2013 Subaru Forester XT Premium Review

Subaru Forester XT Premium front
Renowned for their AWD and boxer engines the Subaru Forester has taken another leap forward with what is essentially a WRX STI on steroids with tweaked suspension.

The Forester XT Premium Edition has a purposeful look with silver roof rails, exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels and rear roof spoiler.

Internally the Forester XT Premium has leather seat trim, soft touch dash surrounds and a quality feel. The heated front seats are 8 way electrically adjustable and the driver’s seat has good travel.

The leather thick rimmed height and reach adjustable steering wheel has controls for stereo and cruise control and Bluetooth etc. Even with the sunroof there was plenty of headroom.

In fact the whole car has a spacious feel, with plenty of headroom, fantastic visibility and subtle colour toning.

Subaru Forester XT Premium dash

The dash is a surprise when you first turn on the car but you quickly get used to the luminescent instruments and the clarity. 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.

Subaru Forester XT Premium centre stack

Entertainment is provided by a combination radio, AUX input, single dash CD unit that includes the Sat Nav and is Bluetooth compatible. The reversing camera also displays through the centre screen.

Rear seat passengers have semi individually sculptured seats 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 fold flat rear sets with push buttons fold at the rear, 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.

Subaru Forester XT Premium engine

The new CVT is tuned to the more powerful direct injection 2.0 litre horizontally opposed Boxer engine that produces 177 Kilowatts of power at 5600 rpm and 350 nm of torque at 2400-3600 rpm.

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. EyeSight™ includes Pre-Collision Braking , Pre-Collision Brake Assist , Pre-Collision Throttle Management , Adaptive Cruise Control , Lane Departure Warning and Vehicle Sway Warning.

Subaru Forester XT Premium side

The Forester XT Premium can really lift her skirt and run fast and the suspension damping is specifically tuned. Pushed hard there is a little scrubbing but there is no denying this car is FUN.

On dirt the X Mode AWD and power balance means it is composed and allows for spirited driving. There is 220mm of ground clearance. On sand it is simply awesome. Towing capacity is a reasonable 1800Kg, which is enough for a small camper or seadoos.

If you are after a daily driver that provides a sporty drive experience and still allows that outdoor lifestyle at a very reasonable price, to be honest they don’t come much better than the Forester XT Premium.

Subaru Forester XT Premium rear

What is good:
• CVT with SI Drive
• Features packed
• EyeSight™

What is not so good:
• All black interior
• Transmission paddles useless
• Nothing else I can think of

Model Subaru Forester XT Premium
Model Price $55,297 RDAP
Drivetrain AWD 2.0L Boxer CVT
Power 177 Kw @ 5,600 rpm
Torque 350 Nm @ 2,400
Safety 5 Star ANCAP
CO2 Emissions 197 g/km
Green Vehicle Rating 4 Star
Economy (ADR comb) 8.5 L/100km
Tow Capacity – Max 1800 kg
Tow Ball Rating 180 kg
Servicing $Not Supplied
Warranty 3yr/unlimited km with full roadside assist

Overall OzRoamer Rating 87/100
Behind the Wheel 8
Comfort 9
Equipment 9
Performance 10
Ride & Handling 9
Practicality 9
Fit for Purpose 10
Towing Ability 8
Off Road Ability 6
Value for Money 9