2014 Subaru Forester XS Lineartronic 2.0 petrol
Simple, practical, comfortable
None, because it's brand new, but the boot lid is a little tough to close - will go to the dealer for that one.
Since we have had the car for almost a few weeks only, I can't point out very much. For example I have no idea about its real AWD capabilities, reliability, etc. But in general, there are a few things to mention: (but before that, we have to understand, that we're comparing this car in its own segment - because that seems to be the most common mistake, which drives many unnecessary discussions about whether something is "good" or "bad")
1. Engine. Not powerful, but enough for everyday use. Very smooth.
2. CVT. Makes the best out of the engine - economy wise and power wise. Personally I like it. There's a manual mode with 6 virtual gears + a couple of "behaviour" modes either for comfort or sporty driving. The CVT operates smoothly and responsively.
3. Handling. Generally good. Very small turning circle, good maneuverability, easy steering. Very natural I would say.
4. Comfort. Not the Nissan Murano, but a big leap forward from earlier Foresters. Ride is quite soft. Softer than a RAV4 for sure. Seats are OK, front and back, legroom, headroom is good, ergonomics are quite natural. Boot is on the better side also. Visibility all round is great!..
Generally. Definitely feels a Japanese car. Styling, interior, onboard computer functions, etc. If you're considering buying this latest Forester, you have to understand that it's a different car from its competitors (CRV, RAV4, Kuga, Qashqai...). Not only because of its one of a kind symmetrical AWD and boxer engine, but also because of its simplicity and a bit poor options list. Even the high end trim level (XE) doesn't have anything special - the automatic rear gate probably would be its most awesome feature... Or maybe key less entry and push button start.
It's a vehicle to do the job. It's civilized, very easy to use and comfortable, but nothing fancy, nothing high tech.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 4th May, 2014
6th Aug 2014, 20:23
Update after 5000km from the original owner:
Nothing special, maybe a few points worth mentioning:
Real life fuel consumption is around 9.5L/100km.
It could use extra power - the engine + CVT is one of the most smoothest and refined pieces out there, but the performance is really marginal.
It feels bigger than it is and heavier than it is. That's probably because of the relatively soft ride, roomy interior and good visibility. That doesn't mean it's hard to handle - only that it feels bigger and heavier.
No major complaints - it does the job perfectly. However, if you want a trendy, refined and rich in specs midsize SUV, you should look elsewhere.
30th Dec 2014, 23:39
Comment after about 9000km:
The biggest con is probably the engine - it simply lacks torque. If the car is full, or under heavy conditions (hills, snow, etc) the engine has to work at rather high RPM. The 2.0L boxer diesel is much better, but here in Lithuania it only comes with manual, and the 2.0L turbo petrol with 240 BHP comes as premium trim - way too expensive for an average SUV. The CVT is programmed for maximum softness - if you floor it, the RPM doesn't instantly rise to the peak point like in other vehicles - they go to mid level and engine starts accelerating from there - that alone diminishes the potential of this weak engine. If in manual mode - the 6th (last) gear is worthless - it has such a huge ratio - 2000 RPM at 70mph - the car lacks torque so tremendously - it literally doesn't go. And if you're in auto (CVT) mode and going 85-95mph, the revs are kept quite high (and even higher if you encounter some incline or wind) - again due to high wind resistance, the engine lacks torque. So it's not comfortable nor economical to cruise at or over 90mph for sure.
Strong points would be the good AWD system - you're probably never going to use it to its full potential.
All in all, my wife likes it. Simply because it rides smoothly, handles easily, there's good all-round visibility and you sit quite high (seat height is adjustable), and there's plenty of room for passengers and cargo.