In today's car making, identifying the needs of a specific customer goes a long way with the success of a vehicle. Some companies try to satisfy a larger percentage of consumers, while others fine-tune it to a specific need. For a sportscar buyer, the speed, sound, and Horse Power will define it. But a family car is the hardest to make.
I found myself in the Silver Lake area, took a dirt trail, and suddenly, I was in paradise. In addition to the scenery, with blooming yellow Mojave Poppies, white fir, lodgepole, and Jeffrey Pines, there was a twisty brook. A protected plant preservation zone by San Bernardino County is creating a wonderful space for families to enjoy. The Cascade Green color of the car blended in with the scenery like it was meant to be. This is no happenchance; for years, Subaru has been working closely with its customer to provide what they need above what designers and engineers would like to see. The Forester is one of the brand's top sellers, and there are solid reasons why.
I found the car's overall size correct for the average American family size of 3.5. The vehicle is designed from the inside out, meaning the Forester has plenty of interior room. The ceiling offers more headroom, elbows can go up without touching the doors, the windshield is further away from our faces, the rear seat has leg room for adults, and the trunk can easily handle a couple of large dogs. You can bring your pick-nick bags or even your camping gear. You can also tow your dirt motorcycle with it since its towing capacity can handle up to 1,500 lbs. I must mention that the towing capacity goes up to 3,000 lbs on the Forester Wilderness edition.
This Subaru is powered by a proven motor that has stayed the same for decades. A boxer-type motor with two opposed flat cylinders on each side has become the most dependable engine. Now it is a 2.5 liter in displacement and produces 182HP. The transmission is a Lineartronic CVT type that pulls the car seamlessly through an AWD ( All-Wheel-Drive) system that provides excellent grip on asphalt, dirt, snow, and even mud. In addition to that, it has a switch close to the transmission lever that lets you control the X-Mode system. This changes how the car functions on snow and mud and even has an automated Hill Descend Control that allows you to drive down a sandy hill safely. This powertrain is what loyal Subaru owners like. It provides a reliable means to take the family into the national parks or trails and bring them back with beautiful memories.
I drove up to 7,000 feet, going through Pacific Pines and Crestline. The loaded Forester never hinted at needing more power. I drove through Miller trail, and we arrived at s small valley where Woodpeckers, ducks, red dragonflies, and a Garter snake were the only living things around.
Can other cars get me there? Yes, and trucks, too, but I thought about a few, and then I found that most of them have been designed as city cars or 4x4s. There would have been compromises in comfort and ride on those cars. The Forester, true to its name, felt right in the woods.
On the highway, the Forester demonstrated that it is the company's best Subaru. The handling made the car go without a fuss.
The base Forester is around $27,000; one with all the bells and whistles can get to $37,000, still below the average car price in the country today.
After my days in the forest and commuting in the heavy Los Angeles traffic, I was surprised at how much I liked it. It is purpose-built for sure, and these are the reasons why these vehicles are popular in Colorado and the East Coast, where the weather may prevent you from getting out on the weekend. The Forester will do it if you are brave enough.