Subaru Forester

e-Boxer 2.0 Sport

Subaru Forester e-Boxer, 2021, side, off road
Subaru Forester e-Boxer, 2021, front, off road
Subaru Forester e-Boxer, 2021, rear, off road
Subaru Forester XE Premium e-Boxer Lineartronic, interior
Subaru Forester e-Boxer boot

DRIVE a Subaru Forester e-Boxer and you always have the feeling someone is keeping an eye on you.

And it's a feeling that's not misplaced because you really are under constant surveillance - from the car itself.

It's all in the name of safety of course but woe betide you if you take your eyes off the road for more than a few seconds.

Should you transgress the interior camera will pick it up and you will be met with an audible warning and a vivid panel flashing up on the dashboard telling you to "keep your eyes on the road".

It's just one of a whole host of impressive safety features on this rugged 4x4 designed to protect you and your family.

Others include rear vehicle detection, lane assist and reverse automatic braking - which brakes the car if you are about to hit something at the back - to name just a few.

The Forester is a spacious five-seater SUV with the added bonus of four-wheel-drive to give good off-road capability.

It's a model which has been around since 1997 in different guises but always with the much loved 2.0-litre horizontally-opposed Subaru Boxer engine.

Now, in this fifth incarnation, the engine is backed up by an electric motor which improves both acceleration and torque while at the same time improving fuel consumption by 10 per cent.

In fact over a week's motoring covering almost 300 miles I managed to average just over 40 miles per gallon from this self-charging hybrid.

It's also a car which comes with a lot of creature comforts and the Sports version I tried had everything from heated seats and steering wheel to full leather upholstery and a powered tailgate not to mention keyless locking/unlocking and keyless start.

Dark cars can sometimes look sombre but not this one thanks to some very special bright orange detailing on the front and rear bumpers, side skirts and roof rail supports.

On the interior the orange detailing included all the upholstery stitching, as well as subtle hints of orange on the steering wheel, gear shift and centre console. The overall effect was to lift the appearance both inside and out.

In fact there were a whole host of features on this car which made me instantly warm to it.

For example while most cars in this price range have reversing cameras the Forester goes one step further by showing you what's behind you on one screen while showing a view down the side of the car on a second screen so you don't kerb the alloys.

But for a lot of people the appeal of the Forester is its go anywhere capability.

While it operates in permanent four-wheel-drive for everyday motoring it also has the back-up of its X-MODE system for when the going gets really tough.

X-MODE allows you to dial up a setting for either "snow/dirt" if you are driving on snow or gravel or "snow/mud" for when the ground is soft enough to bury the wheels. It also comes with hill descent control to safely tackle those steep off-road declines.

On the other side of the coin when you are on the highway and you want a bit more zip you can use the SI-Drive to switch to sports mode. Leave it in intelligent mode and you get better economy.

FAST FACTS

Subaru Forester e-Boxer 2.0 Sport

Price: £39,995

Mechanical: 150ps, 1,995cc, 4cyl petrol engine plus electric motor driving all wheels via Lineartronic automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 117 mph

0-62mph: 11.8 secs

Combined MPG: 34.7

Insurance Group: 23

C02 emissions: 185 g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles plus 8-years/100,000 battery

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