By KlyvQue Funizwe
What defines Luxury? Space? Comfort? Prestige? Sophistication? Elegance? I guess it’s that and a lot more and sometimes luxury is not as obviously visible to the eye than we would like to believe. Just days before I received the Subaru Forster 2.0i-s CVT for review, I had the Subaru WRX. This was a car that changed my views on Subaru as a brand and a stamp of approval on their performance pedigree. So the transition had me a little worried about how I will receive the practical family SUV. The car was delivered in its flagship guise and had me feeling rather deflated in comparison to its sibling.
Being insimbi ye’moto (Ed – loosely translated, a motoring enthusiast) – I jumped in with enthusiasm and got going. It does not take anyone who has a pulse and a spine very long to realize that the ride quality and comfort that the Forester is unparalleled. Words like supple, smooth, refined all spring to mind when thinking about it. This is not a comfortable car compared to the WRX, it is a comfortable car – period! And comfort is a motif here. There’s a plethora of standard features and tech that you get with the 2.0i-s CVT. This flagship model is so feature packed – we will keep the list short to the following that are definitely note-worthy. Lane departure warning, lane sway warning, adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, side-view monitor (this a camera angled just below the left rear-view mirror) that shows you the front-wheel. The car also comes with a powered tale-gate, dual A/C and a keyless entry and push-button start system.
The fact that the use of all these features comes seamlessly and operation of anything that requires manual operation – barring the Eyesight gadgetry – add to the daily comfort and ease of piloting the vehicle. Like the WRX, ergonomics are well thought out and the interior quality is amongst the best in the segment. This was evident when we took the Subaru out for some mild off-roading. The car handled the steeps and inclines on the gravel with great ease. When in – snow/dirt – mode, the car automatically brakes it’s self when declining. The side-view monitor also happened avoid the nasty rocks that are after the diamond cut mags. A very good feature that helps in many situations at the push of a button.
Space is also great for both the front and rear passengers. We easily fitted a 21” bicycle without dropping the seats down, which are operated via two buttons on each side of the boot. I also loved that the parcel shelf had a dedicated compartment which meant a tidy hideaway when not in use. All in all this is a great car at a very – very nice price. Anything worthy of competing with the Forester for value and specification – is north of R600k, and will more likely come with a service plan as standard. The Forester 2.0i-s CVT comes with a 5-year/150,000 km warranty and 3-year/75,000 km maintenance plan – all at R499,000.
Factor in the fact that the engine is a naturally aspirated 2.0 CVT, in one of the best iterations of CVT’ing we have come across… This will less likely be problematic from a maintenance point of view and reliability. This then makes the Subaru Forester a winner in all sensible ways and a contender for best buy award already.
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