Subaru Forester Review (2008)

Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester Review

Subaru Forester Review | Part TwoSubaru Forester Road Test

And now for something completely different, as they say.

And now for something completely different, as they say. The new Subaru Forester is all-new but why they had to make it even more SUV-like, is a mystery. That’s the way it is however, and the new car is now similar in shape and size to the Toyota RAV4, the Honda CR-V and the Nissan X-TRAIL.

To my mind, Subaru’s are meant to be different to the rest of the pack as evidenced by the Tribeca and, to be fair, the Forester’s features are a little out of the ordinary but there is still an element of ‘me too’.

Using the new Impreza platform as a basis, the new Forester is longer, wider and taller than before. The driver now sits 30mm higher and there is more luggage space, too. But let’s start with the exterior.

Subaru has never been shy about employing chunky, almost brash design features, such as pronounced bumpers, strong design lines and emphasised fog lights. In 2005, these elements were subdued somewhat but have now been resurrected in a more stylish manner. The front grille remains quite striking with embellished vanes between the new, Hawkeye headlamps, which replace the more rectangular lights of old. But you won’t find Subaru’s trademark air intake on the rounded bonnet as the engine doesn’t warrant it.

The new Forester is available in X and XS trims; both have a 2.0-litre, normally aspirated, petrol engine under the bonnet. This tried and tested ‘boxer’ unit has undergone enough revisions to be awarded the ‘new’ title. The changes mean greater low-range pulling power, improved fuel economy and lower emissions. The power output is now 150PS at 6,000rpm and the 196Nm of torque peaks at 3,200rpm.

The 5-speed, manual version with dual range (effectively 10 gears) takes 10.6 seconds to reach 60mph (not 62mph) from standstill and has a top speed of 114mph. Fuel consumption figures for this format are 25.9mpg (u), 40.4mpg (e-u) and 33.6mpg (c) with emissions of 198g/km.

Subaru Forester Review | Part TwoSubaru Forester Road Test
Subaru Forester Road Test Data
Model ReviewedSubaru Forester XS
Body TypeSUV
ColourObsidian Black Pearl
Performance (manufacturers data) 
0 - 62 mph12.3 Seconds
Top Speed 115 mph
Transmission4-Speed Automatic
Fuel TypeUnleaded Petrol
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
Urban25.2 mpg
Extra Urban40.9 mpg
Combined33.6 mpg
Insurance Group10
Euro NCAP RatingTBA
Warranty3-Year / 60,000 Mile Warranty
Price (when tested on the 27/06/08)£22,895

The information contained within this Subaru Forester review may have changed since publication on the 27 June 2008. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Subaru dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. © 2019