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Forester XT as impressive as a Porche?

Nauman Farooq | Interrobang | Sports | October 31st, 2005

If you are in the market for a new car and want a practical vehicle for everyday use, look closely at the Subaru Forester.

If you are in the market for a practical vehicle for everyday use, but with eye opening performance, then look no further than the Subaru Forester XT.
Forester XT

The XT is the turbo model, and for 2006 it has been given some extra oomph, to enable you to cover ground even faster. The engine size is still the same as before — a 2.5 litre, horizontally opposed four-cylinder with a turbo charger, now producing 230 hp and 235 lb/ft of torque.

That, along with the new improved aerodynamics, makes for a very rapid car. Rapid enough to out accelerate a base Porsche Boxster. In other words, 0-100 km/h comes in 6.1 seconds, but the top speed is limited to 200 km/h, because the tires can't cope with higher speeds.

The reason it has speed limited tires is because this is an all-terrain vehicle. This is not just a station wagon; it is in fact closer to being an SUV. While it may not exactly look like an SUV, it has better ground clearance than most.

All these performance figures are one thing; the feel you get from behind the driver seat is another. This is one fun vehicle to drive. If you dial in the turbo properly, you'll be going very, very fast, very, very quickly. The steering is delightful, typical of all the Subaru cars these days, and you have the feeling of being in something solid, no doubt Subaru cars fair so well in crash tests.

On the performance front, nothing in its category comes even close to the Forester XT.

The interior however, is not the best. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with it per se, it just lacks a bit of style. It is practical and spacious, and has all the amenities you would ask for. It also has the biggest sunroof of any car I have ever seen. The seats are comfortable, the driving position is excellent, and the stereo is phenomenal. I just wish Subaru did something to make it more appealing on the inside for the showroom crowd. They did make it prettier on the outside though. So now it doesn't look like a brick, it looks like a sculptured brick.

You know, none of these things matter when you get behind the wheel and take it for a drive. When you'll see how good it is to drive, you'll forget the opposition very quickly. Sure, like all other vehicles in its class, it has wallet battering fuel economy, but this Forester XT adds one more feature, and that is the performance.

Best way to spend $37,000?

No, it is not. You see, for the same money, you can buy the Subaru Legacy GT wagon, which has even more performance, better road holding, and looks fantastic inside and out. So that is where my money will go. However, if you are the outdoorsy type, or live off a farm trail, buy the Forester XT, it is still a great vehicle. Me, I'll have the Legacy GT any day.
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