Subaru Forester 2.0X Review: Finding Forester
The Forester shares its basic dashboard architecture with the Impreza, which means a reasonably pleasant design with good ergonomics and switchgear placement. The driving position is also spot on thanks a wide variety of adjustments for the seat and steering column. Rear passengers will enjoy good amounts of head and legroom. The boot is also well-shaped and sized even though the floor is a bit shallow like in the Impreza. The Forester can be turned into a load hauler if needed by folding down the split/fold rear seats. In terms of interior space and utility, the Forester is definitely up there with the class leaders.
A big downside though is the materials that are used in the cabin. The dashboard and door panels are a cause for strong criticism – none of their surfaces feel tactile or soft to the touch, it’s just hard plastics and more hard plastics. The switchgear feels a tad ancient too. Subaru has shown that they can do better in terms of interior quality like in the Legacy and Tribeca so why can’t they do the same for their other models?
The only change on the updated model’s cabin is the fitment of a new premium audio system that includes iPod integration as well as Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity.
Japanese manufacturers like Subaru have been having a tough time in recent times in Singapore due to the competitive prices from Continental brands as well as improved products from the Korean manufacturers. With changes and updates that most will hardly notice or feel, the mildly refreshed Forester 2.0X isn’t showroom fresh enough to entice the demanding Singaporean car buyer in the competitive compact SUV sector and hence, it will hardly be the model that will revive Subaru’s fortunes here. On the upside, the new motor will, at least guarantee that Subaru will still offer charismatic and silky smooth flat-four engines in its line-up for the foreseeable future.
Credits: Story and Photos by Mark Yeo