The Subaru Forester is an off roader vehicle meant to compete against the Nissan X-Trail and the Toyota Rav-4. This off roader works best on tricky and tough terrain, making it the ideal vehicle for anyone that has to navigate through muddy, bumpy, and rocky fields.
The third generation Forester sports a size much closer to the smaller SUV models. But it has expanded in terms of length by 75mm and in width by 45mm. The vehicle’s even much taller at 110mm. Expect to sit higher from the ground by 30mm more. Design wise, the side skirts, door mirrors, bumper corners, and door handles are made of tough grey plastic. This material and look is in line with the Forester’s simple, no nonsense image. The innards are kept protected from tough terrain elements such as rocks, mud, and water through the plastic/metal engine guard. Although the overall look is plain in design, the rear light clusters that wrap around the car sides add some visual aesthetics to the Forester’s boxy profile.
Seats in the Forester are quite comfortable and provide enough support. The rear seats can be dropped down by pulling a release catch, thus providing more space in the boot area. The boot capacity is quite large whether the rear seats have been folded or are put into place. Legroom is also adequate compared to the Land Rover Freelander.
The Forester is quite agile on the road, as experienced in other Subaru vehicles. The engine’s low position and the wide tracks’ offsetting of the lofty roofline help in delivering such an agile ride. Handling is also quite sprightly thanks to the low weight of the Forester, The electrically assisted power steering is also quite precise. Understeer is little and the stability control system keeps you right on track.
The interior design doesn’t leave much of an impression. The dashboard derives much of its elements from the Impreza—an ultimately uninspiring design that employs hard plastics. The rest of the space features hardwearing seat fabric. The overall design seems to have time travelled from the 1990s. No electronics are found either inside to call on the low-range gearbox; instead you return to the basic act of pulling the large lever beside the hand brake. These old school elements seem off in the Forester that comes with a sat-nav system.
The original Forester only had the 2.0-litre petrol engine. The next generation vehicle sports an engine with greater torque but has less power at 150bhp. The latest engine reaches its 60mph sprint in 12.3 seconds, but even as it accelerates the Forester feels slow. The off roader seems particularly slow at the lower velocities. The engine isn’t free revving, so you’ll have to make the extra effort to push the unit. At higher revs, the Forester gets quite noisy.
The four-speed automatic gearbox isn’t recommended; instead go for the five-speed that provides a smooth ride. Unfortunately the five-speed gearbox requires drivers to keep changing the gear in order to maintain a certain pace.
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