Subaru Forester e-BOXER hybrid is tough, fun and extraordinary value for £36k
MARKETING is so E-A-S-and-Y you could do it in your sleep.
All you have to do is Wiki the company you work for and pick out a load of anniversary dates.
The Subaru Forester e-BOXER is extraordinary value for money
Every day seems to be some sort of landmark in the car world.
Mazda has just turned 100 and coming up soon will be 50 years of Range Rover, 40 years of the Audi Quattro, 30 years of the Lotus Carlton and 25 years of the Merc Sprinter.
It’s also 25 years since Colin McRae won the 1995 World Rally Championship. Except for reasons I will never understand, Subaru won’t celebrate its crowning glory.
The hybrid is among the new breed of Subarus that are bloody fantastic
I know. Madness. It won’t trade on its USP. It won’t launch a car in blue with gold wheels any more. It won’t even mention the word “rally”.
Little wonder UK sales have slumped from 11,000 a year in the Nineties to just 3,000 last year.
McRae transformed Subaru from farmer’s favourite to rally royalty and PlayStation phenomenon . . . and now it is back to square one.
Which is a shame because the new breed of Subarus are bloody fantastic. They are tough, safe, fun, classless and extraordinary value.
The new Subaru is tough, safe, fun, classless and extraordinary value
How about this for a stat? Ninety-six per cent of all Subarus bought ten years ago are still on the road today. That’s impressive.
And when I say safe, I mean right up there with Volvo, according to Euro NCAP, the people who slaughter crash-test dummies to find out how a car behaves in a collision.
And when I say extraordinary value, you won’t find another SUV to match the credentials of a Forester for less than £36,000. You just won’t.
The Forester has permanent 4WD, a mild hybrid boxer engine and all the luxuries you’ll ever need, plus it can tow 1,870kg.
The new hybrid Subaru gets a thumbs up for the cabin too
It can also guide itself down a ski slope and weave through a forest up to its elbows in snow. As you can see, I’ve been busy testing a Forester in the Arctic Circle and it absolutely bossed it.
Thumbs up for the cabin, too. Yes, it’s a little old-fashioned compared to the Germans but it has superb 360-degree visibility thanks to all that glass, acres of interior space and heated rear seats for the mini you.
Plus there is a neat side-view camera to help avoid tree stumps and the kerb outside Sainsbury’s Local.
Now let’s talk about the e-BOXER hybrid.
Key facts: SUBARU FORESTER e-BOXER
Engine: 2-litre mild hybrid
Power: 150hp, 194Nm
0-62mph: 11.8 secs
Top speed: 117mph
The 12.3kWh battery adds 17hp when holding hands with the 2-litre flat four, as well as increasing fuel efficiency by up to ten per cent. Win-win.
It can do a mile or so on pure electric and recharges itself on the go. No messy cables to plug in and it works everything out on its own. The same system is being dropped in the XV and Impreza.
Other observations. The additional weight of the electric gubbins has lowered the centre of gravity a little and that — coupled with a much stronger body — improves handling. Plus there is much less body roll than you would expect from such a girl.
Add all that up and you have got a workhorse with all the mod cons and safety aids to make it a tasty proposition for families that want value and durability.
I’ll finish by drawing your attention to the dinky BRZ in World Rally blue.
I’m hooning about on the ice to celebrate two milestones. 1. My hero McRae, 25 years on. And 2. My 300th column in the world’s greatest newspaper.
Thank you for reading.
How to drive in the snow
CLEAR snow from car roof – or guess what happens the first time you brake?
SET off in second gear to avoid wheel spin, releasing the clutch slowly as you gently accelerate.
KEEP a safe distance from the car in front. It may take ten times longer to stop on snow and ice.
BRAKE gradually. If the wheels lock, the car will slide. If this happens you MUST come off the brakes – to recover traction – then brake again.
ALWAYS slow in a straight line before a bend. Then steer in a constant flowing movement, keeping a slow and regular speed.
IF you are struggling to climb a snowy hill, turn off the ESC (Electronic Stability Control) system. But remember to switch it back on again.
INVEST in good tyres, like Michelin’s CrossClimate. They’re good for summer and winter.
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FIRST, the good news: There’s a new Subaru BRZ in the pipeline. Which also means its twin – the Toyota GT86 – is being replaced. Excellent.
They’re light, low, rear-drive and wired for fun.
A new Subaru BRZ is in the pipeline
The Subaru BRZ is light, low, rear-drive and wired for fun
But here’s the not-so-good news: Subaru might axe BRZ from Europe because of emissions regulations.
Key facts: SUBARU BRZ
Engine: 2-litre petrol
Power: 200hp, 205Nm
0-62mph: 7.6 secs
Top speed: 140mph
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