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15 Oct 2019

What We Dislike
It will no longer have a turbocharged variant

With its high levels of comfort and enhanced safety features, the fifth generation Subaru Forester is the perfect SUV for the family.

SUVs are all the craze now, and why shouldn't they be? With bigger space for the family, stronger road presence and a better view of the road ahead, there's little to complain about these boxes on wheels.

Take the Toyota RAV4 for instance. It's a modern-looking SUV, has a spacious cabin, and is certainly refined and comfortable on the move. Are these qualities not justifiable enough to have one in your garage?

The Subaru Forester is in its fifth iteration

Then there's Subaru...

On the note of quality SUVs, another car that comes to mind is the all new fifth generation Subaru Forester. Based on the Subaru Global Platform that also underpins the Impreza and the XV, the SUV that you see here is more agile yet more rigid at the same time. This aids greatly in its rolling resistance that was absent in its predecessors.

But alas, due to the lack of time with the car, we didn't have the opportunity to push the car to its limits. What we can report is that during our time with the Forester, we managed to experience the car's improved dynamics and well-controlled body roll.

On the move, the Forester is comfortable and refined

But it's no longer turbocharged!

Yes, it's no longer turbocharged and it may never well be in the future. In fact, with 154bhp and 196Nm of torque sent to all four wheels, it bears none of the enthusiasm that its turbocharged predecessors had, but drive it with a disciplined right foot and it can be rather rewarding.

Despite the car's bulky and stocky looks, the new Subaru is surprisingly capable of a refined and comfortable ride. On the move, the annoying drone that's often associated with CVTs is often overlooked because it comes across as natural as the usual torque converters.

The naturally aspirated 2.0-litre engine makes 154bhp and 196Nm of torque

Subaru engineers have also done their wizardry to ensure that external noises are kept well at bay just so that all occupants on board can enjoy a peaceful and composed in-car driving experience.

That said, if we had to nit pick, it's the car's weight. The Forester's heft of close to 1.6 tonnes can be felt - a distinctive aspect that trails the RAV4.

Does it lose out in terms of safety features too?

Where the Forester doesn't lack is its real-life quality and convenient safety features. EyeSight, as the carmaker dubs it, is its umbrella of safety technologies that comprises of pre-collision braking, lane departure warning and lead vehicle start alert, just to name a few.
While these may sound common and minute, they are usually found standard only in more premium models. The lead vehicle start alert, for instance, alerts the driver when the car is at a halt and traffic starts moving again - convenient for those who are constantly checking e-mails via their mobile phones when the car isn't in motion.

EyeSight uses two stereo cameras that are located up front to capture image recognition

And when the car is on the move, pre-collision braking - as its name suggests - monitors the area in front of the vehicle and alerts you of any potential collision. If it's anything within 50km/h, the safety system will apply the brakes automatically to help prevent a collision or reduce any damage if you're unable to react promptly.

Looks good feels good

As to whether you like the styling of the Subaru Forester, it's entirely subjective to the individual. What we can say, though, is that with the distinctive C-shaped head and taillights, as well as bold lines and aggressive folds, the new SUV looks more appealing in real life than it does in photos.

The cabin is clean and modern, which enhances the SUV's refinement

Just as appealing is its cabin. Apart from the usual multi-function steering wheel and high-quality plastics, you get a massive glass roof that helps elevate the car's bright and spacious ambience.

The Forester will fit three full-sized adults at the back with ample head and legroom to spare, while the boot space of 520 litres will fit several luggage and grocery bags. Knock the rear seats down and the hauling capacity will increase a couple of notches to 1,775 litres.

520 litres of boot space will see to your family's needs

A wholesome deal for the family

At $118,800 (as of 11 October 2019), the Subaru Forester is over $17,000 cheaper than the Toyota RAV4, and yet it comes with a suite of safety features that are more realistic and convenient over Toyota Safety Sense, which comes with automatic high-beam and dynamic radar cruise control.

In that sense, we could argue that the Subaru is decently equipped for the price. But more than that, with its high levels of refinement, ample space and quality comfort, it's clear that the Forester focuses on the needs of a family.
Car Information


: -

Engine Type


4-cylinder 16-valve DOHC Horizontally opposed

Engine Cap





115kW (154 bhp) / 6000 rpm



196 Nm / 4000 rpm



Lineartronic CVT (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Fuel consumption



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