Ride & Handling

The original Forester was one of the first SUVs to adopt a four-wheel-independent suspension, and this year's model has a new double-wishbone rear setup. Several journalists on the media drive complained of excessive body roll Ч possibly the result of no rear stabilizer bar, which was standard on the outgoing model Ч but I think most drivers will find that the Forester's handling ranks among the sportier SUVs in its class. The chassis remains poised over curvy roads, and Subaru's all-wheel-drive system delivers unflappable grip accelerating out of a turn.

The steering system offers a quicker turning ratio this year. It delivers lively response, with reasonably crisp turn-in and more feedback about changing road conditions than you get in some sedans, let alone SUVs. Some SUVs accomplish this sporty feel by dialing back the power-steering assist so much that the steering wheel becomes too stiff at low speeds Ч the Mazda CX-7 springs to mind Ч but the Forester's steering is well below this threshold, and its 34.4-foot turning circle beats eight of its major competitors, some by more than 5 feet. Outstanding.

Subaru says it took extensive steps to address road and wind noise this time around, and indeed, highway noise now seems about average for a small SUV. It's not as quiet as a Honda CR-V, but it's a distinct improvement over the previous Forester.

    See also:

    Display selection
    If you press the УTEXTФ button during playback, the indication will change to the next one in the following sequence. For CD-DA: ...

    N (Neutral)
    This position is for restarting a stalled engine. In this position the wheels and transmission are not locked. In this position, the transmission is neutral; the vehicle will roll freely, even on t ...

    Engine exhaust gas (carbon monoxide)
    WARNING ● Never inhale engine exhaust gas. Engine exhaust gas contains carbon monoxide, a colorless and odorless gas which is dangerous, or even lethal, if inhaled. ● Always properly m ...