Paul Maric road tests and reviews the 2014 Subaru Forester.
When the Subaru Forester was released in 1997 it represented a natural progression into the SUV market for the Japanese manufacturer and to this day remains one of the company’s best sellers.
One of the main reasons behind the Forester’s success is its honest ability offer capability both on and off-road.
The full-time four-wheel-drive Forester leads a league of its own with most competitors only offering part time four-wheel-drive systems (these vehicles are normally front-wheel-drive with all four wheels only engaging when the vehicle detects slippage).
In addition to recent styling updates, Subaru has introduced a new safety feature called Eyesight.
Eyesight keeps an eye on the road in front of you and can alert the driver and even apply brakes in the event of an impending collision. This is in addition to a reversing camera that is standard across the range.
The cabin is cavernous with plenty of leg and headroom up front. The three rear seats are a little cramped for adults, but perfectly sized for kids and baby seats.
Cargo room is impressive with fold down seats, an armrest and automatically opening boot to keep the masses pleased.
Under the bonnet of the Forester 2.5i-S is a responsive 2.5-litre four-cylinder naturally aspirated boxer engine. Producing 126kW and 235Nm of torque, the engine is mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) (a CVT is basically a smoother type of transmission with one continuous gear).
As you would expect from a four-wheel-drive SUV like the Forester, it feels glued to the road through corners. The direct steering and response engine allows the driver to feel connected with the car, meaning the Forester is more than just a practical family-hauler.
There also isn’t a compromise on safety, the Forester has a full five-star ANCAP safety rating.
The Forester range is also available with a smaller 2.0-litre petrol, a 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine or a sporty 2.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine.
With the range starting at an impressive $30,990, the 2.5i-S tested costs $43,990, while the top-spec ST Premium is $50,490.
Offering an SUV to suit all budgets, the Subaru Forester is a wise choice for anybody after style, comfort and practicality – not to mention adequate ability off the beaten track.
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 2.5 litre four-cylinder boxer engine developing 126kW and 235Nm
Safety: Five stars
Warranty: Three years
Price: From $30,990. 2.5i-S from $43,990