When you think Forester XT, you think WRX in a SUV body, right? Well, while some things stay the same, others have not, and the new Forester XT has somewhat grown up.
You see, when the forester was first launched, it was based on the Impreza platform with raised suspension and higher profile tires. This has been the recipe for success over the last 15 years or so;e the average Dad could now cart the kids to school in a far more practical, yet raised wagon, as opposed to a low-slung WRX. The low roof and higher-than-average ground clearance meant that this Forester could go places that other cars couldn’t and, with the awesome all-wheel drive system, it even treaded on some of the more hard core, off-roading guys toes.
A little later down the line and we step into 2014. The Forester XT has grown. It’s a full-blown, premium priced compact utility vehicle, with all the luxuries that you would expect to feature in likes of a BMW and Audi.
The interior, wrapped in lovely black leather, features power adjusted seats and that huge sun roof we all enjoy. Clearly it’s all made its way over from previous generations, although the power seats are new.
The major upgrade from the previous model is the engine. The 177kw 2.0 Turbo (previously 2.5 and making 169kw) and the 8 speed automatic CVT, with sport intelligent mode, will keep drivers grinning from ear to ear. The CVT box, contrary to any and all belief, feels responsive and smooth. Power is delivered near instantly with maybe a tad bit of lag in higher gears. A quick blip on the paddles will drop a few and you fly off into the sunset. Personally, I’m not really a CVT fan, but this is actually pretty good.
Fuel consumption has always been the forester Xt’s Achilles heel and on cruising that has improved phenomenally to under 8l/100km on the open road. Previous generations were up around the 10/11l/100km mark, still pretty acceptable for something with this amount of power.
Subaru has gone through great lengths to increase the space and visibility in the car and it shows. The cabin feels open and airy with a great commanding view of the road. The windows are big and let in a lot of light. The rear space will fit 3 adults comfortably, although I would class them as average size and not ‘Blue Bull’ sized.
Getting down to the basics, we feel that the XT is slightly expensive R529 000, but that does include a 3 year service plan up to 75 000km. There are, however, extensions available.
For more information, check out www.subaru.co.za
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