1999 Forester New Car Test Drive
The Subaru Forester isn't a sport-utility vehicle in the traditional sense. There's more car in the Forester than truck-a good thing because cars handle all but the roughest situations much better than trucks. Add Subaru's well-designed suspension and excellent all-wheel-drive system and there's nothing to fear from snow, mud, dirt, gravel or wet pavement.
The Forester was designed using technology gained by racing rally cars over the most treacherous roads in the world, in Africa, Asia and Europe. Subaru has learned to cope with adverse conditions, winning the highly competitive World Rally Championship three years in a row. And it shows in its production cars.
The Forester inspires confidence in slippery conditions in ways that traditional truck-based sport-utilities can never hope to do. Subaru's all-wheel-drive system constantly redirects power to whichever tires offer the best grip, providing precise control in all types of conditions. Its long, soft springs and stiff shocks allow lots of controlled wheel travel, so bumpy corners don't upset the handling balance. And Forester's generous 7.5-inch ground clearance allows it to tread places a sedan cannot go.
On the road, which is where most of us spend most of our time, the Forester drives like a car. It offers substantially better braking and cornering performance than a truck, making it easier to handle on winding roads or in emergency situations during the stop-and-go of the daily commute. In fact, the Forester holds up well against a sedan. It's fun to drive, a phrase that doesn't apply to trucks in quite the same way. Forester is similar in size to the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, but offers superior performance and handling.