The Forester is one of those cars that just seems suited to Australia.

Usually starting out as brand-new family haulers, Foresters often end up littering the Australian landscape as beloved hand-me-downs for teenagers who need something tougher than your average hatchback, with a practical space in the back to hold all their hopes and dreams (usually camping, sport or music gear... with a side of forgotten fruits and socks).

Over the years though, the Forester has changed. It's way bigger and more high-tech than it used to be, and more family-focused than ever. 

Does it still have the Forester charm that's infected the Australian populace in the past, or is it set to drown under an influx of competitor SUVs? 

Read on, and we'll find out whether the newest-generation base-model 2.5i has what it takes.