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Subaru Forester - The First Impressions

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The DriveWrite Archives Topics:  Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester - The First Impressions

Geoff Maxted
September 28, 2013

Subaru Forester Subaru Forester Subaru Forester
The Forester has been with us since 1997 and has since gone through four incarnations. Starting life as, effectively, a pumped up estate car beloved of country folk, it has morphed over the years through the early stages of life in the SUV world until finally reaching maturity in 2012. That’s the latest version in the photos and it is now a fully fledged adult SUV.

The car in the pictures is an XC version with a 2.0L turbo-diesel boxer engine developing 147bhp, loaned courtesy of Subaru. The punch comes from 350lb/ft of torque which comes in low and easy making for a sprightly turn of pace. It’s no racer though - the traffic light sprint to 62mph is a perfectly acceptable 10.2 seconds and speed tops out just shy of 120.

The first thing to say is that it is physically very big yet doesn’t seem so when driving. This may be due to the underlying Impreza DNA. There’s a huge amount of confidence inspiring grip on offer from the 50:50 drive distribution and rear LSD. Unavoidably we experienced some body roll - you can’t have it both ways - but it is well controlled. Twisting roads were keenly dealt with. No real chance yet to test the off-road credentials but a quick trip over some local waste ground was dismissed with ease.

The boot is vast and well shaped with an easy load base. You can actually get a body in it, Soprano’s style. No photo’s - Mrs Drivewrite drew a line in the sand.

It is an easy car to drive. I thought the manual gearshift - six speed - a bit notchy at first but grew to like the certainty of it after a while. The steering is light which is possibly why the car seems so manageable in confined spaces. Great around town but I personally would like a little more heft out on the road.

Subaru reckon the Forester XC diesel will average 47mpg and I don’t think that’s far off. I am certainly getting 40+ as the car is put through its paces. Finally, for now, a big up for the handbrake. It is refreshingly old-school and all the better for it. No electronic trickery here. Ideally placed to hand right beside the driver’s seat it is perfectly positioned for that handbrake turn. Don’t, by the way - it’s a 4x4. So far so good.

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