For more than 40 years, Subaru has been placing its individual vehicle concept with the key features of all-wheel drive and a boxer engine. According to Subaru, the company has produced more than 23 million vehicles worldwide, of which 21 million are four-wheel drive vehicles (as of September 2022). The fifth generation of the Subaru Forester embodies a traditional vehicle concept, combined with the EyeSight emergency braking system and a wide range of driver assistance systems. The mild hybrid variant e-Boxer achieves the current Euro 6d emissions standard with the renewed emission control. The off-road station wagon reveals its all-wheel drive qualities in the test.
The manufacturer describes the traditional characteristics of a Subarus as power, robustness and reliability. In this respect, these features were probably also the driving forces in the further development of the vehicles, with the current Forester the generous storage space is another plus point. The Forester is thus prepared for traditional tasks in the areas of work, leisure and travel. In contrast to the more powerful engines of the previous generation, the current e-Boxer is much more relaxed. The 2-liter combustion engine, classified under the Euro 6d-ISC-FCM standard, with 150 hp and a maximum torque of 194 Newton meters is designed for more defensive driving. The e-Boxer is currently the only engine for the Forester. Technically, the current Forester is based on the Subaru Global Platform introduced in 2016, visually it is similar to the Viziv Future Concept presented at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2015.
Well-engineered assistance systems
In addition to the basic equipment, Subaru often offers special models at a very good price-performance ratio, which are preferred because of the equipment. The car we tested with platinum equipment comes with extensive additional equipment. These include electrically adjustable leather seats with seat heating and good lateral support, which can be individually configured, and a large-format panoramic glass roof.
The audio system from Harman/Kardon including DAB+ also offers an appealing sound experience for fans of classical music. After starting at the push of a button, there is a veritable series of technical assistance systems, most of which are already integrated in the basic equipment and which we can test extensively in the course of the long-distance test.
The first stretches are relatively calm and relaxed with the e-Boxer in city traffic. Sometimes it is also purely electrically powered for very short sections. When driving off, the belt starter generator typical of mild hybrids ensures rapid starts right from the start. As soon as you leave the place and accelerate, the combustion engine makes itself felt with high speeds.
When overtaking or the typical kickdown, it gets louder in the interior. There is a slight delay before the CVT automatic transmission with the integrated 12,8 kW electric motor converts the power delivery into speed. The Forester, who is known by his name as a forest worker, prefers to be out and about on his favorite off-road terrain.
Panoramic view is the standard
An interesting feature of the Forester are the large-format windows, which offer an impressive view, especially when driving on routes with special views. The good all-round view is available from all seats in the car and is advantageous when traveling or observing nature.
The assistance systems can be tested for practical suitability, especially in long-distance traffic. The adaptive cruise control integrated on the right of the steering wheel spoke can be activated conveniently with the press of a thumb. During the entire trip on the A7, we only regulate the driving speed using the paddles. The latest version of the EyeSight system, which has already been intensively tested by the ADAC, works during our journeys on the motorway without errors in vehicle detection and distance control and perfectly captures every silhouette from the narrow motorcycle to the rugged bicycle trailer and reacts without delay even to vehicles that swerve for a short time. With the stereo camera integrated at the top center behind the windshield, Subaru offers a solution that reliably controls the adaptive distance assistant (ACC) and the emergency braking system. It only switches off as a warning in the event of heavy soiling or very poor visibility. Also important and actively warning are the blind spot warning system, which also gives signals to cyclists approaching from the side, and the lane warning system. Relaxed travel is a clear advantage for the Forester, but the integrated navigation system can only be used to a limited extent, neither current traffic reports nor detour recommendations are integrated into the user interface.
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Autumn has arrived in the harsh north, and we can put the X-Mode all-wheel drive system to the test on winding roads. The permanent all-wheel drive ensures high cornering stability and good off-road traction even in poor weather conditions. Here, Subaru relies on the traditional "Symmetrical AWD", a permanent all-wheel drive system that can be expanded to two selectable off-road driving levels using the selector wheel. The Down Hill Control is particularly well-resolved as a control for driving downhill, whereby a constant speed is maintained even at extreme incline angles. The choice between the two driving modes snow/slush and deep snow/deep terrain noticeably increases driving safety again, depending on the surface. In cool autumn conditions, consumption leveled off at an average of 8 to 9 liters of premium petrol. In the off-road modes, however, it is also well over 10 liters of premium petrol. With a ground clearance of around 22 cm, despite its length, it can be mastered on most off-road routes from dusty roads to modder terrain.
A closer look at the assistance systems reveals three more interesting digital features. When parking using the reversing camera, another practical camera below the passenger rear-view mirror is also active. This allows a view of the front wheel and the surroundings. This helps to detect lateral obstacles and, if heeded, reduces rim damage on curbs.
An assistant is a camera integrated in the center console that constantly monitors the field of vision and the position of the eyes. As soon as the driver can no longer see the moving traffic, a warning is given on the central display. The warning color changes from yellow to red with constant distraction. The current Emergency Brake Assist is extended to the detection of cyclists crossing the road.
The current Forester is a constant further development of the SUV with sophisticated assistance systems. It can now be used in even more diverse ways, from off-road vehicles to touring SUVs. As a mild hybrid system, the e-Boxer meets the current Euro 6d standards and follows the trend of equipping off-road vehicles with even more sports utility vehicle properties. It can be used more flexibly than its predecessors and scores with a very sophisticated emergency braking system.
Source – Carsalesbase
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