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Subaru high hopes for new Forester 

 

THE fourth generation Subaru Forester arrived earlier this year and great things are expected of it.

This SUV first appeared on the scene 16 years ago and the newcomer will be the Japanese manu-facturer’s most popular model.

It accounted for 27 per cent of Subaru’s 170,000 global sales last year – with 15,000 sold in Europe.

There is much more com-petition since the original Forester was launched but owners tend to be faithful to the brand.

The latest version gets a fresh new look but isn’t quite as stylish as some competitors.

It is slightly longer, wider and taller and a longer wheelbase has allowed engineers to increase cabin space.

The high driving position was comfortable and front and rear seat passengers have plenty of leg, elbow and head room.

Loading capacity has also increased to 505 litres and this goes up to 1,592 litres with rear seats folded.

Previous owners will see that the interior quality has been improved but it is still a good bit below best in class.

A popular choice with farmers, the Forester now has even more workhorse capabilities with a higher ground clearance and per-manent all-wheel drive boosting its off-road perfor-mance.

On road handling couldn’t be faulted with the upgraded suspension system adding to ride com-fort.

There is a choice of three engines, two petrol and one diesel.

The test model was a 2.0D XC and featured the highly-efficient 145bhp Boxer diesel unit.

Power comes smoothly from this punchy engine through a six-speed manual gearbox that is much improved from previous models with smoother changes going up and down.

Steering was light enough in town driving and the Forester also handled well with good ride comfort on some rough, potholed roads.

It sat quietly enough at motorway speeds and doesn’t disappoint on fuel economy with figures of 50mpg combined, 40mpg urban and 58mpg combined.

If you’re looking for an SUV that delivers a good on and off-road and is more rugged that stylish, the Forester could be the answer.

It comes with a decent spec and a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty, plus 12-year anticorrosion guarantee.

Prices start at £24,995 for the entry-level 2.0D X, rising to £30,995 for the range-topping 2.0i XT with the test model costing £26,995.