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Subaru Forester 2.0L Diesel XC - Final Review

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The DriveWrite Archives Topics:  Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester 2.0L Diesel XC - Final Review

Geoff Maxted
October 2, 2013

Subaru Forester 2.0L Diesel XC
Last Saturday we published our first look at the latest Subaru Forester which you can recap here. Over the last week this SUV has proved its worth.

The latest Forester offers lots of space and equipment. It is solidly built with a functional if unexciting interior. It’s a much better looking car than its predecessor with smoother, sleeker lines and similar to its smaller sibling, the XV. It has to be said that the Forester is up against a packed SUV sector with plenty of rivals battling for customer attention but the Subaru is, well, a Subaru. It has a certain reputation to uphold; one that suggests ruggedness and reliability rather than trendy design tweaks or urban pretensions.

At start-up the driver is immediately aware that this is a diesel. On the road the it settles down under light throttle load, but, in any case, it is never intrusive. On twisting roads the Forester belies its size and cracks along with decent in-gear acceleration. For a car designed to be content to go down green lanes as well as motorways there has always got to be a compromise in handling but overall, body roll is controlled and the ride comfortable.

n the first article we talked about the handbrake. No apologies for mentioning it again. There it is in the image below in all its glory. That, ladies and gentlemen of the jury is where a handbrake should go, especially when driving off the beaten track. No fancy electronics needed. Off-road, the vehicle dynamics can be switched off for total manual control in sticky situations.

Inside, the functionality continues. The dashboard is uncluttered and the usual controls make an appearance on the steering wheel. Overall, we liked it. The upper binnacle (seen in the image) has ignition checks, fuel readouts, climate details and the like whilst the screen doubles as the viewer for the rear facing camera and that’s one of my few gripes. The screen is too small and a bit distant. The system works well enough and, curiously for such a big car, the Forester is very easy to park, but I‘d like the bigger picture. The ‘infotainment’ centre has all you need, including the now indispensable Bluetooth, and the sat-nav in this model was clear and accurate.

The driving position is good. There’s plenty of adjustment and the driver sits, enthroned, with a lofty command of the surroundings. Children love the back seats. There’s a cavernous amount of space on offer, ideal for sporting activities like dismembering Action Men and so on. Unfortunately for them the Forester is equipped with Isofix / Top Tether which means that ankle-biters can be properly bolted down. This is the ideal ride for the outdoorsy family.

Our opinion is that this car will always be a niche choice. Subaru have taken care to leave the bling to others and stuck to their guns. This is a good thing. There are petrol models and an option for them is a couple of ‘sport’ modes but we’d suggest that this is the one that buyers will go for.

The Forester is worth the money, around £27k, and will, we believe, provide long-term reliable transport - on road and off - for the more discerning buyer who likes a bit of workhorse in his thoroughbred.

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