Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester Review: “Its driving quality is acceptable, but I’m unsatisfied with the safety equipment setting” by Hiroshi Matsushita

The Forester is in a unique position because it is an SUV based on the station wagon. Each new generation features higher overall height and lower minimum ground clearance, making it an SUV that well represents Subaru.

Since the existing model debuted in 2012, Subaru have been making improvements to it every year, and through the biggest improvements they did in autumn of 2015, they had made changes in the design of interior and exterior parts, drive quality and other equipment.

As for its exterior design, its front bumper and front grille have been facelifted, giving it a powerful character that is unique to an SUV. They only did minor updates for its rear and interior parts.

I also felt better level of quietness when I drove this car. I haven’t thought of the Forester as a car with a high level of quietness, so its remarkable quietness was something I have noticed in this update. Its interior space also gives off an ambiance conducive for comfortable conversations among passengers.

It also has a more improved ride quality and steering stability. Subaru also made various improvements on its front and rear parts, such as the shock absorber’s damping force and spring numbers, providing both pleasant ride quality and excellent steering stability. Through these minor changes, including the improvement of its steering wheel, it now has a more improved driving performance that is unique to Subaru vehicles.

It also has advanced functions on its safety equipment, such as the EyeSight Ver. 3, which is the latest version, and the Active Lane Keep system.

What’s unfortunate about it, however, is that for now, only the EyeSight technology is available as standard equipment for all the existing grades; meanwhile, the Advanced Safety Package, such as the Rear Vehicle Detection support system, are available for the higher grade models only.

Subaru’s EyeSight technology is on a lead among automakers in terms of performance, function, and price; but if these equipment would not be available in the other grades, I would be given a negative impression of their view on safety. All grades should be equipped with this right now, and if they can’t be, then Subaru should simply give up those grades.

â–  5 Star Rating
Packaging: ★★★★
Interior / Comfort: ★★★★
Power Source: ★★★★
Footwork: ★★★★
Recommendation: ★★★★

Hiroshi Matsushita | Car Critic

Born in 1951 in Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture. Former journalist for the car industry and editor of a car magazine, now a freelancer. Known for his strengths in economic discussions of cars and money, such as tax, insurance, and various expenses. Writes an online diary.

(Translated by Claire Marie Sausora)