Motor image, the exclusive distributor of Subaru vehicles in the Asia region, launched the all-new, fourth-generation Forester in Hong Kong this month. I was delighted to see it, as I have tested each generation over the years.
The latest Forester was designed to achieve enhanced user-friendly utilities, comfort and a stress-free, fun-to-drive character through improved driving performance and ride quality.
The Subaru Forester 2.0XT and 2.0i PREMIUM models are now available in Hong Kong. We arranged to test the Forester 2.0XT.
I like to take the Forester off-road, usually to a plantation in Ma On Shan, where I find deep puddles of reddish water. I drive the Forester into a huge puddle and then stop, with the wet, front wheels on dry land, but the rear wheels deep in the puddle, and the exhaust pipes burbling underwater.
Any normal car in this situation would hiss and the engine would die.
But with the Forester, I lightly press the accelerator, and the vehicle calmly and resolutely climbs out of the puddle. Amazing. Full marks!
The engine is the famous SUBARU BOXER, horizontally opposed, four cylinder, with double overhead camshafts, 16 valves and direct injection turbo.
It displaces 1,998cc, and promises to deliver 240 horsepower at 5,600rpm.
You can also expect maximum torque of 35.7kgfm from 2,400-3,600rpm.
Its transmission is the Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission, with a Manual mode and paddle shift.
The suspension features MacPherson Struts at the front and double wishbones at the rear.
Despite all the power, fuel consumption is a modest 8.5 liters per 100 kilometers.
At the core of the Forester is Subaru's unique Symmetrical All- Wheel Drive technology, which provides a sense of stability and allows for a quick response to challenging road conditions - and muddy plantations.In another move to further enhance its drivability, the new Forester now comes with SI-DRIVE.
The Forester 2.0XT variant provides the driver the option of "Intelligent," "Sports" and "S# (Sports sharp)" modes, each to promote both driving pleasure and fuel efficiency for the user.
Motoring editor Roger Boschman has been in Hong Kong since 1974 and has raced his own car on Macau's Guia Circuit.