[YesAuto Test Drive] At the beginning of March 2008, Subaru launched a new generation of Forester, and this change can be said to be quite thorough! The reason for saying this is that the previous generation of Forester looks more like a Wagon model in terms of dimensions, and it cannot be matched with an SUV. The exterior and interior dimensions of the third-generation Forester are definitely a compact SUV. Previously, Forester launched a total of six models with two displacements of 2.0 and 2.5T to the market. From the price point of view, the six Forester cars cover a wide range of 229,800 to 359,800 yuan, and with Subaru's reputation for performance, it has become a fully imported SUV that is more popular with domestic consumers.
Forester also had a little regret left to consumers when the new model was changed. Although the price of the 2.0XS automatic luxury model is not high, the matching 4-speed automatic manual transmission, due to slightly less gears, makes the Forester lack of power on the ramp. When the 2.5T model brings consumers ample power, the lowest price of 339,800 yuan also discourages some users. In order to enrich the product line, Subaru recently launched two Foresters equipped with 2.5-liter single overhead camshaft naturally aspirated horizontally opposed engines: 2.5XS automatic luxury version and 2.5XS luxury navigation version . Before the price was officially announced, Autohome had the honor to test drive the 2.5XS automatic luxury version.
● Appearance changes to identify 2.5XS models
After a short day of product experience, it feels that the Forester 2.5XS is more like a crossover model combining “recreational and off-road”, with spacious interior space and off-road characteristics (of course, 2.0L models with 4-speed automatic manual transmission cannot Take up off-road work) to make it a very suitable multi-purpose vehicle for household use.
Seeing the “new” Forester, at first glance, there is no difference in appearance from the previously launched 2.0L model. There is no air intake for the 2.5T performance model on the engine cover. 17-inch 5-spoke aluminum alloy wheels are the most intuitive way to identify 2.5XS models. In addition, the new car can also be identified through other small changes. From the rear of the car, the “Symmetrical AWD” logo is currently only available for 2.5XS models.
Although the new generation of Foresters have watched it for a long time, there is still a few words to say about the appearance design. The Forester is derived from the Impreza chassis. The headlights are designed to resemble the Impreza. The iconic large air intake grille is somewhat similar to the Outback, but more atmospheric than the Outback. The whole line of the Forester gets rid of the previous generation models, and the new design makes it really a compact SUV.
Taking into account the off-road function, the Forester is equipped with a black original engine and chassis guards. Black materials are also used around the front fog lights on both sides, which will not damage the paint after driving on poor roads. The material between the front fog lights uses a bumper of the same color as the body. Although it improves the overall appearance to a certain extent, it will still damage the paint when it encounters some scratches.
The side of the Forester has the flavor of a Japanese full-size SUV! There is also a curved line above the wheel eyebrows, which looks a bit like double eyelids. From the side of the body, you can see the only difference in appearance between the 2.5XS automatic luxury version and the 2.5XS luxury navigation version. Through the small black dots on the front door handle, it can be recognized that this is a top model with a smart remote control key.
The 2.5XS does not have the rear spoiler rear wing of the 2.5T model, which seems to be a bit uncomfortable for prospective Forester owners, right? The design of the Forester quadrilateral taillights is more traditional, and the two exhaust ports with stainless steel decoration look very sporty.● The interior is simple and functional
The Forester central control design is relatively sleek, the internal lines are very harmonious, and the interior workmanship is also very exquisite, worthy of the three words “full import”. In addition, this time I saw Forester with two interior colors, one is a more elegant light gray interior, and the other is a black interior with more SUV sports characteristics. These two interior colors basically satisfy the big The needs of some consumers.
The instrument panel uses white letters on a blue background, the speedometer is in the center, the tachometer is on the left, and the fuel gauge is on the right. Although the water temperature meter is cancelled, when the water temperature is abnormal, the corresponding indicator light will be lit on the left tachometer to remind the driver. With white characters on the blue background, when you start the Forester, the instrument panel also has a self-check function, and the pointers move at the same time instantly, which is quite tempting!
The right side of the four-direction adjustable multi-function steering wheel is the cruise control button. At the bottom left of the steering wheel, there are the dashboard brightness adjustment, exterior mirror electric adjustment and folding function buttons, and VDC switch. The 2.5XS luxury navigation version also adds a one-button Ignition start button.
From top to bottom, the middle part of the center console is: the top part is the driving computer display (displaying temperature, instantaneous fuel consumption, time, etc.), and the middle part is the multimedia entertainment system (2.5XS luxury navigation version, here is a 6.5-inch TFT touch screen) With DVD navigation system), the lower part is the air-conditioning outlet and temperature adjustment knob. There is a 12V power jack under the panel, which eliminates the cigarette lighter and ashtray. For car owners who do not smoke, they will feel clean and refreshing when entering the car.
The various functional areas of the center console are clearly divided. I like the large air-conditioning knobs. It is very convenient to operate and has a moderate damping feel. It feels good! In addition, what I don’t like is the buttons in the multimedia control area. Although the functions are complete and the overall workmanship is good, the buttons are too small and inconvenient to operate. The buttons on both sides of the navigation screen are smaller!
The front row electric heating seat wheel switch is placed under the center armrest, which is very clever. The square cup holder next to the handbrake is convenient for storing boxed or canned drinks, and the deeper cup holder can also hold other items. The central armrest box that can slide back and forth is a double-layer design, with an AUX interface on the lower layer, and a 12V power jack next to it. The upper tray can hold audio equipment such as MP3, and it has a concave slot for the cable!
The Forester has small makeup mirrors on both sun visors, and a larger spectacle case above the inner rearview mirror. Sitting in the two seats in the front row, you can basically find some functions and storage space you can think of. In terms of humanized design, Japanese cars do have something to learn from.
● Large body size and spacious interior space
According to the data, there is no change in the body size of the Forester 2.5XS model 4560mm×1780mm×1700mm (length×width×height), which is also common sense. The driver’s seat is equipped with a six-way electric adjustable seat. The whole car seat is more comfortable after being wrapped in leather, and the backrest and seat cushion are perforated, which once again improves the riding comfort. Generally speaking, the front row is spacious and comfortable to ride!
The rear space is bigger than expected! I originally thought that when enjoying the comfort brought by the large-size electric sunroof, the rear head space would have a great impact. Under the premise of ensuring the comfort of the front passenger, I actually experience the rear space and feel that the leg and head space are sufficient, and there is no head pressure feeling of a general compact SUV (experiencer's height is 178cm). Compared with the front row, although the rear seat cushion is thicker, it is limited by the length and does not support the passengers' legs sufficiently, which affects the comfort of long-distance riding.
In addition, the inclination of the rear seat backrest can be adjusted through the button near the door. For taller passengers, the distance between the top of the head and the roof of the car can be increased. This small feature is indeed very practical. With a large sunroof and ample space in the rear, the Forester has a clear advantage in the same class of models!
As for the function of the rear row, the two round cup holders are not designed on the armrests, but are placed on the middle seat cushion. The rear 12V power jack that can be seen on general SUV models is not equipped with the Forester. Perhaps with the 12V power jack of the front center armrest box, the rear passengers do not need any electronic equipment, which makes the front center armrest box protruding backwards somewhat crude!
In order to put down the rear seat conveniently, there is a button on the left and right sides of the trunk, and the seat can be put down by pressing it. For the Forester, there is no need to say more about the trunk space, and the spacious space is definitely enough for traveling with a lot of things.
● Disguise the gearbox embarrassment through displacement
After the new generation of Forester came on the market, many people were puzzled by the four-speed automatic transmission. For SUV models, it is equipped with a slightly weaker 2.0L engine, which makes the forester's climbing ability mediocre. Such a matched Forester can only deal with flat road conditions, and the owner should not have too much thoughts about the off-road ability.
Compared with a 2.0L engine with a maximum power of 110kW (150Ps)/6000rpm and a maximum torque of 196N·m/3200rpm, the 2.5L naturally aspirated engine is obviously superior in data, with a maximum power of 126kW (172Ps)/6000rpm, the maximum torque It is 229N·m/4400rpm, and is equipped with an intelligent valve lift system i-AVLS.
In the test drive, the 2.5XS Forester can show ample torque output in the low-speed range, and good torque output in the middle-speed range. Driving on the slopes on mountain roads feels much stronger than the 2.0 power. The 2.0L model's feeling of powerlessness disappears. .
Accelerate smoothly in a straight line, and the power comes slowly! If your driving habits are biased towards softer ones, the shifting frustration brought by the four-speed Sport-Shift automatic manual transmission will not reveal the uncomfortable feeling too much. For the Forester, there is no need to say more about the driving performance on flat roads. The power of the 2.0L model is enough, not to mention the 2.5XS?
Although the power of the Forester 2.5XS is not as violent as the 2.5T, the instantaneous speed-up ability of changing lanes and overtaking is still not to be underestimated. Deeply step on the accelerator and the tachometer pointer approached 4000 rpm. At this time, there was a roar from the engine to instantly feedback the acceleration of the vehicle, and the maximum torque burst at 4000 rpm close to 4500 rpm. In this process, the shortcomings of the four-speed automatic gearbox are no longer felt, just accelerate it arbitrarily! However, for car owners who like strong and instant acceleration and stimulating push back feeling, it is still recommended to buy 2.5T Forester!
The Forester’s engine soundproofing is quite good. After starting the vehicle, I sat in the car and closed all doors and windows. I didn’t feel the engine had started at all! At the same time, you can't feel too much noise from the engine in the car. Driving a 2.5XS model can quietly and easily walk in the suburbs.
● Simple control performance
Although the Forester is a compact SUV, it has a good ride comfort on complex road conditions. The rear double-fork wishbone independent suspension can filter bumpy roads very well. However, the steering feel of the steering wheel is lighter and it is said to be directional. Not accurate and the road feel a little fuzzy. These characteristics of the Forester make it less like an SUV, but more like a sedan.
The chassis derived from the Impreza and the Subaru AWD full-time four-wheel drive system can replenish torque in a timely manner in the corners, giving the Forester a better performance than other compact SUVs. The taller body is destined to have a higher center of gravity, and it can feel the vehicle's roll while maintaining a speed of 50km/h through a curve. In the last resort, the Forester is not recommended to turn at a higher speed. A higher center of gravity will inevitably bring about a very obvious roll.
Due to the short duration of this test drive, as for the extreme cornering experience that the AWD and VDC vehicle dynamic systems can provide, we have to wait for the professional evaluation team of Autohome to do detailed and professional services for you after getting the single test drive. test.
Test drive summary:
During the test drive, when the Forester's vehicle speed exceeded 100Km/h, the engine speed increased to about 4500 rpm. At high speeds, the engine could only maintain a higher speed due to fewer gearbox gears. For so many years, Forester has been using a 4-speed automatic gearbox. Although this gearbox can match a variety of higher-displacement engines, it is technically a bit behind. In this test drive, the four-speed automatic manual gearbox left me a little regret!
In 2008, Subaru sold more than 19,000 units in the Chinese market, which is about 10,000 more than the previous year. The sales data of Forester is indispensable. According to the factory, the sales target for 2009 is 25,000 units, and the Japanese leaders are also full of confidence in this data. With the Shanghai Auto Show approaching, Subaru's launch of the 2.5XS Forester must also be considered from the perspective of increasing sales. At present, the three-displacement models can cover most consumers. If you don’t have much requirements for power and you are driving more on urban roads, you can buy a 2.0L Forester with a lower price; if you are concerned about power and performance There are requirements to choose 2.5T Forester; consumers between the two options can choose 2.5XS Forester.
At present, among the compact SUV products sold in China, although there are already many Japanese models with outstanding sales data, Subaru's horizontally opposed engine and left-right symmetrical full-time four-wheel drive system are very characteristic. Relying on Subaru's technical advantages and the deep impression that the performance car has brought to consumers, Forester has produced obvious product differences among many competitors, and I believe it can further attract more consumers' attention.
● Forester 2.5XS