Written by: Stephen Spyropoulos
Photography by: Stephen Spyropoulos
Stereotype (noun): a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.
Stereotypes are found everywhere. They apply to genders, beliefs, material goods, and even automotive brands. For example, BMW is known for their sporty-handling cars, Mercedes-Benz for their lavish interiors, Toyota for their impeccable reliability, and Subaru for having one of the industry’s best all-wheel drive applications.
Every model in the Subaru lineup, save the BRZ, enjoys the automaker’s patented Symmetrical All-wheel Drive system. One model that sticks out in the diverse lineup is the Subaru Forester, a compact crossover that has been one of the highest rated SUVs in its segment. Not only is Subaru a leader in the Japanese market when it comes to features like the EyeSight Driver Assist System, but they have also managed to create a cult-like addition for enthusiasts who simply cannot get enough of that signature BOXER engine.
Throughout my test week with the new 2016 Forester 2.5i Touring, I had the infamous “GTA Effect” - I strangely noticed more Foresters on the road than usual; from catching a glimpse of an old first-gen to a near-mint second generation Forester XT that has been plastered from head to toe with fake STi stickers.
I offered him an apathetic thumbs-up but I quickly regretted my decision. He found me a few blocks over and rolled down his window to brag about his hugeeee Subaru collection at home. He had over 10 Subarus, so he said. Either he was heavily exaggerating or they must be putting something in the water over at Fuji Heavy Industries because owners can’t seem to get enough!
I blame the simplicity of Subarus. Everything about their cars is user friendly, reliable, and relatively inexpensive. Albeit, some people do pay a pretty penny for WRX STIs, even for ones with high mileage. However, the Forester paves the way through sales with the versatility of an Outback and the comfort of the Impreza.
The tried and true formula of good styling, reliability, and all-wheel-drive keep the Forester competitive. The 6-speed manual option is a rarity in its segment, but it does unfortunately come with a drawback. You can only get the manual with the 2.5-litre four-cylinder motor that is good for 170 hp and 174 lb-ft. The smaller but higher output 2.0-litre turbo motor delivers around 80 hp more but it can’t be had with the manual, only the dreaded CVT.
Shame, as there is a void in the crossover segment for a turbocharged manual with hatchback-like versatility. On the bright side, the Forester’s unusual 6-speed is a doozy to throw around. While the throws are long and notchy, finding the gates and slotting it into place is a breeze – perfect rev-matches never came so easy.
Having the ability to enjoy off-road adventures came naturally to the Forester. Hitting up trails and letting the AWD system and 220 mm of ground clearance work its magic is what gives this Subie such praise in the community. However, don’t expect to do any major rock-climbing in stock configuration - Subaru has still made it usable and ergonomic with lowered door entry points.
Once you hop inside the Forester, you’re treated to a capacious interior loaded with comfortable and heated cloth seats. Those seeking some extra Vitamin D would find the large panoramic sunroof quite appealing.
Cargo room is more than adequate and the rear hatch has a power liftgate option that is fairly useful, but I found some issues with it early on. Every now and then, the liftgate would refuse to rise even with persistent pushing and smashing of the keyfob. A quick search on the Internet showed that others had befallen the same fate – a problem that is all too common.
The Forester receives a few updates for 2016, including a refreshed 6.2-inch infotainment screen with Bluetooth, USB, and Sirius XM connectivity. The StarLink branded unit is simple and the screen’s responsiveness was very quick. Subaru has not forgotten to include some good old-fashioned volume and tune knobs either (hooray for hard buttons).
The 2.5i Touring can be equipped with the Technology package, which my tester lacked, and would include steering responsive fog-lights and Subaru’s EyeSight system. While these do increase the vehicle’s safety, the optical-based EyeSight system does create some limitations for when you drive into the sun, fog, or when the windshield is covered in snow or mud. On another note, it was given a superior rating by the IIHS!
At $29,995, the 2.5i Touring is the highest trim that can be had with the manual transmission. You can get a more cheaper model for $4,000 less but the Touring trim does come with a few creature comforts that make the premium worthwhile, like the large sunroof, leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter, heated seats, power liftgate, and rear view camera.
Despite its minor limitations, the Forester is a fantastic choice for anyone looking for a reliable vehicle that can serve many purposes. Whether it’s fated to become a daily driver, a family hauler, or if you just want to stick a bunch of fake STI badges on it, the Forester won’t disappoint.
型号 Model: 2016 Subaru Forester 2.5i Touring
顏色 Paint Type: Crystal Black Silica
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $29,995
試車售價 Price as Tested: $29,995
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 2,640
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,595 / 1,796 / 1,732
車重 Curb weight (kg): 1,495
引擎 Engine: 2.5L DOHC, 16-valve, 4-cylinder BOXER engine
最大馬力 Horsepower: 170 hp @ 5,800 rpm
最高扭力 Torque: 174 lb-ft @ 4,100 rpm
波箱 Transmission: 6-speed manual
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, AWD
煞制-前 Brakes-Front: Vented discs (294 x 24mm), dual piston calipers
煞制-後 Brakes-Rear: Solid discs (274 x 10mm), single piston calipers
油耗 Fuel Consumption ( City / Highway / Combined ) L/100km: 10.6 / 8.4 / 9.6
油耗 Observed Fuel Consumption (L/100km): 10.1
輪胎尺碼 Tires: Bridgestone Blizzak WS-80; P225/60R17