Hils Everitt – Editor at Large
It’s not often I get to ride in the back seat of a car as a passenger. I do often sit in the privileged position of co-pilot and, in our long-term Subaru Forester; it is a reasonably comfortable ride. This is an SUV that hugs the bends quite well, considering its somewhat ungainly stance as a 4×4, and you don’t feel too much wallowing or juggling around.
The same cannot quite be said of riding in the back seat, however. It is billed as a five-seater, but there isn’t really enough comfort room in the back for three adults. On a recent journey to a birthday party, I was sitting with two average-sized ladies in the back, and by that I mean not overweight nor excessively tall. I was in the middle, naturally, as I have very short legs and the transmission tunnel isn’t so much of an issue for me, although there is not a lot of room as the invasive centre console bulges back into the rear. At five feet tall and a size 8, I am petite: basically, the size of a 13-year-old child, according to some clothing manufacturers. Yet, even with two slim friends, we were still a little bit cramped in the back. I could easily have got my Jeep Grand Cherokee out of the garage to give us all abundant luxurious space in the back, but I wanted to test the Forester’s credentials. Luckily, it was a late afternoon garden party, so none of us was clad in slinky and vulnerable-to-creases silk cocktail dresses. If we had been, the Jeep would have been essential.
Three kids would be fine, but anyone larger than us could only really seriously have one travelling companion in the back without being rather too intimate. Also, the ride was a little jumpy. Cruising on a motorway we would probably have been okay, if the journey wasn’t too long, but this particular party was at a house on farmland in the middle of nowhere and therefore down some very winding narrow country lanes. We jiggled about quite amusingly at some points, and that wasn’t due to erratic driving from our chauffeur. It really is quite bouncy in the back of the latest Subaru Forester, and that is not something I would associate with the good old estate model that Subaru first offered us.
Spec: XD Premium
Recent costs: None
Arrived: June 2014
You can read more about this story in the November 2014 issue of 4×4 Magazine – available here