Subaru Forester 2XT Touring
Bottom line: The Forester is among my favorite family haulers — one of the best and most affordable all-wheel-drive vehicles in the business, equipped with a reasonably efficient and powerful gasoline engine, comfortable on long highway runs and almost affordable ($36,040) equipped with an advanced driver-assistance system.
Ride, acceleration and handling: It gets good marks — meaning easily satisfactory for most of us — in all three areas.
Head-turning quotient: It is conservative with some minor cosmetic spiffs (lower front fascia) for 2016. Not a styling statement.
Body style/layout: The Forester is a compact, front-engine, all-wheel-drive family wagon/crossover-utility vehicle offered in six trim levels — 2.5i. 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited, 2XT Premium and 2XT Touring.
Engine/transmission: The 2XT Touring comes standard with a turbocharged flat 2-liter, 16-valve fourcylinder gasoline engine with variable valve timing, linked to a continuously variable automatic transmission.
Capacities: There is seating for five people. Maximum cargo capacity is 74.7 cubic feet. But don’t try to tow much: The maximum pulling weight is 1,500 pounds. The fuel tank holds 15.9 gallons (regular grade is okay, but premium is recommended for best performance).
Mileage: I averaged 26 miles per gallon with the turbo four.
Safety: Standard equipment includes four-wheel disc brakes (ventilated front, solid rear), four-wheel anti-lock brakes, emergency braking assistance, stability and traction control, post-collision safety system, and side and head air bags.
Pricing: The 2016 Forester 2XT starts at $33,795, with an estimated dealer cost of $31,500. Price as tested is $36,040, including $1,395 in onboard navigation with rearview backup camera and other advanced electronic safety options and an $850 factory-to-dealer shipment charge. Estimated dealer’s price as tested is $32,000.