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Subaru Forester XT Premium review
- Vital Stats
The Forester XT Premium is Subaru's top-of-the-line vehicle in the range and boy is it worth the extra bucks.
As well as all the standard gear, the XT Premium boasts a bucket full of extras -Subaru EyeSight driver assist system, Harmon Kardon premium audio system, keyless entry/start, etc. - bound to please anyone who appreciates the luxuries in life.
Style & drive
A couple of weeks ago we test drove the Subaru Forester 2.5i-S and really enjoyed the experience. Stepping into the XT, there were a few differences that were immediately noticeable. While the 2.5i-S comes with a 2.5-litre horizontally-opposed Boxer petrol engine, the XT Premium has a 2.0-litre direct injection turbocharged Boxer engine with an Electronic Throttle Control System. The XT's new engine is more powerful than the previous XT model yet uses nearly 20 per cent less fuel, and produces less carbon emissions. You can really feel the difference when you hit the road. Everything's tighter and more responsive, and feels a bit smoother too. As with the 2.5i-S, the XT comes with X-Mode, which is awesome for off-road adventures. At the click of a button the car will kick in a specially designed system consisting of traction/stability control, hill descent control and ABS that makes ascending or descending unpaved roads safer and easier for the driver.
As you'd expect, the XT has pretty much every cool feature you could think of to pack into a car. It's got Subaru's EyeSight technology, 18-inch alloy wheels, dusk-sensing xenon headlights, rain-sensing wipers, roof rails, a reversing camera, satellite navigation, electric sunroof, keyless entry and keyless start, a Harmon Kardon eight-speaker audio system with MP3/WMA/iPod and USB connectivity, Bluetooth, eight-way power driver and front passenger seats, heated front seats, electric folding rear seats, power tailgate, and dual-zone climate-controlled air-conditioning.
The interior of the car's functional and easy on the eye. There's plenty of legroom both front and back. The centre stack is well designed and the buttons are very user friendly. Parking's easy with the help of the reversing camera and rear vision is excellent.
The Forester has a five-star ANCAP rating, and has a total of seven airbags, including dual front airbags, dual side airbags, full-length curtain airbags and a driver's knee airbag.
Active safety systems include a Vehicle Dynamics Control system with Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA), Hill Start Assist, Traction Control System (TCS) and TCS Limited Slip Device. The Forester has a reverse parking camera, and three child seat anchor points, and also has latch hooks for ISOFIX car seats.
Subaru's EyeSight System uses a number of different safety warning systems including adaptive cruise control, lane departure and lane sway warning, pre-collision braking and brake assist, pre-collision throttle management and electronic throttle control. The car will apply the brakes automatically to avoid a crash at low speed if an object is detected, and will also warn you if the car in front moves off and you aren't paying attention. As with the 2.5i-S, I found that the object detection system was a bit random with its warnings. Sometimes it would go off if I came up on another car too fast, and at other times - it wouldn't kick in.
2.0i Manual - $30,990
2.5i Auto - $32,990
2.0i-L Manual - $33,490
2.5i-L Auto - $35,990
2.5i-S Auto - $43,990
2.0D Manual - $35,490
2.0D-L Manual - $37,490
2.0D-S Manual - $43,990
2.0XT Auto - $43,490
2.0XT Premium Auto - $50,490.
Fuel consumption: 10.5L/100km
CO2 emission: 248g/km.
Describe the car in three words
Powerful, tough, practical.
What are the best things about this car?
The Forester XT has all the little luxuries you'd ever want, yet you can still take it out and get it dirty without fear of messing it up.
And the downsides?
The turbo chews through a bit more fuel than the regular Forester. And as the top spec, it's also quite pricey.
What does it run on?
Yes! The Forester is perfect at home, traversing the urban jungle, as well as the actual outback!
If personified, who would this car be?
Henry Cavill (Superman).
(Review by Georgia Bartlett.)