2014 Forester drives into X You want me to drive over what? At first glance, it looked like an extra from a How It Made episode.
A length of shiny metal rollers, much like the ones I slide my empties down at the local Beer Store. The goal? To explain the nuances of the 2014 Subaru rayben Forester while it engaged in X Mode a new traction action component of Subaru symmetrical AWD system. One side pavement, the latest ray ban sunglass other side rollers. And a car hack dumb enough to try it. We well versed in the concept of low speed differential locks on other all wheel drive systems, which are mighty handy for low speed operation through annoying snow pack or muddy gumbo. X Mode must be a big deal. The raised label that trumpets its existence is twice the size of the actual switch. It beeps with purpose when depressed. It flashes its engagement on the new colour driver information display. And it works like gangbusters. The first step was traversing the roller derby with a competitive vehicle of the compact SUV class, which I won name, but rhymes with Sunday. The Sunday handled the rollers, though with considerable wheel spin. The Forester X Mode uses a myriad of inputs to erase the impending traction loss. The throttle opens more slowly for more control. The AWD clutch pressure can increase up to 25 per cent to control differential rotation between the front and rear wheels. A lower gear ratio can be maintained, while elements of the VDC can apply brake control to reduce the difference in rotation speed between left and right wheels. I could make your eyes glaze over more, but let just say that the X Mode gets over the Beer Store rollers faster than a month of Sundays. Strange press launch demos aside, there has been considerable updates on both sides of the Forester sheet metal, even though the Subarunian talk more about evolution for Forester than revolution. They got good reason to not upset the natural order of the sales things. It made up 23 per cent of Subie Canuck sales for 2012. Of the three generations, the third has been the most successful for Canada, peaking in 2010. It had some year over year dips since then. Using one of my favourite nuggets from my Tom Peters In Search of Excellence tapes (people talking to each other) Subaru asked the owner faithful what they liked, and what was lacking. Most of them were the expected tweaks, like a little more legroom, and a little more seat travel/adjustment for the driver seat. A little more luxury, like available Harman Kardon audio and power lift gates. A little more safety, in emergency maneuvers, collision avoidance and crash protection. The kicker with any AWD is the penalty at the pump. How much is this going to hurt for capability I may never use or fully understand? While the previous Forester was not without its interior charm, the execution felt cheap, especially at the entry levels. More soft touch materials, plus higher grades of standard materials, appears to have been the fix. The colour driver information screen is identical to the likes of the XV Crosstrek unit tested last year, with crisp legibility. It sports a wide screen back up camera view on everything but the entry ray ban sunglasses men 2.5i, which still prices out at $25,995 for MSRP. That number includes a slick shifting six speed manual, a gear more than Forester of before, with plenty of E Z for clutch engagement. Steering has gone electric, though the only way to know for sure is to read the specs, with none of the Vagues normally sale ray ban sunglasses expected. The driver has a brand new bag, as in air, and for the knees. An infusion of high strength steel in pivotal structure points should make the Forester a Top Safety Pick Plus, the new designation that adds in the small overlap frontal crash test. The 2014 Forester just took Top Safety Pick honours recently, though the IIHS is waiting till later this spring for the small overlap results, as more compact SUVs are currently getting crunched. Remember when you were a kid, and getting out of the family sedan was more of a slip and fall/character building scar event? The Forester keeps your brood intact, with rear door sill plates that get an added traction element. The floor pan has been re sculpted for the rear passengers, with less driveline tunnel intrusion. It really more of a five seater now, with the dismissal of the seat cushion mount rear cupholder, which has moved to a flip down centre armrest that the kidlets in booster seats can actually reach. Of note; rear outboard seat belt mechanisms that are practically impossible to entangle in the fold down of the seatbacks, which actually fold flat. Even with Top Safety Pick roof crush laurels, the daylight opening is one of the most open in the segment. Kudos to Subie, for a rear wiper swath that looks like it came from the front of the car, and not off of some carnival ride. There two foxy Boxers; the normally aspirated 2.5 litre flat four, which first bowed in 2010, and the frantic stylings of the twin scroll Turbo 2.0 litre pancake.
The Two Five is the only mill that gets a manual stick stir, with the Turbo shifties controlled by an Enhanced Lineartronic CVT. The CVT is available on the Two Five, with paddle shifters on everything but Super Base. Within those paddles is an enjoyable trick, with the ability to toggle up or down as needed for a momentary reason, which for this pilot meant the need to downshift for hill climb, or to downshift for hill descent engine braking (plenty of that on Van Isle).
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