Joel Helmes road tests and reviews the 2013 Subaru Forester.
I recently had a drive of the Subaru Forester 2.5i-L which comes with a 2.5 litre, non-turbo charged four-cylinder petrol engine (you can catch that review here).
The long and the short of it though was that I felt the engine and CVT combo just left the Forester feeling a bit flat and disinterested.
There is of course a turbo-diesel engine available in the line-up too. This is essentially the same engine as I checked out in this review of the Subaru Outback. Once again, while fuel economy was great, power and acceleration disappointed.
But, I’m pleased to say the engine in the Forester XT delivers a much more exciting driving experience.
The XT is the top-of-the-range Forester and comes in two equipment levels – standard and Premium. Pricing starts at $43,490 and tops out at $50,490.
I had the Premium variant and must say overall I was quite impressed.
It makes a big difference when the engine provides a more effortless and smoother drive and this turbo-charged unit delivers this.
Boasting 177kW and 350Nm, the 2.0 litre turbo engines provides not only spirited low speed acceleration (great around town), but also boasts plenty of low down grunt.
The eight-speed CVT also helps deliver a smooth and much more pleasant driving experience.
Fuel economy though does suffer a little; I used just over 10.0L/100km in city driving, in comparison the larger non-turbo engine averaged about a litre less per 100km. The diesel engine, as you would expect, used the least fuel – 7.8L/100km.
The official combined fuel consumption figure for the 2.0 litre engine is 8.1L/100km.
Coupled with excellent steering and handling and a not-unpleasant ride and it’s not hard to see that I believe the Forester XT provides the best all-round package of the Subaru wagons I’ve checked out in recent times.
And the Forester, in itself, is a very good offering; positives include;
- Attractive looks
- Quality fit and finish
- Generous leg and head room
- Pleasingly large cargo and internal storage space
Above the lower-spec models, the XT Premium also comes completely packed with great features, including;
- Remote/keyless ignition
- Electric driver and passenger seats
- Heated front seats
- Reversing camera
- Powered tailgate
- Premium Harman Kardon stereo system
- Large electric sunroof
The Forester XT Premium also gives you access to Subaru’s EyeSight driver assist system.
This system uses sensors and radars to help you avoid collisions and includes features such as high-speed crash avoidance (where the car brakes automatically if it sense an imminent collision), land departure warning and forward collision avoidance warnings.
In all it’s a very good system.
Summing it up – well we have found the engine of choice, and we know the Forester as a complete package is a winner.
Is the XT Premium worth more than $50,000? Well probably not. I’d be checking out the standard Forester XT first, it seems to offer the best value for money in the line-up.
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 2.0 litre turbo charged four-cylinder petrol engine delivering 177kW and 350Nm
Transmission: Eight speed CVT auto
Safety: Five stars
Warranty: Three years
Price: XT range starts at $43,490. Premium grade (as tested) – $50,490.