Subaru Forester 2.0 XT

5 Jun, 2013 10:45am Tom Phillips

We drive the new Subaru Forester Turbo, which has returned to the range due to popular demand


The Forester is already a niche model, and the Turbo takes that a step further. The new engine is a strong performer, although a manual box would allow you to exploit it better. However, the CVT improves emissions, and the Turbo offers a good mix of sharp handling and practicality.

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.

Disqus - noscript

Sounds great with decent economy but we'll never see this in ROI with current motor tax rates for 190g/km up to and including 225g/km set at €1200 per annum.

Wow, just a over £1000 for a car like this - and I thought it was bad enough here in the UK!

I had a call from our local Subaru dealer telling me this was as good a spec as my current 2.5 litre turbo version. Who's he kidding 0-62mph in 7.6 sec, mine does it in 5.9 come on Subaru bring out a 2.5 litre manual again Please!!!!!!!! Then I'll buy a new one.

Key specs

  • Price: £30,995
  • Engine: 2.0 4cyl turbo, 237bhp
  • Transmission: Eight-speed CVT automatic, four-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph: 7.5 seconds
  • Top speed: 137mph
  • Economy: 33.2mpg
  • CO2: 197g/km
  • Equipment: 18-inch alloys, sat-nav, keyless go, powered tailgate
  • On sale: Now

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