Compact SUV has real grunt
THE Subaru Forester S-Edition is the new flagship ‘‘performance’’ model of the popular all-wheel-drive wagon. Now having a range of Subaru’s WRX STI components, it is the most powerful compact SUV in Australia.
It arrives with a host of changes to the Forester line-up, including a standard reversing camera in most models, more connectivity for iPods and Bluetooth mobile phones, and the first new boxer engine since 1989.
The S-Edition is listed at $50,990, $3500 more than the XT model, but has 24kW more power, 27Nm more torque and leather upholstery.
Prices for the base Forester X and diesel remain unchanged despite the upgrade in standard features, while the price rise in most other models has been kept to $500.
The S-Edition 2.5-litre boxer engine gives 193kW of power, 347Nm of torque and sprints to 100km/h in 6.5sec, compared with the XT’s 7.9sec.
Only Subaru anoraks will notice the exterior changes.
The grille is slightly different and the indicators are now in the door mirrors. All Subarus have DataDot security and five-star crashworthiness ratings.
The new S-Edition is certainly quicker and more nimble, but it’s not really a performance car. Acceleration is prompt without being electrifying.
Don’t be put off by the STI suspension components, because this is not a bone-shaking, kidney-punching ride like theWRXSTI’s.
Ride and handling are just about ideal for a dual-purpose vehicle, with enough compliance to sort out the lumps and bumps while keeping the car flat through corners.