Customer demand has led Subaru to bring the Forester Turbo back to its line-up. It’s only available in range-topping XT specification, features a 237bhp 2.0-litre boxer engine and the sole transmission is a CVT box.
Slot the gear selector into drive and the first thing to strike you is that the previous car’s grumbly boxer soundtrack is missing. As you accelerate away, the engine stays quiet, but the turbocharger makes up for it, with plenty of loud whooshes and chirps.
This is still a thirsty car, but the new engine slashes the previous model’s CO2 emissions by 22 per cent, down to 197g/km. Claimed fuel economy stands at 33.2mpg.
There are three driving modes – I, S and S# – selected using a button on the steering wheel’s right-hand spoke. In I mode, the Forester never feels quick, and while the steering is direct, it’s short on feel. At speed, the car grips tenaciously, so you carry serious pace through corners.
Subaru has engineered eight ratios into the CVT auto, and it’s smoothest in S# mode, although we’d still prefer a manual. Plus, the 18-inch alloys are quieter and more comfortable than the 17s on the rest of the range.
The interior is a little on the bland side, but feels very rugged and built to last.