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Review in Progress: Forester 2.5XS

12 January 2014

We’re busy testing the Subaru Forester 2.5 XS Premium at the moment, and so far the vehicle has really impressed us.

The vehicle we’re driving is the 2,5-litre petrol model that produces 126 kW of power and 235 Nm of torque. The engine is mated to Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT.

As with the Outback we tested a little while ago (you can read that road test in the February 2014 issue of Leisure Wheels), the CVT gearbox is incredibly impressive. CVT’s tend to have a bad reputation – and for good reason – but Subaru’s Lineartronic version is fantastic. It doesn’t feel like a CVT at all. It feels smooth, responsive and sporty.

On paper, 126 kW and 235 Nm of torque might not seem like an awful lot, but don’t let those figures fool you. The Forester’s engine feels punchy and eager. The engine/gearbox combo is lovely, and the vehicle accelerates effortlessly the moment you put your foot down. Throttle lag is very minimal, and the CVT really behaves like a high-end traditional automatic gearbox.

We’ve also had a chance to take the Forester off the road. We were fairly certain that the Forster would perform well, and we weren’t disappointed. When it comes to the rough stuff, the Forester is impressive. There are very few compact SUVs that can compete with the Subaru when it comes to off-road driving.

We had high expectations when we started testing the Forester, and the Subaru has lived up to them. The Forester has won an awful lot of awards of late, and we can see why.

You can read our full report in the March 2014 issue of Leisure Wheels. We’ll also be posting a video review of the vehicle soon.


  • mauritsvw .

    ” Turbo lag is minimal” . That’ s an understatement. This vehicle has NO turbo lag, as it’s got no turbo.

    • Leisure Wheels

      Hi there. Sorry, an error crept in. Tt was meant to say “throttle”, not “turbo”. CVTs have a bit of a reputation for bad throttle response, but this isn’t the case with Subaru’s CVTs. Throttle response is excellent!

  • GG van Rooyen

    Hi there. Yes, sorry – an error sneaked in there. It was supposed to say “throttle” not “turbo”. CVt’s have a bit of a bad reputation for throttle lag, but it isn’t a problem with Subaru’s CVT. Throttle response is excellent. It has been fixed in the article.