Monday, December 15, 2008

What I drove: 2009 Subaru Forester

Some things seem to just go with Colorado: ski slopes, crazy weather, aspens, fleece vests and Subarus.

I don't own a Subaru, but I know a lot of people out here who do. As far as vehicles go, they make sense --they're not huge, but they're plenty big for hauling all your gear. They're good looking, get decent gas mileage and they're all-wheel drive.

I recently drove the newly remodeled Forester. When I bought my car last year, the older Forester made the short list, but lost out due to the price point. The new Forester is bigger but sleeker with a more aerodynamic body. It's priced at $25,460, which isn't outrageous and it feels like a much more expensive vehicle.

From my test drive story (which publishes in The Gazette Dec. 19):
The Forester, like all Subarus, comes standard with all-wheel drive. That all-wheel-drive system has 30 years of Subaru experience behind it. The symmetrical all-wheel drive creates optimal balance for stability and sharp handling, with power flowing in a direct path from the engine to all four wheels, according to Subaru literature.

I spent a good portion of my test drive in the Forester seeking out any lingering snow and ice from a recent snowstorm, trying to test the car’s all-wheel-drive performance — this from a person who hates to drive in foul weather.

Unfortunately, the best I could do for adverse conditions was a gravel parking lot and some standing water. Still, the Forester gripped the gravel and didn’t spin its wheels or throw any gravel when I accelerated out of the parking lot, and there was no pulling when driving through puddles. On the dry roads, the Forester had a smooth comfortable ride, handling like a smaller vehicle, with minimal body roll, even on tight curves.

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