2008 Subaru Forester – rpmGo.com

After some time ago I had the chance to drive the Outback, now I got another car from Subaru for test drive, the new Forester. I really liked the Outback and I was expecting even more from the Forester, because I heard a lot of people saying it’s a great car. So, after I picked up the car from the dealer I decided to head to a very interesting location, the Mud Volcanoes, because I had the chance to check out the car both on highway and off-road.

The Forester’s exterior looks great. I really hated the previous generation, with that large wagon look. The interior is much more ‘spartan’ than the Outback’s. It’s true that I had the top-of-the-line Outback and a cheaper Forester, but still, I didn’t like it very much. The dashboard is ok, the buttons are ok but the instrument panel sucks (looks like they’ve jut put sticker there and not real instruments, looks really cheap). Plus that it’s obvious the car was created for off-road.

The first thing I noticed after driving it for a few miles was that it’s pretty lazy. It gives you the feeling that its 1.5 tons is too heavy for the 150 hp 2.0 petrol engine. I noticed the same thing on the highway. No doubt about it, the Forester is not a ‘need for speed’ car. Still, its road behaviour is excellent. Besides SUVs’ traditional advantages (increased ride height, higher driving position), the suspension is very comfortable. You’re not bothered at all by rail crossings, holes in the road, speed bumps, nothing. Though above 90 mph it feels a little unstable, the car handles great.

However, the Forester really feels good off the road. First of all, let me say that I’m definitely no off-road expert, I haven’t driven a lot of cars or miles off-road, but the Forester was really impressive. Like I said, I took the car on a pretty spectacular and rough road and it really did ok. But the coolest thing happened when I decided to turn and head back, but not a lot of room to make the turn. I was hanging only 1 ft away from a not so cool valley when I realised that I didn’t switch the 4WD to “low”. Well, that’s when the magic started and when I really started loving the car. It’s incredibly stable and it does absolutely anything you tell it to do, without losing grip at all. Really, really cool!

Unfortunately, this adventure starts getting nasty when you take a look at the fuel indicator. Though Subaru says the Forester ‘drinks’ 7 liters / 100 km (33.6 US mpg) highway, 10.9 l/100 km (21.5 mpg) city and 8.4 l/100 km (28 mpg) combined, I got about 70 percent more (it’s true, I did some offroad and drove fast on the highway, but still, that a little too much).

I liked: – Very comfortable ride; – Good handling;

– Really great off-road abilities.

I didn’t like: – The interior is not brilliant; – The engine is kind of lazy in the city and on the highway;

– Fuel consumption.

The conclusion is that if you’re interested in speed or fuel consumption, the Subaru Forester is not the car for you. But if you’d like a car with a very comfortable ride and which you can take for an off-road adventure (luggage included, because it has good storage space), for fishing or anything else that involves getting off the road, then there’s no doubt about it, you should really consider the new Forester.

Photo Gallery: Test Drive: Subaru Forester

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