News: Subaru Forester 2.0 D - automatic ranger on the link chain

Who rushes through the forest and wind so quickly? It is the forester with his forester. So it suggests the cover of the corresponding Subaru brochure. In fact, the 4,60 meter long all-terrain vehicle from the Japanese all-wheel drive specialist, which was last renovated a year ago, remains true to all clichés. This also includes complex special routes that Subaru for new technical developments. Sometimes even has to choose because the Fuji Heavy Industries group of companies consistently adheres to boxer engines. It took a correspondingly long time for the diesel version of the best-selling model in the German Subaru range to be available with automatic. On March 28th the time had finally come when the Forester with modified, 108 kW / 147 PS 2,0-liter boxer diesel and specially developed automatic CVT was in the showrooms of the dealers. And that as a real special offer, the headstrong automatic all-wheel drive is available from 32.200 euros. For orders until May 31, Subaru also grants an additional discount of 3.000 euros on the occasion of the Japanese 35th anniversary of Germany.

Thanks to this pricing policy, the Forester 2.0 D Lineartronic almost presents itself as a cheap home in its performance class, which includes more than ten compact SUVs such as the Mazda CX-5 or VW Tiguan, as well as station wagons with off-road optics such as the Skoda Octavia Scout. However, Subaru also wants to show more presence on German roads, after all, the Forester has long been a multiple millionaire in production globally. In Germany, the legendary longevity of the Forester has so far ensured a certain spread in the street scene, as we also found during the test drives with the new automatic diesel. In fact, on the mountain roads of the Allgäu, we repeatedly met foresters of all generations, who always proudly displayed their scars from forest and meadow excursions. From this point of view, the rustic interior, some with generous gaps, still fits the essence of the ranger to this day. On the other hand, silent quirks can also be annoying, which is why Subaru has launched an individualization program for the 2015 model year that will surprise even proven leather lovers. Not so much because of the actually very finely processed materials as because of their wide range of colors, including flashy "Green Lemon" and "Tropic Orange.

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In contrast, our Forester Diesel was lined with stepless Lineartronic power transmission in dignified dark tones. Similar to most Audi, whose Multitronic automatic, just like the Subaru CVT technology, relies on a robust link chain that can withstand the loads of a high-torque diesel - with the Forester, at least 350 Nm. However, the Multitronic is already being replaced by the dual clutch transmission at Audi. How can the chain-attached automatic in the Subaru convince?

Above all, with comfort, not only perceptible through gentle rolling in stop-and-go traffic. After all, the compression-ignition engine delivers plenty of torque to the variable transmission from as little as 1.600 revs, which causes the engine speed to increase only slightly during moderate acceleration, thus reducing noise and fuel consumption. At least theoretically, because the Forester with a standard value of 6,1 liters (in the test we even registered 7,6 liters) is not one of the most economical in its league. Against the notorious rubber band effect of continuously variable transmissions (high speeds and a subjectively too slow acceleration), there are seven permanently programmed switching stages in the Subaru, which can be operated via the optional steering wheel paddle. In addition, there is an electronic control that switches from variable power transmission when the accelerator pedal is depressed heavily or when downhill assistance is activated to change gear into the programmed stages.

Although the Lineartronic costs the boxer diesel three hp, the all-wheel drive is one of the fastest in the SUV environment with a factory acceleration value of 9,9 seconds for the sprint to 100 km / h. What won't keep dynamic fans from looking for an agile double clutch rival in a combination dress. Like the Seat Leon X-Perience 4Drive, which does the standard sprint in just 7,1 seconds. Subarus Waldmeister does not want to compete with such street racers. Why it is emphasized softly, likes to sway a little in curves, but marks the Kraxler in snow, dust and stones. And with enough space for five passengers and luggage (505 to 1.592 liters), it not only convinces foresters, but also families, who can then hook horse trailers weighing up to two tons. What the Forester still lacks are modern assistance systems. This shortcoming can only compensate for the next model update.

Author: Wolfram Nickel / SP-X

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