Hils Everitt – Editor at Large
Last month I pointed out a few negatives about our long-term Forester in the mechanical department. But there are many things I do like about it. Apart from the styling, which many find bland, but I rather like, and its typical Subaru solidly-built body work, excellent electrical seating adjustments and unfussy interior which retains its credentials as more of a workhorse than its prettier and more cluttered peers within the huge SUV crossover sector, there are some great practical attributes that have impressed.
For starters there’s the rear view camera that our XC Premium spec includes. My 09 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland which would have been many tens of thousands of pounds new, has a rear view camera, but it is rather blurry with not the best reproduction. The Subaru’s, however, is very un-blurry to the point that I was very surprised at its clarity and definition. Rear view cameras have always perturbed me (and the Editor it seems, in his report on the Freelander this issue!) and it has taken a while to get used to them and trust them without looking in door mirrors while reversing. As my Grand’s is not the best view, I tend not to look at it a lot and follow the old traditional method of constantly flicking my eyes from each mirror. The Subaru’s, however, is so clear and with the guiding red, yellow and green lines makes you put your wholehearted trust in that little screen on the dash.
Another, less technical and more mundane asset is the boot lining. It’s a tough, hardwearing, dimpled plastic tray with high sides, and that is excellent for those trips to the dump and garden centre. I have no qualms about throwing in dirty or heavy items in the back because I know a quick wipe or brush down will sort it and the rear will not get messed up. And the easy one-touch folding rear seats aren’t bad, and they do fold reasonably flat, although not as good as my Grand Cherokee, which is great, as many other vehicles don’t.
Spec: XD Premium
Recent costs: None
Arrived: June 2014
You can read more about this story in the October 2014 issue of 4×4 Magazine – available here