Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Sorry, there are no cars that match your search

You are here

Subaru Forester XT 2014 Review

The Subaru Forester XT feels more refined than the previous model.
EXPERT RATING
7
Memo to Subaru. Please stop trying to remove the character from your cars. The Forester XT is a case in point. It's the go-fast version with the new turbocharged engine.  It looks and goes well enough, but why oh why remove the bonnet scoop --  it's always been such a defining and 'exciting' feature of Subarus.

Memo to Subaru. Please stop trying to remove the character from your cars. The Forester XT is a case in point. It's the go-fast version with the new turbocharged engine.  It looks and goes well enough, but why oh why remove the bonnet scoop --  it's always been such a defining and 'exciting' feature of Subarus.

PRICE / FEATURES

Prices for Forester start at $29,990 and prices for XT kick off at $43,490, with the top of the range XT Premium model cracking the $50K barrier at $50,490. XT includes X-Mode, reversing camera, electric sunroof, dual zone climate air, multi-function display, SI-Drive, 18-inch alloys and silver roof rails.

Premium adds leather, heated seats, push button start, auto lights and wipers, satellite navigation, Harman-Kardon audio and a power tailgate. It also includes the EyeSight system, that includes auto braking, active cruise control and lane departure warnings.

ENGINE / TRANSMISSION

Power is up 4.7 per cent and torque by 9.4 per cent, at 177kW and 350Nm, the latter between 2400 and 3600 revs  even though this one has a smaller 2.0 litre engine. This compares with the previous model's 169kW/320Nm. The figures are achieved through direct injection, higher engine compression and the addition of variable valve timing on both the inlet and outlet sides, along with many other changes.

The engine is paired with a CVT style auto, and change paddles, with six or eight steps or gears in manual mode, depending on your selection. There's no longer a manual but we're told it accounted for just 20 per cent of sales anyway.

DESIGN / STYLING

The XT can be distinguished from regular Foresters by its mesh radiator grille. It's bigger than before, 35mm longer with a 25mm longer wheelbase and weighs about 100kg more even with an aluminium bonnet to save weight (scoop would have save weight too guys). Side sills are lowered by 50mm while front doors open an extra 135mm for ease of entry and exit. Rear legroom is good but the boot could be bigger, while the Premium adds a power operated tailgate.

SAFETY

Five stars of course, with seven airbags, a reversing camera and full suite of safety systems including auto braking. Subaru has been working hard to make sure all of its cars get the maximum safety rating.

DRIVING

Our test vehicle was the XT Premium with all the fruit. It feels more refined than the previous model and the auto is quicker off the mark, but nowhere near as quick as the earlier Forester S. Many people will deplore the absence of a manual, but drive the car and you'll see how good the CVT is, in manual or auto mode.

Mid-range acceleration is strong, with plenty in reserve for quick overtakes. There's three drive modes from which to choose, including Intelligent, Sport and Sport#. The dash from 0-100km/h takes 7.5 seconds, compared to 7.9 before or 6.5 with the S (mind you it had 193kW to play with). XT takes Premium unleaded, but fuel consumption has been reduced 19 per cent to 8.5 litres/100km (we got 9.8).

VERDICT

Like the car especially the front fascia design, but the price is getting up there (don't know whether we'd shell out $7000 grand for the Premium?).

Subaru Forester XT & XT Premium
Price: from $43,490-$50,490
Warranty: 3 years/unlimited km
Capped servicing: no
Resale: 55% (Glass's Guide)
Service interval: 6 months/12,500km
Safety: 5 stars
Engine: 2-litre direct-injection flat-4-cyl, 177kW/350Nm
Transmission: CVT, AWD
Thirst: 8.51/100km, 95RON, on test 11 (xt p 10.8); tank 60 litres; 197g/km CO2
Dimensions: 4.6m (L); 1.8m (w); 1.7m (h)
Weight: 1589-1607kg
Spare: full-size

 

Pricing guides

$19,869
Based on 208 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$11,800
Highest Price
$29,800

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
2.0D 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $12,990 – 16,888 2014 Subaru Forester 2014 2.0D Pricing and Specs
2.0D-L 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $18,990 – 19,999 2014 Subaru Forester 2014 2.0D-L Pricing and Specs
2.0D-S 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $13,888 – 22,888 2014 Subaru Forester 2014 2.0D-S Pricing and Specs
2.0i 2.0L, ULP, 6 SP MAN $10,700 – 15,730 2014 Subaru Forester 2014 2.0i Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7