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Subaru Forester 2.5 XTec

Broadcast dates : 6th February 2005
10th February 2005

In terms of style, the Subaru Forester 2.5 XTec offers more in the way of confusion than any of the other wagons featured today. What does this boxy, no-nonsense, workmanlike vehicle say about you?

Since its success on the World Rally Championship stage, Subaru has come to mean performance to many people.

And straight-up-and-down styling or not, the Forester XT will press your ears back every time you give the accelerator pedal a squeeze.

Itís practical too. The Japanese company made its name in the Western Hemisphere in America, particularly the muddy back-roads of places like New Hampshire. Hence the full-sized spare wheel, the optional steel dog net, and of course, the famed all-wheel-drive system.

Turbocharging. Thatís the key to the Forester XTís excitement factor, coupled to a large capacity four-cylinder engine displacing two-and-a-half litres.

Like all Subarus, it has a boxer, or flat cylinder configuration, hence its off-beat rumble. And itís here that thereís some evidence of where Subaru spends its development money.

Itís a masterpiece of detailed engineering, high-quality couplings and, delving further, in top quality materials used for the engine block, the crankshaft and the pistons.

No expense has been spared to develop one-hundred-and-fifty-five kiloWatts with stonewall reliability.

Engine apart, the drive train is another area where no expense is spared.

The Forrester XT, despite its lowish overall height, has fantastic ground clearance, superior to many Sports Utility Vehicles with much more overt off-road orientation.

And the symmetrical all-wheel-drive system makes it amazingly stable on all road surfaces.

The automatic transmission version we tested is ideal in our book. An effortless surge from the turbo engine plays in concert with seamless shifts up and down the gearbox with no effort on the driverís part.

And make no mistake, it has real off-road ability too.

Subaru Forester 2.5 XTec
  • Engine: Four-cylinder petrol, turbocharged, 2 457 cc
  • Power: 155 kw @ 5 600 rpm
  • Torque: 320 Nm @ 3 600 rpm
  • Transmission: Four-speed automatic, all-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 7,02 seconds
  • Top speed: 210 km/h (electronically limited )
  • Fuel consumption: 11,53 litres/100 km (Car Magazine figures)
  • Price: R346 950

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