Is there anything interesting about its design?
More than any other car in the segment, the Forester's exterior design tells the story. A big, boxy unit, the Forester's external dimensions give you a good idea of its generous interior space. Despite its size, it's never an imposing sight on the road.
The Forester's off-road capabilitiy is among the highest in its class. The front bumper sits high off the ground to maximise the approach angle (23 degrees), the rear bumper the same, for 25 degrees, and a 20 degree rampover angle is a result of the 22cm ground clearance. The owner’s manual lists the wading depth as 360mm and says the water “shouldn’t reach the undercarriage of the car”. Lower in the range, the slim side skirts are minimal and fitted to the door (unpainted on some models) to avoid muddy calves.
Inside is a huge cabin, with lofty headroom and lots of glass for a good view out. How many seats? Five, and they're all reasonably comfortable if a bit slippy in cars with leather trim. No Forester has a third row, despite looking like it might fit. Rear legroom is excellent and six footers (and over) are quite happy in the rear. Our interior photos show a big, airy space, with room for people and their things. Avant garde it is not, but it's a practical, easily cleaned interior that's focused on usability.
The driver is almost assaulted with information. As well as the comprehensive dashboard, there's a second information screen higher up, delivering various extraneous information and, of course, an electronic gyroscope for the off-road fans.