A diesel engine makes a lot of sense with a car like this, and the 2.0-litre unit on offer here has plenty of power and performance. It produces up to 145bhp, and can thrust you from a rest to 62mph in 9.9 seconds. Swift progress is easy enough, and it’s the best engine in the range. Even better, it’s available with any model.
Two petrols are offered – one is slower than the 2.0-litre diesel, while the other does 0-62 in just 7.5 seconds. Crikey. However, it never actually feels as fast as that, and it will cost you an arm and a leg to run. How much? Well, fuel economy returns of 43.5mpg are the best you’ll see, and it will also lump you with an annual tax bill of up to £180 per year.
The diesel is not hugely efficient, and can only achieve fuel economy returns of 49mpg at best, while landing you with a pretty hefty yearly road tax bill of its own – £145 a year with the manual and £185 with the automatic box. This is not par for the course in this class.
Like the Mitsubishi’s interior, the Forester’s is abrasive but usable. There are a few soft-touch materials here and there, but we’d be lying if we said that there are more than just a few. Instead, Subaru have gone back to basics and focused on making their cabin as practical as possible. So what you get are features such as tall windows for an airier feel, and windscreen pillars that have been brought forward for better visibility.
Compared to rivals, then, the interior is dated …
… But useful! The boot measures 505-litres, which makes it bigger than a number of its key rivals. Moreover, it’s hassle-free, thanks to a low loading lip and wide opening. The rear seats can be folded in a single mechanism for more space.
Head and legroom is good for folk upfront and in the back, while storage spaces include a pair of cup holders which you’ll find in the centre console and door bins that are really rather accommodating. The car makes for a good tower – opt for the automatic transmission, and you can tow weight up to 2,000 kg.
Subaru – £25,500 – £31,000