Is there anything interesting about its design?
The Forester we are testing here is the fifth-generation model, which debuted in Australia in September 2018. Although Subaru promises it's ‘all-new’ it looks nearly identical to the previous version.
The crab-claw tail-lights of the new car are the easiest way to spot the difference between it and the old model. But there are many other less obvious exterior differences, such as restyled rear and front bumpers, a new grille and headlights, plus the shape of the windows running down the side of the vehicle.
With longer and wider dimensions than the outgoing model the Forester measures just over 4.6m in length, 1.8m across and 1.7m tall.
For those planning some off-highway adventure the Forester has an approach angle of 18.7 degrees, a departure angle of 24.6 degrees, and a 19.6-degree break-over angle. Ground clearance is 220mm, but keep in mind the Forester isn't a hardcore off-roader, lacking the low and high range four-wheel drive system of something like a Toyota LandCruiser.
Our test car was the 2.5i Premium, which sits high in the Forester line-up, but is hard to pick visually from the rest of the range, save for the 18-inch wheels (which the top grade 2.5i-S also wears).
You’ll know it’s not a top-grade Forester because it doesn’t have 2.5i-S’s ‘silver bits’ (silver mirrors and cladding), but it does come with a tough body kit, roof rails and a rear spoiler. As with the Forester before it, it’s a robust looking SUV.
The more noticeable signs the 2.5i Premium lives up to its name are on the inside with premium cloth seats, metal-finish pedals and an 8.0-inch LCD touchscreen.
There’s a lot going on in this cabin design-wise, with bulging surfaces, different textured materials, a small dash-top screen sitting high on the stitched dash, and awkward looking directional air vents flanking the bigger screen below it.
The tiny icons on the screens for functions such as the facial recognition are cute but hard to make-out and add to the busy-ness of the cabin design.
So, if you like a bit of order and minimalism like me, the cluttered cockpit with its screens and their graphics, a steering wheel covered in buttons, many layered materials and busy styling could be a bit much.