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Subaru Forester the second

When he first saw the original Subaru Forester 12 years ago, Katsuhiro Yokoyama, President and CEO of Subaru Canada, thought, What kind of vehicle is this? It's very different. Maybe Subaru is making a big mistake.

Subaru Forester the second

Not so, it turned out. Happily for Subaru, the company was ahead of the curve with its new crossover SUV. Over the years, however, the Forester has suffered somewhat with an identity crisis. Is it a tall station wagon, a large hatchback or a small SUV? Does it matter? Maybe it does.



Consumers have flocked to competitors like the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape, but the Forester, while appreciated by its owners and championed by Subaru, hasn't seen the strong sales of those vehicles. But this is partially an issue of image, rather than reality, because the Forester has always been a surprisingly capable off-roader (not in the Jeep Wrangler league, mind you, but better than you might expect) and very practical, to boot.


The new chassis, engineered on the Impreza platform, has a 90-millimetre longer wheelbase than the outgoing model, and increases in overall length by 75 mm. The benefits are a roomier cabin and significantly more legroom for rear seat passengers.


Angles of approach and departure are also increased, as is ground clearance which is raised to 220 mm for naturally aspirated models, and 225 mm for the turbo version. These changes enable you to get up and over obstacles without inflicting damage to the front and rear bumpers and undercarriage. But you don't have to climb up into the Forester, as with some other SUVs, as it has a low centre of gravity.


The steering is quicker, the powertrain (engine and transmission) is mounted lower for better balance and stability, the front and rear track is wider, the fuel tank is larger (64 litres), and the turning circle is a low 10.5 metres.


In terms of its size, roominess, and manoeuvrability, the Forester is more of an SUV contender. But there is more.


Braking is supplied by a four-wheel disc system (ventilated at the front) with anti-lock and standard Brake Assist, and the front strut-type suspension is complemented by a new double wishsbone rear suspension that increases cargo space behind the rear seat and increases stability on the road.



And the new Forester, it probably goes without saying, features full-time all wheel drive, although two different versions are used depending on the presence of a manual or automatic transmission. Manual transmission vehicles (five-speed) use a viscous-coupled locking centre-differential that distributes power 50/50, front/rear. Vehicles with an automatic transmission (it's a four-speed), use an electronically controlled multi-plate transfer clutch system that actively manages power distribution based on acceleration, deceleration and traction. Both systems work in conjunction with the now standard vehicle stability control and traction control (Subaru's Vehicle Dynamics Control, or VDC).


Engine choices for the Forester remain normally aspirated or turbocharged versions of the company's 2.5-litre, horizontally opposed (flat) four-cylinder powerplant. The 2.5X and 2.5 Touring and Limited models receive the 170 horsepower non-turbo engine, and the 2.5 XT Limited model receives the 224-hp turbo. Both engines are refined this year to produce broader torque curves, with torque available earlier for the XT and slightly increased (by four foot-pounds) for the X models.


Because of the space-saving rear suspension (which no longer intrudes into the cargo area) and the wider track, the Forester is now able to swallow very large items behind its second row seats. Entry to the cargo area is gained through the light and large rear door, that raises to expose a very wide and high opening through with you can fit items of prodigious bulk. Subaru representatives demonstrated loading a 130x97x70 centimetre cube into the cargo area, then closing the liftgate behind it.


This cube was much too big for the rear opening of the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, for example. Noteworthy too, is the low rear floor (easy to slide items it and out) and wide opening angle of the front and rear doors (especially the rear door).


While even Subaru's Mr. Lalka admits that Subaru styling can be hit-and-miss, the 2009 Forester is definitely pleasant to look at, while retaining its brand identity. Styling is crisp and appealing, and the only exterior miscue is the unfortunate visibility of the rear mufflers hanging below the rear bumper -- rather unsightly, I thought. But let's agree that with the new styling, the 2009 Forester is a much better looking SUV contender.



Source



Author: AL
Source: Autolatest & CanadianDriver

Tags:
review subaru forester, new sbaru boxer diesel, 0-60 mph, diesel for subaru europe, 6 speed manual gearbox, build quality, runninggeara, ground clearence, v max, fuel consumption boxer diesel

SEARCH IN TESTDRIVE

TESTDRIVE PHOTO GALLERY

Test efectuat la: 17.03.2008 | 02:13 EET

SPECIFICATII TEHNICE TEST DRIVE

Test efectuat la: 17.03.2008 | 02:13 EET

  Forester IIpct
MOTOR/ENGINE ENGINEB4 benzina
DISPLACEMENT (cmc)1997
MAX POWER(hp/rpm)150/6000
Torque(Nm/rpm)196/3200
DIMENSIUNI LENGHT(mm)4560
WIDTH C(mm)1780
HEIGHT(mm)1700
MASS EMPTY (kg)1475
PERFORMANTE V Max (km/h)185
0-100 km/h (secunde)11.0
Average Fuel Consumption (liters)10.5
PRET Without taxes (euro)
With taxes (euro)
CAROSERIE Inside Space9
Quality of materials8
Standard Equipement7
Trunk Space9
CONFORT Confort9
Seats front/rear9/9
Air Conditioning Quality8
Sounds8
DINAMICA Engine Rafinement9
80-120 km/h8
Fuel Consumption5
Traction10
Braking8

Other tests

Ultimul test efectuat la: 27.03.2016 | 12:00 EET


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