Subaru / Forester / 5-dr wagon range
SUBARU'S Forester has long been regarded as one of the most accomplished compact soft-roaders available, and this is reflected by the fact it has never been far from the top of sales charts.
A midlife facelift of the second-generation version should further increase Forester's appeal, by adding subtle styling updates, more interior versatility, more performance and sharper suspension - all for a modest price rise.
Forester may not be as powerful as X-Trail and it lacks both the CR-V's five-speed auto and the Rav4's funky styling, but it's still one of the safest, most capable and best value small SUVs going.
Model release dates: July 2005 - February 2008
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THE second-generation Forester arrived on sale Down Under in July 2002, in naturally aspirated X and XS guises.
The original Forester's turbocharged GT flagship (which appeared about a year after the original Forester arrived here in 1997) wasn't directly replaced until the XT turbo went on sale in August 2003.
The facelifted MkII Forester tested here went on sale in July 2005.
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