ALL GROWN UP
Movie sequels are risky when the original is a tough act to follow and it’s the same with cars.
The Subaru Forester pioneered the “tread lightly” off-road wagon 21 years ago, creating a genre that now has more than two dozen competitors.
The model’s fifth iteration looks familiar but is the biggest Forester yet – as with the generation of buyers it’s designed for, it has grown up and become more sophisticated.
Loaded with class-leading technology, the Forester will likely increase the temptation to travel beyond mobile phone range.
The headline tech is concealed in the dashboard – it’s an infrared LED camera that monitors eye movement and beeps when the driver isn’t watching the road or is glancing at the phone.
On dearer versions, the same tiny camera uses facial recognition tech to check who is at the wheel, then adjust the seats, side mirrors and air-conditioning to suit the programmed preferences of up to five drivers.
All new Foresters come with forward-facing cameras that can detect cars, cyclists and pedestrians – and slam on the brakes if the driver isn’t paying attention.
It can avoid a collision at up to 50km/h and mitigates crashes beyond that speed. This Eyesight tech also senses when the car in front has moved ahead in traffic – and beeps at the driver to get a wriggle on, in case of daydreaming.
In a class full of pretenders, the Forester is the real deal.