Similar yet different
When the Forester flicked the switch to SUV, it stayed a Soob
Subaru chose to mimic its rivals when it revamped the Forester in 2008. It did so by making it bigger and taller – more like an SUV.
So the Forester became roomier, more refined and better equipped. To be precise, it was all of 75mm longer, 60mm wider, 110mm taller and rode on a wheelbase that was 90mm longer than the pert previous model.
All this made for quite a visual departure. The new model was a smoother, more curved design than the old boxy model, and rode 20mm higher.
What didn’t change was the boxer engine and constant all- wheel drive, the latter in contrast to most of the Forester’s rivals that continued to be front-wheel drive, sending the drive rearwards on demand.
The 2.5-litre naturally aspirated, horizontally opposed engine was tweaked to give the merest increase in output but there was also a turbocharged version that gave quite a decent boost in performance.
Transmissions were either a five-speed manual or fourspeed automatic, the latter with manual override. Subaru claimed the newmodel was more fuel efficient, which was fine, although the numbers quoted weren’t great. But the Forester was right on the money in terms of safety with a maximum 5-star ANCAP rating on the back of front, side and curtain airbags, ABS braking and stability control across all models.
The model line-up began with the X and climbed to the turbocharged XT Premium at the top of the tree.
Subarus are generally wellregarded by owners – certainly that’s the message we get at Carsguide. The trade also gives them a tick of approval for their reliability and durability.
About the only thing that
crops up when we ask about Subarus in general is their tendency to consume oil. This is not something that’s likely to cause a problem, but it is something that owners need to be conscious of and make sure they check the engine oil regularly, and top it up when needed. Forgetting or ignoring this leads to expensive repairs.
When test driving an auto Forester, look for clean shifting and engagement of gears. It’s a regular automatic and in many respects nicer to drive than the CVT transmissions most of its rivals now use.
Check for a service record— nothing kills a car faster than a lack of servicing, and the Forester is no different to any other car in that respect.
Bigger and better than the previous model, it ticks the family boxes.
Departure angle: The 2008 update brought a longer wheelbase and increased ride height but the Forester stuck with theAWD formula