Many manufacturers claim to have started the AWD SUV revolution but only one, Subaru, actually did. Way back in the early 70’s they introduced the Leone wagon and changed the motoring landscape. Fast forward to 2016 and Subaru has upgraded the highly successful AWD Forester range with a refined yet robust new look, quieter more comfortable cabin and upgraded instruments.
Externally the new bolder more robust look suits the Forester. The classic Subaru hexagonal grille has been revised along with the front bumper and front fog light surrounds. The 2016 Forester also features new LED combination rear lights. The Forester also features 17 inch alloys with a full size alloy spare.
Once you step inside the upgraded Forester you are pleasantly rewarded. Gone is the tacky feel that prevailed for a few years and you are met with a refined, high quality feel with clean crisp subtle interior style. The front cloth seats are relatively comfortable with the driver’s seat having adjustments to allow you to find a good driving position. The leather clad steering wheel is height and reach adjustable. With upgraded controls. Subaru have upgraded the touch places, door grip, dash etc with a superior feel.
In front of the driver is the twin dial instrument cluster with the central colour MFD. It’s a clean clear easy to read and use style. The centre stack houses the AC controls and the 7 inch touch screen entertainment system .I particularly like the transmission lever feel. There is plenty of storage spaces and cup/bottle holders.
The rear seats are reasonably comfortable for two but with more head and shoulder room than many of its competitors. One downside is that there is no adjustable air vents. The boot area is quite large and useable.
Interior features include: 7-inch touchscreen entertainment with Pandora compatibility – steering wheel controls, Auto Stop Start, Bluetooth connectivity, Bottle holders in each door + two cup holders in centre consoles, Cruise control – steering wheel buttons, Dual zone climate control air conditioning, Height and reach adjustable steering column, Height adjustable driver’s seat, Immobiliser security system, Leather steering wheel and gearshift, Multi-Function Display, Overhead console, ,Power steering, mirrors and windows, Rear privacy glass, Steering wheel audio, phone, cruise and Multi Information Display (MID) controls, 60/40 split/fold rear seat, 12V/120W power jacks (three)
The Forester is powered by the advanced boxer engine producing power of 126kW @ 5800rpm and torque of 235Nm @ 4100rpm. The Subaru boxer engines always have excellent driveability with low down torque and good economy. With the symmetrical All Wheel Drive they have handled better than most SUV’s and with the upgraded suspension and aerodynamics handling and NVH has noticeably improved. They have found an improved balance between ride comfort and driving stability with great feedback through the steering wheel. I am not a huge fan of the CVT though.
As with all Subaru’s safety is a strong feature with the Forester including EyeSight®driver assist, ABS anti-lock brakes with four-wheel discs (ventilated front, solid rear), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist, Child seat anchor points x 3, Curtain airbags – full length (front and rear),Driver’s knee airbag, Dual front airbags, Dual side airbags, Fog lamp integrated daytime running lights, Front seatbelts with pretensioners and load limiters, ISOFIX child seat anchorages (two rear seats), Reversing camera, Safety pedals – shock absorbing brake and clutch pedals, Side intrusion bars, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, Vehicle Dynamics Control.
The Subaru Forester is the bestselling model in Subaru’s line up and for good reason. It is relatively stylish, spacious, drives, rides and handles better than most of its competitors, represents relatively good value for money. Subaru was the first with the AWD SUV revolution and 40 years later it remains at the forefront of the evolution.