Subaru’s Forester is rarely seen on UK roads. This is hocking considering that few other cars offer such good value for money, practicality and performance.
The original Forester launched in 1997 and enjoyed a loyal following among farmers and tradesmen. In 2002 a makeover made it more enticing to the SUV crowd. The Forester by design makes more sense as a workhorse than as a stylish statement.
The Forester’s exterior design looks tough and rugged yet the inside maintains the proportions of a family estate. There are definite signs that the Forester has been designed with off-road capabilities, such as the large headlamps, roof rails and extra space in the wheel arches. The car’s all-wheel-drive and high and low ratio gear settings ensure that it can carry out these tasks efficiently. Ground clearance isn’t as good as on a ‘proper’ off-roader, but the Forester does cope well with rough terrain.
Subaru’s interior quality has improved quite a bit in recent years. More recent Forester models boast much higher levels of comfort than past models. Rear seats fold completely flat and collapse for added versatility.
The Forester offers a better driving experience than its rivals. The lack of a diesel variant explains why the Forester isn’t more popular in the UK. When pushed hard, fuel consumption is heavier.
The Forester does not provide good fuel economy. The car’s fuel economy car be compared to a heavier 4X4. Owners report average fuel consumption of approximately 30mpg, which is reasonable. Insurance premiums will be average, and the car’s carbon dioxide emissions are high but the low list price will help to offset this.
The 60/40 split rear seat can be folded to create a larger load area. with a firm, flat floor. Passengers will not be short on space. The cabin provides enough space that all passengers have more than sufficient room to be comfortable. Head and legroom are good.
The car’s instrumentation has a sporty feel. There are three large circular dials located in the centre of the fascia. These dials are easy to use and functional. The dials and controls are of decent quality.
The steering wheel adjusts for angle only, and the driver’s seat of all the models adjust for height. The seats should prove comfortable for most passengers. Front seats are firm and supportive, but rear seats aren’t as comfortable.
The Forester provides good access. The doors are wide enough to easily accommodate most passengers. Accessing and egressing the car’s cabin shouldn’t pose much of a problem.
The Forester shouldn’t prove to be too difficult to park. The car provides good visibility and the large wing mirrors help out a lot. Parking sensors are available on the options list but shouldn’t be necessary.
The low centre of gravity on the Forester increases the driving experience. Featuring full-time all-wheel-drive and standard rear limited-slip differential, the engine is responsive. The Forester is also an excellent towing vehicle.
The Forester would be able to fill the duties of a family vehicle easily. It offers more than enough passenger space and is rugged and durable. One of the reasons more buyers don’t consider the Forester when buying a family car is because the Forester lacks all the creature comforts that most modern people carriers include.
This is an unlikely first car. Most younger buyers opt for something smaller and more stylish. The Forester usually appeals to more mature buyers who tend to keep them for years.
The Forester boasts a quality build but is unlikely to turn heads. Most style-oriented buyers won’t give the Forester a second thought. Despite its merit it is probably doomed to be the focus of farmers and country dwellers without other buyers giving it a fair shot.
Security and Safety
The car comes standard with deadlocks, keyless entry and shielded door locks. The car also comes with a Thatcham category one engine immobiliser and security alarm. The load area cover should be used whenever anything valuable is left in the vehicle.
The car includes front airbags as standard, and side airbags are optional extras. The standard XT models and All Weather X models have them included. All three rear seats feature three-point seatbelts and ISOFIX seat mountings.
The Finishing Touches
The car’s standard audio system includes a radio/CD player with four speakers as standard issue. Various audio upgrades are available from famous names such as Alpine and Kenwood.
The Forester is competitively equipped. Comfort and convenience features include climate control air conditioning, heated door mirrors, and headlamp washers. The optional All Weather Pack for the Forester 2.0 X is a sound investment and includes side airbags, alloy wheels, electric sunroof, front fog lamps, heated front seats and cruise control.
The Forester offers loads of practicality. It boasts a spacious cabin, has grip comparable to a 4X4 and boasts performance figures that could beat many hot hatches. The only thing missing is a diesel engine option.
July 24, 2014 / admin / 0