The Forester 2.5L has a stylish look with silver roof rails, 17-inch alloy wheels, body coloured mirrors with indicators, front fog lights and rear roof spoiler.
Internally the Forester 2.5L cloth seat trim, soft touch dash surrounds and a quality feel. The front seats are manually adjustable and while the driver’s seat has good travel the lumbar support was a little lacking.
The leather thick rimmed height and reach adjustable steering wheel has controls for stereo and cruise control and Bluetooth etc. They take a little getting used to but work well.
Once inside there is a feeling of spaciousness throughout that belies its internal dimensions. There is plenty of headroom, fantastic visibility and subtle colour toning.
The dash is a twin dial setup with a MFD between the two dials. They are clean and easy to read and if fact clarity is a feature. There are heaps of storage areas cleverly laid out with bottle holders in the doors, cup holders and bins in the centre console and a decent glove box.
The dual zone climate air conditioning works a treat and with privacy windows keeps everyone at the selected temperature.
Entertainment is provided by a combination radio, AUX input, single dash CD unit that includes the Sat Nav and is Bluetooth compatible. The system is MP3/WMA/iPod compatible and the USB and AUX inputs are in the centre console. The reversing camera also displays through the centre screen.
Rear seat passengers have a relatively flat bench with fold out cup holders in the centre and adequate door storage. With the 25mm longer wheelbase, leg, shoulder and headroom are all good, more so for two rather than three.
Boot space is immensely practical with 60/40 one button electric fold flat rear seats with low load height, cargo blind, four tie down points, a 12v plug and a clever idea, two hooks for shopping bags. The spare is underneath the boot floor.
The new CVT is tuned to the direct injection 2.5L litre horizontally opposed Boxer engine that produces 126 Kilowatts of power at 5800 rpm and 235 nm of torque at 4100rpm. It provides smooth and linear acceleration.
The SI Drive matches performance to driving style and the gearbox includes Subaru’s active torque split All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system.
Safety is a key feature with 5 star ANCAP rating. Optional EyeSight™ includes Pre-Collision Braking , Pre-Collision Brake Assist , Pre-Collision Throttle Management , Adaptive Cruise Control , Lane Departure Warning and Vehicle Sway Warning.
Traditionally Subaru Foresters are awesome on dirt roads and sand. We took the Forester through the Watagan’s Mountains and then onto Stockton beach and it performed faultlessly all day. It does have 220mm of ground clearance but approach, rampover and departure angles prevent it from being a more adventurous vehicle. Towing capacity is a reasonable 1500Kg, which is enough for a small camper or seadoos.
What is good:
• CVT with SI Drive
• Features packed
What is not so good:
• Lumbar Support
• Transmission paddles useless
• Nothing else I can think of
Model Forester 2.5L CVT
Model Price $40,298 RDAP
Drivetrain AWD 2.0L Boxer CVT
Power 126 Kw @ 5,800 rpm
Torque 235 Nm @ 4.100
Safety 5 Star ANCAP
CO2 Emissions 187 g/km
Green Vehicle Rating 4 1/2 Star
Economy (ADR comb) 8.1 L/100km
Tow Capacity – Max 1500 kg
Tow Ball Rating 150 kg
Servicing $Not Supplied
Warranty 3yr/unlimited km with full roadside assist
Overall OzRoamer Rating 79/100
Behind the Wheel 8
Ride & Handling 8
Fit for Purpose 9
Towing Ability 7
Off Road Ability 6
Value for Money 9