes at the cost of luggage space. It has one of the more shallow cargo areas in the class.
Back to town
There was a cyclist running a red light owing a Subaru engineer. The brand’s automatic emergency braking technology, which uses the camera to scan the road ahead, chose the daring law-breaker before I had a chance to react, giving light brakes to ensure we avoided him.
Technology is standard on the Forester we’re driving but is optional on the base model. I am officially a fan.
In addition, Forester is well suited for urban crawl. The latest tweaks have focused on reducing noise and vibration in the cabin, with thicker glass, more sound-reducing materials and thicker door seals.
It feels more agile for an SUV with genuine off-road information than the competition.
Subaru claims to reduce noise by 5% but it is hard for people to judge. What is more noticeable is the change in continuous variable transmission, or CVT.
CVT tends to increase and whine a lot when pushed but the Forester transmission has artificial steps that make it feel like a regular job – and reduce engine noise and vibration. The S model also has gear shifter for those who want to change gears themselves.
Refining the suspension also means Forester copes well with potholes and creases at low speeds.
On the road
At higher speeds, Subaru feels safe and secure. Although sitting higher than the ground compared to most of its rivals, it sits fairly flat through corners, while the extra grip provided by the all-wheel drive system continuously adds an extra safety net. safe.
It’s not the most attractive city SUV to drive but the steering is accurate and it feels nimble for an SUV with more genuine terrain information and better ground clearance than rivals.
The engine is not the end of the field for its ability to respond or consume fuel, but it is also not out of speed. It may lack the torque of some of its rivals’ turbines, but it gets the job done, thanks to the CVT keeping the revs in a sweet spot.
Forester is hampered in the sales race by Subaru’s insistence on all wheels and competent off-road capabilities. There is no cheaper 2WD option at the end and the added weight of all-wheel mechanics means it has no fuel sucking.
However, it is a comfortable, capable and well-equipped family SUV and is the best option for those who want to tackle one or two dirt roads.
What it has
Leather trim, heated front seats, automatic rear doors, full-size parts, seatbelt warnings for all five seats, satnav, sunroof, automatic brake, lane departure warning, control proactive journey.
What it did not
Vents for rear seats, blind spot.