Business First May-June 2017 Business First May 2017 - Page 70

MOTORING The Subaru Forester is ready to rock! by Ian Beasant, BUSINESSFIRSTMAGAZINE motoring correspondent he 2017 Subaru Forester has grown from a crossover to a full size SUV. The Forester has always been a favourite amongst those who need a four wheel drive vehicle and also those who enjoy a bit of off­ roading. Subaru are celebrated 50 years of their Boxer engine last year and they have refined both petrol and diesel variants of this engine which has always been part of Subaru’s DNA. I drove the range topping Subaru Forester 2.0D XC Premium Lineartronic, powered by a lively 148BHP turbocharged Diesel sipping engine and was able to achieve just under 40 miles per gallon. Which was impressive as the Forester is not a small or slow vehicle. The Forester has been face­lifted for 2017 and it’s boxy looks are easy on the eye and practical. The Forester is a tall vehicle offering plenty of ground clearance. Once on board, the Subaru’s Boxer engine fires into life, it is very quiet and has no diesel rattle that I could notice. The seven speed CVT gearbox slots nicely into driving the four wheels and off you go. I did find that the engine does get more audible over 3000rpm but it is certainly not deafening. The Forester offers great visibility with its tall seating position. This is one of the attractions of owning an SUV. The rest of the cabin is well finished and well put together with a balance of hard and soft well­made plastics and filled with extras. The interior offers plenty of space for the driver and four passengers all sitting in comfort, behind the rear seats, again plenty of space for everyday shopping or weekend luggage. T 68 On the road the road (I didn’t venture off road) the Forester is easy, comfortable and rewarding to drive. The electric power steering is nicely weighted and you get a good feel for the road, the engine is nice and produces plenty of torque; the seven­speed CVT gearbox is probably the best CVT gearbox I have driven as it selects gears instantly rather than the usual high revving gear changes that tend to be associated with most CVT gearboxes. The Forester is happy in the City as well as out in the countryside; the suspension is well balanced and keeps body roll in check. It is good to drive, well built and it does stand out from the crowd. It is a great if you live in a remote area and need four wheel drive, and it also gives that extra feeling of safety when driving on a wet road. The Four wheel drive system helps under braking as well. Subaru have refined the Forester and its better for it as a road vehicle. Off road, I would have no doubt about its abilities as Subaru have always been good at that.