Subaru Forester Diesel

We get behind the wheel of most efficient version of Subaru's rugged off-roader yet

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

The Forester is all about rugged appeal rather than luxury, and that’s reflected in the hard-wearing interior. Where it scores is with its go-anywhere ability, comfortable ride and space – and, now, impressive economy, too. The problem is that, at £29,000-plus, our top-spec car is more expensive than the entry-level Range Rover Evoque – a model that’s in a different league in terms of quality and desirability.

The Forester is greener than ever. Subaru has fitted a more efficient – yet just as powerful – diesel to its crossover. Is this enough to bring the car up to date?

With an improved turbo and smaller-capacity alternator, the 2.0-litre four-cylinder boxer unit claims improvements in economy and CO2 emissions of around seven per cent over the outgoing car. This takes them to 47.1mpg and 158g/km respectively.

A large 64-litre fuel tank – the 2.0 petrol model has a 60-litre unit – allows a range of 625 miles between fill-ups. The lower CO2 output has reduced the annual road tax bill to £165 as well.

On the road, the diesel Forester feels identical to its predecessor. The horizontally opposed engine is super-smooth and, despite clattering on start-up, it is whisper-quiet, too. It’s just a shame that road and wind noise are pronounced at motorway speeds. A substantial 350Nm of torque delivers good mid-range punch, although that maximum output is available only between 1,600rpm and 2,400rpm.

Long-travel suspension delivers a comfortable ride in a straight line but a lot of body roll in the bends. However, the multi-link rear suspension and four-wheel drive are borrowed from the Impreza, so there’s plenty of grip. The spacious, practical Forester copes well with minor off-roading as well.

Most Popular

New Suzuki S-Cross 2021 review
Suzuki S-Cross - front
Suzuki SX4 S-Cross SUV

New Suzuki S-Cross 2021 review

The all-new Suzuki S-Cross is excellent value for money and good to drive, but it’s slightly utilitarian interior won’t appeal to all buyers
25 Nov 2021
Top 10 best hybrid cars to buy 2021
Best hybrid cars - header image
Hybrid cars

Top 10 best hybrid cars to buy 2021

Hybrid power is the way forward if the car industry is to be believed so we've found the top 10 best hybrid cars to buy now...
8 Nov 2021
Lexus LC Coupe and Convertible gain chassis upgrades for 2022
Lexus LC 2021 - front
Lexus LC

Lexus LC Coupe and Convertible gain chassis upgrades for 2022

Lexus says mechanical tweaks have made the LC more comfortable and improve its handling
26 Nov 2021