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Car reviews - Subaru - Forester - XT 5-dr wagon


If you want a fast compact SUV, the Subaru Forester XT is the obvious choice

21 Jun 2013

ALONG with the influential Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, Subaru’s Forester has been a mainstay of the compact SUV segment in Australia.

Was it really 16 years ago that we first saw the boxy and utilitarian AWD wagon on our roads?

The XT tested here is more unique, in the fact that it is one of the few compact SUVs with a genuine performance slant. In fact, the XT almost occupies a niche of its own.

Once upon a time the previous-generation turbo versions were essentially a tuned-down WRX in a boxy body, since those original Foresters were essentially Impreza wagons.

But somehow that model never really gelled with us. While the little sedan was scintillating and exhilarating, the SUV turbo in the early Forester GTs always felt raw, uncouth, and often too uncomfortable. It wasn’t a happy marriage of engine to vehicle.

Now the focus has shifted to sports/luxury, with more refinement and a CVT automatic as the sole transmission option – not something that will initially be music to the ears of many performance fans.

Has Subaru maintained the rage?

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Model release date: 1 January 2013 to 1 January 2016

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