This week we’re looking at the 2011 Subaru Forester 2.5 XT Touring. It receives a new 2.5-liter engine for 2.5X trim levels delivering 170 horsepower with 21/27 city/hwy mpg. The Forester 2.5X Touring is added to the lineup to be positioned above the Limited with standard equipment that includes HID headlights, display audio system with backup camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, silver finish roof rails, electro-luminescent gauges and side mirrors with integrated turn indicators.
It is generally pointed out by most reviewers that Forester is a great smaller SUV competitor, and I agree. It has distinguished itself over the years with AWD standard and that is typically a quality seen only on more expensive brands.
General Info: 0% of Parts are from the US and Canadian; 100% come from Japan including the Engine & Transmission. It is assembled in Gunma, Japan. Class is SUV AWD. Cars from Subaru include Forester, Impreza, Impreza WRX, Legacy, Outback & Tribeca.
Cell Phones – come on guys – you can’t multi-task as much as you think you can at 70-80 mph. The problem is even worse at lower speeds because it is obviously a distraction no matter how ‘good’ or ‘better’ you think you are than the rest of us on the road. This is illegal activity while driving is where I encourage law enforcement to issue citations to those drivers that endanger us all with such rude behavior. OK – a woman who puts on make up while driving tops cell phone use even though women tend to be great multi-tasker’s by nature. Ever watch a woman with a baby on her hip or elsewhere doing almost anything in addition? Amazing.
Back to the freeway, speed alone ‘doesn’t kill’ or every race driver would be dead. But when you couple driving with the distraction of holding a cell phone to your ear you should be fined.
Other observers can’t help but notice how those drivers trying to multi-task tend to speed up, slow down, weave and drift from lane to lane.
If you must drive and talk on the phone hands free is also a must.
Handling & Performance:
Lively power from Turbocharger. All Wheel Drive on all Subaru models give it that road hugging feel and of course it adds a great deal of confidence in all road conditions. A really nice solid ride albeit stiffer suspension than you may like.
Jeep, Honda and Dodge stand out of the field in styling variation. All others in the group could be siblings. All are stylishly contemporary. Me, I like the difference of the three mentioned that are all more squarely prominent and distinct.
Fit and Finish:
Typically good as is generally true of all in class.
Price is very close in this grouping of SUV’s.
Conveniences and comfort:
Most first impressions are that back up camera’s are a good thing. To me they are more of a novelty and the safest way to back up is still to turn your body and look at where you are going for the best and safest driving habit due to peripheral visibility you simply do not get from a back up camera.
Consumer Recommendation:You have your work cut out for you in the search in this class SUV. There are a lot to choose from that are all pretty nice. I suggest you start with your favorite brands and then consider in order of importance the new kid on the block – the Korean models. Include all American made models and avoid the Hybrid’s as they are way too expensive for what they deliver. Sorry all you Green people, but I just report from my experience from owning an automotive repair shop to manufacturing and running the worlds largest automotive products distributor to reviewing all makes of cars over the past 20 years on and off the race track has helped too.
Recognized Competition (MSRP):Subaru Forester $28,000, Chevrolet Equinox $24,000, Dodge Nitro $29,000, Ford Escape $26,000, Ford Escape Hybrid $34,000, Honda CR-V $28,000, Honda Element $24,000, Hyundai Tucson $26,000, Jeep Liberty $25,000, Jeep Patriot $24,000, Kia Sorento $27,000, Kia Sportage $25,000, Mazda 5 $24,000, Mazda Tribute $27,000, Mercury Mariner $27,000, Mercury Mariner Hybrid $32,000, Mitsubishi Outlander $28,000, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport $23,000, Nissan Rogue $24,000, Suzuki Grand Vitara $25,000, Toyota RAV4 $26,000.
Well equipped AWD performer.
Stiff suspension that should be relaxed since few will ever get off road and only fair fuel economy numbers will detract as prices are heading for $5 / gal.
2.5 liter 170 horsepower 4-cylinder turbocharged engine, 4-speed automatic transmission, symmetrical all wheel drive, dynamic control, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes with electronic brake force distribution, front and side curtain airbags, anti-theft alarm and immobilizer system, tire pressure monitor, dual zone climate control, power windows, locks and mirrors, Bluetooth connectivity, audio with HD/CD, leather seats & steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control, 10 way driver power seats, all weather package with heated front seats, power moon roof, 60/40 split fold down rear seat, tilt / telescopic steering wheel.
$4.05/ Gal avg. April 1, 2011
www.fueleconomy.govfor more information.
19 City and 24 Highway MPG
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