Subaru Forester 2.0i XE Premium Lineartronic (Price £31,495)


ROUGH, tough and ready for anything, the Forester straddles a line between utilitarian workhorse and SUV.


SUBARU have smoothed the rougher edges from the Forester, but it still remains one of the more purposeful looking motors in its sector.

It's not flash or garish and will be eschewed by the fashionistas, something that I found endearing when it first came out and still consider a major plus point.

Subaru unashamedly refer to it as a 'workhorse' which conjures up images of a beast of burden weighed down by the demands of its owner. However, in this instance, the Forester is more than up to the challenge.

There's a choice of petrol or diesel engines and manual or CVT gearboxes. Our 2.0 litre petrol was up to the job, but I'd imagine you might want to opt for the oil burner if you want a little more low end grunt.

It's fair to call the drive unsophisticated. There's a fair amount of noise, a little vibration and the ride can be unsettled at times, but if you are partial to a little off-roading or live out beyond the urban sprawl then it's as sure-footed as a mountain goat, and that might be all that matters.


AGAIN, if you are after style, the Forester is lacking when compared to other 'school run' motors. What you get is what you see, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

If you are of the welly and jodhpur brigade then you want a car that can stand up to some rough and tough treatment and come out the other side. While we are not exactly country folk, having three kids in tow can be akin to living on a farm, but the Forester's wipe-down friendly interior made for fuss free journeys. The equipment is built to last and there was no complaints about how it was put together. Sure, there's a lot of plastic, but as I said before this means there's less to worry about.


THE Forester range features equipment such as permanent symmetrical all-wheel drive, Lineartronic continuous variable transmission, EyeSight Driver Assist technology, X-Mode with hill descent control, keyless entry and push button start system, 7ins multi-function colour touchscreen with Subaru infotainment system and satellite navigation, reversing camera, dual-zone automatic air-conditioning, power-folding heated door mirrors, 17ins or 18ins alloy wheels, powered rear tailgate.


I FOUND the driving position perfect for me. It's easy to judge the length of the bonnet and reversing into tight spaces is relatively simple, thanks in part of large wing mirrors. Head and legroom are generous in the front and you can stretch out in the rear. The middle seat, as is often the case, is a little small, but my passengers never complained.

The boot has 505 litres with the seats up, increasing to more than 1,500 litres with the rear seats down.


SUBARU say it should be possible to get 43.5mpg. I managed 35.1mpg. CO2 emissions are 150g/km.


HAS its faults, but if you want a no nonsense motor you could do worse than give it a go


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