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This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Thu, Jul 1, 2010

By: The LACar Editorial Staff


I don’t know if you’ve noticed it, but Subarus have become the darling of the mile high club. From Maine to Mount Baldy, Big Bear to Boulder, Subaru is the de facto vehicle of choice. This title was not anointed overnight. On the contrary, Subaru’s reputation was developed gradually over the decades. To the best of our knowledge, this reputation as the vehicle of choice for the mile high club is not due to any brilliant marketing by the folks at Subaru. Subaru doesn’t even have that wide a range of SUVs to offer. You won’t see a line-up of he-man, command-ready vehicles at your neighborhood Subaru dealer. What you will see is an assortment of unassuming-looking vehicles, but ones that are fitted with all-wheel drive. This, combined with a proven track record of reliability seem to the star qualities that have attracted Subaru to skiers, snowboarders, forest rangers, mountain climbers, and those who live in the regions of the wild blue yonder. Among the stars of the Subaru line is the Forester—the only vehicle that the company sells in the USA that can come close to being labeled an SUV (okay, maybe you can count the Tribeca too). Among its competitors, the Forester looks the least like an SUV. Yet, year-in and year-out, it beats out all of its competition in comparison tests.


Subaru Forester X Much of that is due to the Forester being more car-like than its competition. The Forester rides, corners, sounds and behaves more like a car than a truck. And even though the competition has gravitated toward crossover vehicles with car-based uni-body construction, Subaru manages to stay one step ahead of the competition when it comes to the Forester. This 2010 model is among the third-generation of Foresters. The previous models were already considered among the best of the small crossovers. For 2010, the Subaru Forester is offered in five trim lines. The Forester 2.5X, powered by a 170-horspower 2.5-liter four cylinder Subaru Boxer engine, remains the best value in the line. The 2.5X Premium adds a 10-way power driver's seat, a large panoramic power moonroof, interior enhancements and offers an available All-Weather Package (heated front seats, heated side mirrors and windshield wiper de-icer). The Forester 2.5X Limited includes the All-Weather Package and offers more luxury and an available navigation system. For the ultimate in power and performance, there’s the 2.5XT Premium and 2.5XT Limited—both powered by a 224-horsepower turbocharged/intercooled Boxer engine.


Our test corroborates the Forester’s reputation. The Forester doesn’t scream SUV. On the contrary, there is very little hint of the Forester being anything other than a very useful station wagon that happens to have all-wheel drive capability. It’s among the quietest crossovers in its class (if not thee quietest). Ride and handling are what you would expect from a very competent, well-built sedan. And even without the assistance of a turbocharger, the normally aspired 2.5-liter Box engine provides ample low-end torque for stop-and-go driving as well as for mile-highing in the mountains. In the end, this must be what makes the Forester (and for that matter, Subaru) so attractive to the mile-high club. Once you’ve tired of all the pretention associated with rugged, he-man-orientated SUVs, you graduate to a Subaru. In this case, a Forester. After all, if you live in the mountains twenty-four/seven, there’s no need to be constantly reminded that you’re driving a truck, particularly if you can do it in an all-wheel drive car with the capaciousness of a tall wagon—and do it in a quieter, car-like fashion. That’ll get you a gold card in the mile-high club. - Roy Nakano "Highway 36" by Jesse Speer, courtesy Rocky Mountain National Park


SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2010 Subaru Forester 2.5X 4-door SUV AWD Price $20,295 (base) $21,495 (with automatic transmission) Standard equipment includes AM/FM stereo with single disc CD player and four speakers, (three) 12 volt power outlets, 215/65 R16 96H All-Season tires, Brake Assist, Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), daytime running lights, engine immobilizer, carpeted floor mats, multi-functional center console box and sliding arm rest, 60/40 split fold-down rear seat, rear window wiper and washer, remote keyless entry and tilt steering column. EPA fuel economy rating (miles per gallon): 20 mpg city/26 mpg highway Engine: 2.5-liter horizontally oppose (“boxer”) four-in-line Horsepower: 170 at 6000 rpm Torque: 170 pound-feet at 4400 rpm Transmission: Drive configuration: All-wheel drive Steering: Power-assisted rack and pinion Suspension: Four-wheel independent strut suspension with coil springs, shock absorbers and anti-sway mechanism, with power delivery to all four wheels via Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive Dimensions Length: 179.5 inches Width: 70.1 inches Height: 65.9 inches Curb weight: 3300 pounds


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