Yes, you’ve guessed it. There’s another midsize SUV in the mix. And why not – it’s the fashion. Anyone will admit the rugged, capable Subaru Forester looks the part. But when it comes to the details, how does this car really stack up? Here’s an honest look at what this vehicle brings to the table.
City commuter and country crawler
Part of Subaru’s pitch with the Forester is being a safe all-rounder car. Lane ducking and tight parking might not be as easy as in a Golf, but when you’re looking at versatility, the Forester is still competitive everywhere it goes. Bouncing down the freeway is as easy as being caught in traffic. Propelled by unenviable CVT transmission, the lack of a gear stick may only be justified when it’s bumper to bumper.
Besides being… well… CVT, the overall usability of the car is fantastic. Just take it off the beaten track and you’ll see. All-wheel drive as standard, grip-enhancing X-mode available a mere flick of a switch; the fresh country air streaming through the windows. Now you’re in Forester territory. Crawling around campsites, and dropping into town, it’s unquestionably useful.
Is the Subaru Forester a safe car?
Safety specs. It’s something Subaru has been paying very close attention to across their entire fleet, and the Forester hasn’t missed out. All Foresters get EyeSight technology, no matter your trim. All the usuals are in there: adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and a smart pre-collision braking system. Upgrade to the Forester Touring and get rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot detection, reverse automatic braking, and DriverFocus – the system that keeps you focused. Naturally, this car gets a 5-star ANCAP safety rating. That’s peace of mind on the road.
What tech to expect in the Subaru Forester
Coming in as standard is an impressive amount of useful tech. Besides the usual hits like Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, expect Subaru’s StarLink multimedia system to be accessible on a relatively responsive 6.5-inch touchscreen display. There are entertainment options, GPS navigation, and even the Yelp app. Up the price and the Forester Sport gets dual USB charging ports in the rear, keyless access, and a push-start button.
How’s the ride?
Smooth and intelligent. But not hasty on acceleration. It’s a 2.4 litre, 4 cylinder engine that just gets the job done. The CVT gives a certain flavour to the ride that does dampen the fun, however, remember what this car is meant for – the unforeseen hill ascent on the family holiday, the unexpected muddy creek and sandpit that need to be traversed – the Forester has these things covered.
What’s it like to live with?
Fun. That’s the simple answer. It gets more complex when you look at fuel economy. While it’s not the best out there for its size, the car does make up for that by being excellent at its job when it comes to going on big road trips. Cargowise, the 60/40 split and tons of room in the back make moving a modest piece of furniture actually possible. But don’t think moving house in this car is going to be fun. You’ll still want to outsource that one.