Forester in its el­e­ment

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - Which Car? - SUBARU FORESTER HONDA HR-V

Get­ting him out of the Out­lander is a good idea be­cause it’s way be­hind the cur­rent SUV pace­set­ters and it’s prob­a­bly a bit too big for his needs. He’s an ideal can­di­date for the new breed of com­pact SUVs, even if they are aimed more at twen­tysome­things and might not give him all the safety equip­ment of larger cars. But he will save some money on his bud­get, as they are not as ex­pen­sive as the pace­set­ters of Out­lander size, even go­ing to the top end for max­i­mum safety and some lux­ury. The SUV tid­dlers are all lim­ited in boot space but the rear seats should be fine for the pooch and they are light and easy to han­dle. The best of this new baby breed is good to drive, has im­pres­sive qual­ity and safety and is pro­duced by a brand with a rock-solid rep­u­ta­tion. He won’t need all-wheel drive and the petrol en­gine is best for short runs. The safety pack at just over $1000 in­cludes auto safety brak­ing, rear cross-traf­fic alert and blind-spot mon­i­tor­ing. Not as af­ford­able as I would like but a se­ri­ous al­ter­na­tive to the Mazda with a cabin that’s more flex­i­ble. It gets along well enough, out­ward vision is ex­cel­lent — bet­ter than the CX-3 — but he’s go­ing to have to buy at the top end of the lineup to get all the safety fea­tures. The big­ger brother to the CX-3 will give him con­sid­er­ably more space and it still fits within his bud­get. He might find it more pleas­ant to drive, too. An op­tional safety pack, just like the CX-3, will make ev­ery­one feel bet­ter. The ex­cel­lent Eye­sight safety pack­age, in­clud­ing auto safety brak­ing and lane de­par­ture warn­ing, puts the Forester into the mix. It’s big­ger and feels more sub­stan­tial but the down­side is that it’s right at the top of the bud­get. You’ll pay $39,490 for the 2.5i-S with Eye­sight. If it was my dad, I’d put him into the Forester to get the Eye­sight safety pack­age and a bit more real estate around him in case of a crash. But I’d also push hard on a deal to en­sure the on-road price stays within bud­get.

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