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The Boxes are Taking Over

05.09.16 - 2016 Subaru Forester

When we talk about a vehicle that is basically a box on wheels and has an engine that is called a boxer the movie “The Boxtrolls” comes to mind. These creatures hid in their boxes and came out at night to steal what they could to make improvements to their living area under the city where they built some of the most amazing items out of what people had left lying around or tossed in the trash. In this way the Boxtrolls were a modern day recycling machine animated in a movie that offered an interesting story and lots of laughs.

Another form of the box using a boxer is the Subaru Forester. This is an SUV that was the compact crossover SUV before they became popular and has used a boxer engine and standard AWD for years. In fact the Forester is in its fourth generation now and continues to offer us an SUV that is perfectly balanced, or at least balanced more appropriately than most because of its low center of gravity which is the result of the placement and shape of the engine. The Forester has been popular for off roading, but also makes a great every day driver with good fuel mileage and the ability to handle nearly all types of weather.

The engines you can choose on the Forester includes a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that brings in 170 horsepower or a 2.0-liter turbocharged version that gives you 250 horsepower. As expected we see all Forester models have a standard AWD system, which has become a staple of the Subaru lineup for many years. There are two transmissions you can choose for this SUV, the six-speed manual which comes standard or the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) which is equipped on some of the higher models.

The engines are called boxer engines because they offer a flat design which has all banks of cylinders operating parallel to the ground. This reduces the height of the engine and improves the overall center of gravity for the car. With the banks of cylinders working 180 degrees from each other there is less vibration from under the hood with a balanced firing series that keeps the vehicle stable and strong.

Even though the Forester doesn’t have the modern style of a Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5 or the Ford Escape does not mean it’s not a modern compact crossover SUV. While it continues on in a boxy shaped style it has all the modern features you could want inside the vehicle and even offers some of the most impressive equipment packages on the market today. Once you get past the fact this SUV is basically a box on wheels you can enjoy the fact that Forester is still as rugged as ever you can also smile at those driving vehicles with a modern feel which don’t offer the same benefits the Forester has for you to enjoy, which starts with the flat/boxer engine and moves inside where the creature comforts are found.

With the interior in mind, let’s see what we find. The new Forester offers the EyeSight system. This is a camera-based safety system which pairs up with the adaptive cruise control, automatic braking and lane departure warning systems. This was originally added in 2014 as an option and now is included on every Forester model except the base version. This system is a smart system and lights up the fog lights in the direction you are turning to give you added visibility where you need it to help you see what’s around you and keep yourself and all your passengers safe.

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