Car review: Subaru Forester — the ‘go anywhere’ hybrid

Kildare motoring

Breda Corrigan

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Breda Corrigan

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Car review: Subaru Forester — the ‘go anywhere’ hybrid

The new Subaru Forester

Breda Corrigannews@leinsterleader.ie

With a long history of innovation, sophisticated engineering and pioneering technologies, Subaru has developed progressive systems, such as Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (S-AWD), Horizontally-Opposed BOXER engines, EyeSight and Subaru Global Platform which all have made a recognized contribution to vehicle safety.

Subaru are constantly working to enhance their products for improved safety, and to limit the impact of the automotive industry on the environment.

e-BOXER Hybrid Power Plant

Subaru has launched the all-new Forester SUV, which is exclusively available with a petrol-electric (e-BOXER) hybrid power plant. Tasked with improving fuel economy and emissions, the new (fifth-generation) Forester comprises a naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, a compact lithium-ion battery pack, and a gearbox-mounted electric motor for a combined output of 148bhp and 196Nm of torque.

Subaru claim that the Forester can operate in pure EV-mode at speeds of up to 40km/h, while WLTP CO2 emissions of 184g/km equates to annual road tax of just €390.

World-Leading ‘EyeSight’ Technology

The new Forester SUV adopts Subaru’s innovative new, world-leading, ‘EyeSight’ technology. ‘EyeSight’ is a driver assist system which functions optically, using two stereo cameras mounted on either side of the rear-view mirror. These cameras monitor the road ahead and can detect hazards up to 110 metres in front of the vehicle. This system is more accurate than traditional camera and sensor technologies as it can distinguish objects as opposed to noticing that there is an unidentified obstacle.

Subaru’s amazing Eyesight system features 'Adaptive Cruise Control', 'Lane Keep Assist', 'Lane Sway and Departure Warning, 'Lead Vehicle Start Alert', 'Pre-Collision Throttle Management', a 'Rear Vehicle Detection System’, 'Blind Spot Detection', 'Lane Change Assist' and 'Rear Cross Traffic Alert' for total reassurance should the need arise.

Additionally, the all-new Forester e-BOXER has been awarded the ‘Best in Class Car of 2019’ in the Small Off-Road/MPV class. This accolade is awarded to the best performing model in each class by the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) and considers all vehicles tested within the 2019 calendar year.

This announcement follows recent news that the Forester e-BOXER also received the maximum five stars with outstanding scores in all four NCAP assessment areas of Adult Occupant, Child Occupant, Vulnerable Road Users and Safety Assist. In the area of ‘Child Occupant Protection’ the Forester e-BOXER achieved the highest score ever in its class with a 91% safety standard.

Trim Levels On Offer

The new Forester is available in two trim levels – XE, and XE Premium. While the XE specification includes 17” alloy wheels, Eyesight technology, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, advanced sfety package, power & heated front seats, rear vision camera, X-mode, driver monitor, keyless entry and push button start, the XE Premium also benefits from full leather seating, 18” alloy wheels, satellite navigation, glass sunroof, auto tail-gate, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel, along with a whole host of comfort, convenience, and infotainment features.

Test Car

My test car was a Subaru Forester 2.0-litre e-BOXER XE Premium Lineartronic, which was finished in fashionable Magnette Grey metallic paint. With 4-Wheel-Drive, and a CVT (automatic) transmission fitted as standard, the Forester can sprint from 0-100km/h in 11.8-seconds, reach a top speed of 188km/h, and can consume as little as 8.1l/100km (34.9mpg) on a combined driving cycle under strict new WLTP fuel consumption testing procedures.

The Forester e-BOXER is a comfortable place in which to spend time, with my test car’s sumptuous leather seating offering great support in all the critical areas.

The car’s chassis is well damped and composed, soaking up all but the harshest of road imperfections, while Subaru’s CVT gearbox works well with the petrol engine, preventing the revs from soaring under hard acceleration.

Thanks to its high ground-clearance, permanent all-wheel-drive system, and selectable terrain settings, the Forester can tackle ground that would stop many of its competitors in their tracks when the going gets tough.

The new Forester possesses a revised front end design, with sharper angles and a more upright grille. When viewed in profile, the SUV’s extra length becomes evident, while at the rear there are smarter tail lamps, and contrasting black trim above the numberplate. The new Forester is supremely practical too, with ample leg, head and elbow room available for all occupants. With the rear seat backs in place, the boot boasts an impressive 520-litre capacity, but this can be increased dramatically to 1,779-litres when the rear seats are folded flat. The new Forester’s high quality interior is well laid out, while digital instruments and an 8” infotainment system bring the car right up to date in terms of technology.

On & Off-Road Performance

On the road, the Forester e-BOXER hybrid system's electric motor provides instant pulling power, while steering wheel-mounted gearchange paddles are provided for drivers looking to change gear according to their individual driving style. Thanks to a 220mm ground clearance, the Forester can make light work of uneven ground, allowing the car to negotiate rocky, rutted tracks with ease, while the standard 4WD and hill decent control systems are responsive and capable in equal measure.

The Forester e-BOXER has a towing capacity of up to 1,870kg, which lets you hitch up to a trailer or caravan whenever the need arises.

Pricing & Warranty

A comprehensive Subaru new car warranty comes as standard with the new Forester e-BOXER. This consists of a five-year/160,000km warranty, and an eight-year e-BOXER Hybrid Battery Warranty for total peace of mind motoring. Pricing for the new Subaru

Forester e-BOXER starts at €45,545 in XE trim, and from €49,245 in range-topping XE Premium specification.

Contact PG Duffy & Sons, Newbridge. Tel: 045 431340

Fact Box

5th Generation SUV

Go Anywhere Ability

New Hybrid Engine Technology

Two Trim Levels

Priced From €45,545 (ex-works)