Au­to­matic choice

Subaru’s pop­u­lar mid-sized SUV just got more at­trac­tive with a self-shift­ing diesel

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Road Test - CHRIS RI­LEY chris.ri­ley@news.com.au

SUBARU sold more SUVs here last month than at any time in its history, driv­ing the brand to its best over­all monthly re­sult.

Lead­ing the charge along­side the hot-selling new Out­back was the Forester, the best­seller in the Subaru line-up since 1999.

Subaru re­cently added to the Forester’s ap­peal with an auto diesel ver­sion. Un­til then, buy­ers want­ing an oil-burn­ing Forester were stuck with a man­ual.

DE­SIGN

Along with the ad­di­tion of a new con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion (CVT), Subaru has taken the op­por­tu­nity to up­grade the wagon with em­pha­sis on the in­te­rior.

The cabin is a marked im­prove­ment, with a 7-inch tablet-style touch­screen that takes prides of place in the classy pi­ano black dash, with sup­port for flick, pinch and dou­ble-tap op­er­a­tion of the var­i­ous menus.

A new in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem that sup­ports voice recog­ni­tion means it’s eas­ier to make calls .

The sys­tem also sup­ports Pan­dora in­ter­net ra­dio in tan­dem with your phone and is un­der­pinned by a six-speaker au­dio with an aux­il­iary jack, two USB ports and a 12-volt power out­let in the cen­tre con­sole.

ABOUT TOWN

While the diesel starts from $33,490 for the 2.0D-L, the $39,490 2.0D-S has plenty of ex­tra gear for nav­i­gat­ing the ur­ban crawl.

The S adds leather, with power ad­justable and heated front seats along with things like auto lights/wipers, satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion, a power tailgate and an elec­tric sun­roof.

Seat­ing is com­fort­able, with good front and rear legroom but the spare wheel which sits at an odd an­gle eats into the lim­ited lug­gage area.

Around town it’s smooth and quiet for a diesel, while the CVT keeps the en­gine on the boil for nip­ping in and out of traf­fic.

With seven airbags, a rearview cam­era and wide ar­ray of driver as­sist sys­tems, it scores a full five stars for crash safety.

ON THE ROAD

Sooby’s CVT is a cracker, es­pe­cially the way it slips seam­lessly be­tween stepped

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