A week of testing a sports SUV sounded like a nightmare to me at first. On the other hand, Subaru are great cars and the Forester impressed me even in the regular version. So I'll definitely give him a chance, but can he really convince me?
Of course, the appearance is a little different from the regular Forester, but the good things have remained, for example, beautifully large mirrors attached to the doors, very thin pillars that do not restrict the view or doors that extend to the lower edge of the body. Sure, the Forester XT is more suitable for nice roads, but if you accidentally drive through some mud, you won't get your pants dirty when you get off. But all the differences are much better, especially the quite aggressive-looking vertical holes in the bumper , which resemble vampire teeth hungry to bite into more than one twisted district. The white color suits me quite well with the XT version, the differences stand out better, especially the shape of the holes in the bumper.
In the interior of the Subaru, I was again occupied for the longest time by choosing the most correct indicator on the upper infotainment display. Again, there are those clocks with very beautiful graphics, as well as an indicator of gas pressure, turbocharger pressure and oil temperature, an all-wheel drive indicator, a bar graph of consumption and an indicator of current and average consumption resembling a compass. But mainly there is a big red alarm clock showing the pressure of the turbocharger . I didn't put anything else on the screen all week, this was the most fun for me. I think even most enthusiastic drivers would choose the same. And I must also appreciate the perfectly positioned sports aluminum pedals with large non-slip rubber dots and the pedal accelerator anchored from the floor. Ergonomically, we can highlight the automatic transmission selector, which is a pleasure to hold in your hand, although it is actually unnecessary. The handbrake is also classically operated using a lever and is placed closer to the driver in a nice Japanese way.
The interior of the car is very cozy , the black color and high-quality materials contribute to this impression. Here again we find a wonderful round leather multifunction steering wheel with a thin rim. When I hold it in my hands for the first time, I feel a pleasant buzz in my lower abdomen and I can't wait for the driving experience. The electrically adjustable full leather seats are great. They provide great comfort when traveling and, in addition, even in a tall SUV, they create a feeling of a low sitting position. The decor with the appearance of aluminum also looks good, it is more pleasing to the eye than a cheap imitation of carbon. And there are a number of compartments, shelves and other storage spaces waiting for your things, the location and shape of which someone really thought about. Thanks to this, for example, there is also a place for an expensive mobile phone with a connector close to it, and its floor is non-slip , so that it does not go on a trip in sharp turns. The drink holders are also large enough. The window switches are directed towards the driver and placed closer to the steering wheel and to your hands, which you can rest on the leather armrests. I'm excited again about the retractable visors , which will shade the sun even if it tries to hide behind the interior rearview mirror. They might even try to peek into your car through the panoramic sunroof, but you can also pull it up. There is also plenty of space in the back, and a lot of thought has gone into this as well. For example, over the shape of the upper anchoring of the safety belts, which will never pinch the backrest when you need to fold it down to transport something longer that cannot fit in an otherwise spacious trunk.
The first thing I notice while driving is the incredible silence . That's a different show than a turbocharged diesel. In short, the XT version does not produce many sounds at a normal pace, you can only hear the whistling around the rear-view mirrors. But who cares about silence, that's not what the XT version is about, even if it's good at it. Here it is important if this Super-Forester catches you driving! And I definitely liked him, because I get along really well with him. We already know that the Forester can be an excellent companion in normal operation , but what the XT version will show you is a bit beyond comprehension. For example, the fantastic pull of a supercharged engine with which the vision of a clean points account is easily lost behind the horizon in the rearview mirror. In addition, you will hear the pleasant soundtrack of the whistle of the turbocharger , which belongs to powerful turbocharged cars. Sure, I know, there are plenty of powerful and fast SUVs on the market, but what the Forester can demonstrate, how it can be responsive and communicative in contrast to the cumbersome mastodons, is seriously great.
The car has three driving modes , Intelligent, Sport and Sport Sharp. Sport is said to be most suitable for normal brisk driving. The Intelligent mode has the task of screwing the consumption figure down by a few tenths and is suitable for boring movements on the highway. And so it is clear that the last one is the most important for car fans – Sport Sharp . I was literally told that it is a cowling mode, where the reaction to the gas sharpens and the automatic holds the revs much longer . And if you switch to manual with the lever, the Lineatronic stops interfering with your gear shifting completely, and from that moment it is only up to your hands and how quickly they can click through the preset speeds of the paddles under the steering wheel. In normal mode, the Lineatronic works great and shifts smoothly, but once you try the sharp mode, you won't want anything else.
You don't turn on the Sport Sharp when the engine is cold, which is a good thing. At least some wealthy, power-hungry businessman won't make a good car because of it. But after turning it on, the car already assumes that you can do a little behind the wheel . And that too with the paddles below it, because Lineatronic will no longer save you here. It easily sends the revolutions up to the limiter . The whistling of the turbo intensifies, the speed increases and you start to feel like Solberg . Yes, you are sitting half a meter higher than in his Impreza WRC, and the intake is no longer perched on the hood like it used to be, but the ride is a real Subaru with everything . You can get used to it very easily and after a few kilometers you will constantly increase your speed. And what are we talking about, when you manage to get this tall four-wheeler into a controlled skid of all wheels for the first time, you will find a new drug. Driving a large SUV in a sporty way is satisfying in a special way.
Sporty SUVs are a segment that has always been kind of stolen from me. The idea of a powerful engine and a sporty chassis in a square box with a too high center of gravity is terribly senseless. And you know what, when the car really works, it's ultimately incredible fun . This is truly a genuine Subaru with a gasoline turbocharged four-cylinder, symmetrical all-wheel drive and a tremendous amount of driving experience . I had a lot of fun in it all week and I didn't regret a single kilometer. On the contrary, the more winding and worse the road, the better for me and for the car.
Photo: Steering Media