Subaru Forester 2.5i-L 2019
I’m not sure I could name another car that carries the same multi-generational appeal that Subaru Forester seems to have.
It does great work at marketing in Australia. Not as filthy as a traditional SUV, not limited to a hatchback and with some ability to cope with rugged Aussie road conditions, it always seeks to appeal to both young and old.
In this latest iteration, the Forester is bigger than ever, with a line of four basic variants coming back and a strong focus on safety.
Is that the right bet for the Forester badge? And what is 2.5i-L and what is a well equipped 2.5i base model? I spent a week in one to find out.
Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with? 8/10
On its side, $ 35,490 2,5i-L is a hard sell. Literally, there is no visual distinction between this car and the 2.5i base model below it.
No bespoke wheels, no little chrome trim, no different materials on the inside – there’s even a bigger media screen. Do you believe me Go and review my recent review of 2.5i and try to find differences (I will save you a moment; you can Kill).
The fact that the base model Forester (at $ 33,490) has incredible value, stands out like Subaru’s LED headlights, leather-wrapped steering wheel and Subaru’s very good ‘EyeSight’ safety kit (more than that safe).
So what is left for 2.5i-L to add? It costs $ 2000 more than the base and adds a driver’s attention warning (DAA) to the safety offer, next to the side view screen (so you don’t smash the wheel into the gutters), the side view screen. front (like a reversing camera, but to keep going), automatic high beam control and automatic emergency brake (AEB).
2.5i-L also allows memory functions on the climate control, instrument control panel and dash display, which seems to be arbitrary penalties for base model buyers. Certainly it doesn’t cost Subaru too much for these features to have memory function
Additional safety features and memory are good, but they are hardly a discount tool, making 2.5L a worthwhile variant. The 2.5i Premium version above received significant styling and feature upgrades and will certainly have a greater presence on many dealers.
Is there anything interesting about its design? 7/10
Forester will not create any enemies. The new generation design is one of gradual refinement instead of evolutionary style.
It looks more like an SUV than ever before, growing in all directions, but it still keeps a smile of the wagon roots in its sub configuration – a piece of Forester’s DNA.
As mentioned before, 2.5i-L is a bit of an image, when you view it looks identical to the base layer. Subaru may at least have thrown in another alloy design, or some chrome trim on the place, but to be fair, doing so would add dollars to the price of this variant.
The interior is exactly the same as the base class, too. It is not necessarily a bad thing. It has the same comfortable seat as the hard cloth trim, several leather touches in the right place and the characteristic chunky Subaru steering wheel.
Dash design is very picky. There is a small media screen (6.5 inches), another screen on top and another screen embedded between the dials. It has a place too many places to find. A larger media screen that includes the features of two central screens would be a more reasonable solution.
The center stack also juts out the passenger compartment with all right angles. Forester is definitely more angular than elegant inside and out.
The steering wheel is also busy, now with fourteen buttons and two toggles. Credit is due to its chunky leather upholstery, which gives a sense of fit for such a boxy car.
How realistic is the inner space? 8/10
It is very difficult to catch Forester errors here. Nameplate has always been a practical, but its new size gives it room in every department.
For example, the extra 30 mm increase in wheelbase, makes great legroom in the second row even among its SUV peers.
The second row also has two power sockets and two vents as well as a large cup, drop-down armrests, two-tier pockets on the back of the front seats, and soft touch surfaces like the front passenger on the door trim.
Front occupants are treated to a spacious and airy space with Forester large windows, with plenty of hand room, light touch surfaces on the doors and center console, and volume and control controls. Adjust the volume based on an easy to use dial.
What are the important stats for engine and transmission? 7/10
All Forester variants are now powered by a 2.5-liter boxer petrol engine. The 2.0-liter base engine and diesel engine version are now extinct, along with the option of a manual transmission.
Thankfully, the 2.5 liters – which Subaru says is 90% new – are very good.
How much fuel does it consume? 7/10
After a week of driving on the highway and suburbs, I achieved a fuel consumption of 9.0L / 100km. This is interesting, because in my testing of the 2.5i base model at the end of 2018, I achieved the exact same sales figures. So counting that number is reliable.
The official combined requirement for Forester is 7.4L / 100km, so the 1.6L / 100km error is not too bad, especially when 2.5i-L weighs 1525kg (Tare).
All foresters regularly drink 91ron unleaded gasoline and have a 63-liter fuel tank.
What does it like to drive? 8/10
Driving Forester is easy. So easy.
It has excellent visibility, thanks to its tall roof and large windows, and the extra 2.5i-L camera set makes parking as big as a cinch.
The handlebars are light and the 2.5-liter engine responds quickly and reasonably easily within rotation. It can be a thrilling game when pushed, but it also gives the big Forester a sense of lightness and playfulness that is largely unexpected.
Long-travel suspension and drive calibration all bring a distinctly different feel.
Engine and road noise are far away, though the stereo system is a bit small compared to the high-end models that appear in higher grades.
The long-travel suspension and the nature of the Forester boxer engine, and the all-wheel drive system always feel different from many rivals, can feel like the giant front hatchback. It is definitely a porous drive, focusing more comfortably than something like the CX-5, hard and sporty.
True, CVT transmissions are often mocked, but the implementation of Subaru Times technology is relatively intuitive. Forester fans of those days will miss the tutorial, though.
The drive will be hard to beat for anyone who hasn’t been a Forester fan before, but the 2.5i-L is still a safe and easy car to ride
On the highway, this Forester can also drive itself with active cruise control. This is one of the more active systems on the market, backing up without prompting and always maintaining a safe distance from the car ahead. It even has a screen that tells you whether it’s locked to the next vehicle, and a status screen to keep your distance and keep your lane.
The driving experience will be hard to beat for anyone who hasn’t been a Forester fan before, but the 2.5i-L L entertainment nature is safe, approachable and surprisingly Subaru’s element.