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Subaru models, news & reviews
By Glen Waddington
23 September 2008 12:00
We’re already familiar with the Forester, Subaru’s take on the junior SUV market. It grew in stature and capacity as it morphed from last-gen to current model, but it lacked one crucial element: diesel power. Now it’s here, in the form of Subaru’s brilliant – and unique – 2.0-litre flat four. Does this new body/engine combo mean the Forester can now take on the established RAV4/CR-V herd – or even the Ford Kuga latecomer?
Subaru could easily have bought in a VW turbodiesel, as Mitsubishi did for the Outlander – especially as a diesel variant is only relevant for the European market. But that didn’t satisfy the engineering minds at Subaru. The result is this 145bhp turbodiesel boxer, launched last February in the Legacy.
It isn’t based on Subaru’s petrol engine block, and is much more compact though 45kg heavier – which Subaru turns to its advantage by citing that it lowers the Forester’s centre of gravity, to the benefit of handling. The horizontally opposed cylinders reduce friction and vibration, compared with an in-line engine. It also features common-rail injection and a variable-vane turbocharger.
There was a clue in the intro. This engine is exceptionally refined, barely audible at tickover, and it revs with a smooth and satisfying thrum. Unlike some turbodiesels, its power delivery is very even – there’s no all-or-nothing low-rev punch that tails out all too quickly. This engine metes out its power across a broader band, landing softly at the 5000rpm red line (where it’s still smooth and couth). It’s at its best in the mid-range, where it’s easily capable of hustling the weighty Scoob, and actually rewards judicious use of the new six-speed manual gearbox.
There’s little drama on tap, but the fact that it results in best-in-class emissions and fuel economy makes it extremely impressive.
Click 'Next' below to read more of our Subaru Forester diesel first drive
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Subaru Forester 2.0D (2008) CAR review
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RE: Subaru Forester 2.0D (2008) CAR review
I think the new Forester is ugly and I would go for is the Toyota Rav 4, Land Rover Freelander or Nissan X-Trail.
24 September 2008 21:36
To chase the populous, some try to be popular: it often fails.
24 September 2008 05:10
Shouldn't have got rid of the frameless doors, either. They're making a comeback... Mini, Mercedes CLS, etc.
23 September 2008 13:09
Such a shame about the handling but this would probably still be my car of choice if I was 25 years older,or maybe a Legacy....
23 September 2008 12:43
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