Date Added: 09/11/2018
Subaruâ€™s new generation All-Wheel Drive Forester 2.5i-S has been named Best Small SUV for 2018 by Drive, which appears weekly in Fairfax print outlets and online at drive.com.au.
Forester beat last yearâ€™s winner, the Volkswagen Tiguan, plus the Skoda Karoq and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.
Drive praised Forester for having â€œno hidden optional extras - the car is fully-stocked with nothing more to spend - even metallic paint is free.â€
It added: â€œSubaru's Forester represents a techno-fest home to three display screens and more buttons than a discount table at Spotlight.â€
Drive judge Nathan Ponchard assessed it as "the most pragmatic, utilitarian SUV here."
Veteran road tester Pete McKay, highlighted â€œlimo-likeâ€ rear room, while Editor Andrew MacLean was taken by the panoramic view served by upright windows framed by thin pillars.
Drive added: â€œWeâ€™re going to go out on a limb and say that the Forester is the safest car here.â€
â€œ…every Forester features the security of all wheel-drive as well as Subaruâ€™s highly-regarded EyeSight safety suite which includes autonomous emergency braking, active cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert systems and lane keeping assistance as standard. Itâ€™s the only system here which recognises and acts on changes to brake lights on the car in front, making it both smoother and safer in the real world. High-grade models such as the Forester 2.5i-S tested here come with reverse automatic braking as standard, potentially preventing low-speed accidents involving children in driveways or carparks.
â€œA facial recognition system can be programmed to adopt seat position, mirror and climate control preferences for different drivers, or more importantly, warn pilots if signs of drowsiness are detected.
â€œIt watches you, to see whether youâ€™re watching the road. If you fuss with your phone, turn to speak with passengers or drop your vision for too long, youâ€™ll get a friendly reminder to focus on the task at hand, or even take a break.â€
Drive also praises Forester for â€œ…peerless traction in slippery conditions, driving all four wheels all of the time…serving up confidence-inspiring drive…â€
Editor MacLean praised Forester for having â€œstandoutâ€ ride comfort in the group.
Drive reports Forester received first-place votes from six of the seven judges.
â€œAs a pragmatic family SUV the Subaru ticks all the boxes, in terms of vision, comfort, space, safety and capability,â€ MacLean said.
Nathan Ponchard said: â€œItâ€™s the definition of what Subaru stands for as a brand.
â€œThe Forester does all of those things better than every other car in the line-up.â€
Subaru Australia Managing Director, Colin Christie, said: â€œThe Drive award maintains Foresterâ€™s status as one of the most awarded vehicles in the Australian automotive industry.
â€œDriveâ€™s positive assessment of Forester is reflected in sales success since we launched the new generation in September.
â€œForester was Subaruâ€™s best-seller last year, with over 12,000 vehicles sold, taking us close to a quarter of a million Foresters sold since launch and clearly that established record of appeal to Australian consumers continues.â€