Subaru has always been different in its design and styling. The Forester has been a huge success with families around the world. In its latest guise, Subaru has bowed to the pressure and made the latest Forester look more like the usual soft roaders on the road. Gone is the high-roof station-wagon look and in its place is a rather smart and sophisticated SUV-styled vehicle.
Subaru have kept the high roof, which makes the vehicle feel airy and roomier. In keeping with Subaru’s sporty side, the XT version which I tested had a sports front bumper with chrome inserts surrounding the front fogs and a silver scratch plate in the lower section of the bumper. The headlights have been given the now popular LED treatment, with LED lights surrounding the outer section of the headlights. The HID headlights give the vehicle a certain presence in the evening with its ultra-white beams of light. And they do give excellent lighting as well. From the rear the vehicle looks rather plain. The large wheels complete the package rather nicely.
On the safety side Subaru have spared no expense. The Forester comes with a five-star Euro NCAP rating and has no fewer than seven airbags, including a driver’s-side knee airbag. The stability control and four-wheel drive system add to the safety levels of this vehicle in any terrain.
Inside, the XT has leather seats and all the bells and whistles as standard equipment. This includes Bluetooth connectivity, electric seats, dual zone climate control and panoramic sunroof. This being a vehicle designed for the outdoors, Subaru has ensured that there is ample space for the five passengers as well as luggage and any extra equipment you may need to lug. The boot opens wide, making loading easy. The large windows make it a perfect game-viewing vehicle for days in the bush.
On the road the 2,0-litre direct-injection boxer motor produces a whopping 177 kW and 350 Nm of torque, making any road a breeze to travel on or tow anything you wish to take with you. The X-drive four-wheel drive system proved a bit mundane in that the vehicle never missed or slipped a turn, no matter the road surface. The overall fuel consumption is claimed to be 8,5 litres per 100 kilometres – however, I only managed figures closer to 10 litres per 100 kilometres.
I am not a fan of the CVT gearbox and this is no exception in the Forester, but I have to admit this was one of the better CVT ones that I have driven.
Overall I think Subaru has a winner on its hands, with its new more sophisticated look and proven reliability and sportiness you can’t go wrong. The only area of concern is the pricing, especially with the way the rand-dollar rate is going. At this is one of the better all-purpose family vehicles on the road, with its high driving position and ease of driving it will meet most adventurers’ expectations whilst keeping all as safe as a silkworm in a cocoon. ❐
Engine: 2,0 l / Four-cylinder Turbo
Power: 177 KW
Torque: 350 Nm
0–100 km/h: 7,6 (claimed)
Fuel consumption: Average 8,2 l /100 km
CO2: 197 g/km
Price: From R329 000
Author: Azim Omar CA(SA) is a member of SAGMJ.
Follow me on Twitter @azimomar