Run, Forester, Run!

By Alvin Uy Philippine Daily Inquirer May 22,2019

Motor Image Pilipinas, Subaru’s exclusive distributor in the country invited a group of motoring journalists for a media drive using the all-new Subaru Forester for a field test to see how the new EyeSight feature will fare in actual driving conditions, as well as rough road conditions.

It wasn’t just an ordinary out-of-town ride-and-drive media event. The main activity of the event was an off-road stage and organizers of the event chose the Agoo River trail as proving grounds which was en route to a resort in La Union where the group would be hosted for the night.

The bigger dimensions of the Forester made a difference in terms of legroom space and with Subaru’s new Global Platform, which is now being used in all of the brand’s new models, features improved active and passive safety, comfort and performance thanks to a better and more rigid chassis design that uses a specially designed glue for its welded joints.

The new chassis fared much better compared to the previous generation Forester, which this writer also had the opportunity to field test on and off-road. The new generation Forester also handled much better at highway speeds, and offered better handling dynamics. Thanks to a more extensive application of dampening materials, cabin noise was noticeably lesser as well. Despite the fact the test units were not modified in any way, the Forester waded through the river crossing activity effortlessly.

The Agoo River was full of unevenly sized river stones and there were certain areas that had muddy and sandy soil, but just by merely switching to Subaru’s X Mode, the Forester instantly becomes a very capable off-roader. When the group reached the Agoo River that afternoon, the water was already rising. But thanks to the all-new Forester’s X Mode that has a new “Deep Snow Mud” function, it sets the engine power and drive settings to get the vehicle out of trouble. With this selected mode, the setting offers maximum traction and drivability, with the X-mode system applying integrated control of the engine performance, all-wheel drive and brakes. The group had some first time off-road drivers and were surprised at how capable the Forester was.

In comparison, the regular “Snow Mud” function is more suited for slippery surfaces like icy roads, and over dusty riverbeds, or even during heavy downpour where the roads present an imminent danger of aquaplaning, where the rains causes to layer the roads with a thin film of water can make the roads very slippery and dangerous at higher speeds.

The all-new Forester, which also has the EyeSight driver assist technology, is a feature that was first introduced in the all new XV and all new Impreza last year. These award-winning safety features give drivers added peace of mind and an extra margin of safety in every drive. These EyeSight features include automatic pre-collision braking, pre-collision throttle management, adaptive cruise control, lead vehicle start alert, lane departure, and lane sway warning. We were able to test these features while driving along the highway and added a larger margin of confidence not previously enjoyed in Subaru vehicles.

While this writer was able to test the Forester on an off-road activity overseas, this was done under simulated conditions. This was the first time the local media had field tested the all-new Forester in a real off-road environment. Another significant design feature of the new Forester was that it had a better high eye-level driver view than the previous generation Forester, as well as other SUVs of the same class. This was done with a clever positioning of the pillars to reduce blind spots that can prove to be hazardous on real road conditions.

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