Subaru Forester Review

There are very few cars in 11 years of writing about them (not to mention 30-plus years of driving them) that I can honestly say I've always liked and recommended. The Subaru Forester has made that list every single time.

Not an easy trick, because with each generation, the Forester strives for a bit more refinement and a bit less quirky individuality...a path on which many vehicles have lost their way and become just another car (cough...cough...SAAB...cough).

But not to worry. The all-new 2009 Forester is everything every other Forester has been...but better. A longer wheelbase means more room and a better ride. A stiffer platform improves handling and a new chassis gets better crash test results. Vehicle Dynamics Control is standard. And the two four-cylinder engines have more user-friendly torque curves (more oomph when you want and need it).

Also important in an SUV that actually can go off the pavement, a tire pressure monitoring system is now standard.

Buy a base 2.5X model with a stick and no options, and you're out the door for $19,995 (okay, the $665 delivery charge puts you at $20,660, but these days, you can probably haggle the local dealer down by $665, right?).

Ours was a bit more expensive. Subaru sent over the 2.5XT Limited with navigation...and with delivery, that one's $30,660.

Yep. A 30-thousand dollar Forester. It's come to that.

Remarkably, though, the Forester managed to make that number seem reasonable the more we drove it. If it was my money, I'd probably go for a mid-level model...but the Limited with nav isn't out of line.

It's never been the cutest of what used to be called the cute-utes (small SUVs), but the Forester has been...and still is...our pick.

No comments: