Cars

The Subaru Forester GT gave us an amazing drive to Penang

We had the opportunity to test-drive the new Subaru Forester GT 2.0i-S EyeSight recently during our roadtrip from Klang Valley to Penang and I would say I am impressed with the SUV.

The last I drove an Subaru was while I was in the USA in the mid ’90s and that time I drove the Subaru Legacy AWD Outback Wagon – excellent all-wheel drive car especially in the winter months in the NorthEast region where snow falls can be heavy. It was definitely a vehicle I enjoyed and one that lasted me quite a few years.

Fast forward to 2020 and I would say I was happy to get into the new Subaru Forester GT 2.09-S EyeSight. On the outside, the SUV looks sporty, sophisticated and rugged with the additional front lip, wrap-around side skirting and rear aero bits, roof mounted spoiler as well as the specially designed 18-inch alloy wheels. The dark panels accented by the brushed silver and chrome accents also add lot more presence to the upgraded edition. 

On the inside, the Forester GT features an eight-inch Display Audio system that enables Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, while a Superview Around Recognition 360 (360-degree view monitor system) offers visual help when you are driving in tight spaces (which I didn’t utilize much). The Forester GT Edition’s spacious cabin also comes in a unique two-tone leather upholstery.

Under the hood, the Forester GT is powered by the  FB20 2.0-litre naturally aspirated boxer engine that churns out 156 PS at 6,000 rpm and 196 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm, mated to a Lineartronic CVT and Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system which distributes power to all wheels for better drive response, stability and traction.

The Forester GT also comes with a suite of safety features, namely the EyeSight driver assist technology which includes Pre-Collission Braking and Throttle Management, Adaptive Cruise Control and Lead Vehicle Start Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and Blind Spot Detection System.

For those looking to take if off-road, the Forester GT comes with the Special X-Mode selector dial where one can select depending on the terrain, either Snow/Dirt or Deep Snow/Mud. The high ground clearance of 220mm also comes in handy when going off-road.

So what do we think about the Forester GT when we took it up to Penang? I find it to be spacious (we had 5 when going up and yet all sat comfortably) with plenty of head and legroom for the rear passenger.

The ride was smooth, comfortable and with minimal cabin noise. Its 8-way electric adjustable front-seat provides for a comfortable seating position and the drive height of the SUV makes its easy for long distance (as well as city) driving.

The Forester was powerful and responsive and with the adaptive cruise control, you don’t have to worry too much about our slow drivers who likes to change lane abruptly, however, I do admit I sometimes dislike that knee-jerking brake slamming control by the automated control when a car pop out to your lane. But even then I would still say the adaptive cruise control is one of the best thing that comes with the new generation cars these days that makes driving so relaxing. I also find the Lead Vehicle Start Alert comes in handily since the adaptive cruise control does not re-start itself after you come to a complete stop but a tap on the accelerator gets the cruise control to take over again.

Luggage space is ample .. we went up to do some photography and videography work in Penang so we had a lot to bring – equipment and lighting gears and luggage for 5 persons, it still fits in perfectly.

Overall, I would say I am happy with the SUV overall, nice handling, passenger comfort and good fuel consumption. For more details on the Subaru Forester GT, do drop by your nearest Subaru dealership and do take it for test drive out yourself.

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