ALL GROWN UP

Style Magazine - - Motoring - BY JOSHUA DOWL­ING

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.

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