2015 Subaru Forester 2.5i L: owner review

  • Doors and Seats
  • Engine
  • Engine Power
  • Fuel
  • Manufacturer
  • Transmission
  • Warranty
  • Ancap Safety

As a young man I owned all types of cars, from a Mk III Mini to a VK V8 Commodore

Owner: Allen

  • A most practical vehicle.

2015 Subaru Forester 2.5i L: owner review-0

As a young man I owned all types of cars, from a Mk III Mini to a VK V8 Commodore. There was even a Y60 Nissan Patrol in there for a while. All of those cars were manual, and they were all fun to drive in their own way, but eventually I ended up with my own family. It was time for me to be a bit sensible and I realised we needed a new car. A car that suited our new lifestyle. Something practical.

We love camping but didn’t want to get a proper four wheel drive because we felt they were too large around town with a kid, but we did want some off road capability. We looked at so many mid-sized SUV’s for one that ticked all our boxes. In the end we settled on a 2003 Subaru Forester X with automatic transmission. Best decision ever! That car took us everywhere and never let us down. It was surprisingly great on the beach and confident on the road, and took us all on many adventures. So it was a no brainer that when we decided to get a new car for ANCAP safety reasons late last year, and even though our sprog is all grown up, we wanted another Subaru Forester. So we got one.

A 2015 Subaru Forester 2.5i L to be exact. What a change for us. It still has all the traits that endeared us to our first Forester, but it is so much more refined in every way. The engine is so much easier for me to service and the performance, ride, and comfort are in another league when compared.

We recently went on a ten day trip in the new Forester from Perth to Shark Bay and back. The competence I mentioned earlier on the beach (and now red sand) is now incredible in this model compared to the 2003. Just remember to turn the ESC off. I never once felt like I was about to get stuck. Even in some of the rockier terrain we encountered along the way I had every confidence in the vehicle. I realise we’re not going river fording in this car anytime soon, and were not going to do the Canning Stock route either, but that was never our intention. It gets us exactly where we want to go, and sometimes a bit further.

The CVT automatic transmission is much smoother, but to be fair it wasn’t that bad on the 2003 model. It also drinks less fuel. If I had one gripe when we first got it, it would be the stop/start system which is quite clunky and intrusive, but now I’m used to it and I don’t really notice it it anymore. The only thing I’ve upgraded is the infotainment system which was absolutely terrible. I installed a fancy schmancy wireless Android Auto system with DAB+ and all the goods. The car now feels very modern.

The cabin is another world. Comfortable without compromising on storage. I feel like I am in a commanding place in the driver’s chair and the light grey interior makes it a very pleasant place to be for me. All the controls on the steering wheel fall easily to hand, although it took me a bit to get used to as I’ve never had the opportunity to use such controls before.

The car easily overtakes road trains, and handles well in all conditions, as is expected in a more modern SUV. I’m not the wanna-be racer I once was so I don’t push the car like I would when younger, but when I do give it a bit of throttle it’s competent enough (and will happily carry a bit of speed into corners) for what it is – and that is not a sports car. It does excellently in the areas that drew us to it. It does what it says on the tin; and that’s why we love it.

We don’t really camp in the same way anymore either. The missus likes her comforts so now we glamp, and the Super-roo (as we call her) is up to the job. With a bit of Tetris I can fit in the queen size stretcher bed, a six person tent – this just for two people, mind – the Porta-Potti with ensuite tent, table and chairs, a large ice box… all for five days of off-grid camping. Happy with that.

I realise that a Forester is not for everyone but for some reason people adamantly dislike it. Some of the comments I’ve seen on the now defunct CarAdvice made me wonder if the haters had even lived with one. I freely admit no car is perfect; I mean horses for courses. Maybe when I see the right one I’ll get another V8 manual and let loose, but as it stands this car is right car for us in this moment. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Owner: Allen

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2015 Subaru Forester 2.5i L: owner review

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