Overall, the features and upgrades made me a very happy Subaru owner. Not only has Subaru maintained the things I love the best about my 2004 XT, but the upgrades were enough to surprise and please me.
Photos: John Matras
Walking up to the 2014 Forester, I noticed that it seemed larger, more imposing, yet still kept distinctly Forester features such as a rear hatch wing. (Boy, do I wish Vixey had one!) The lines were clean and not as harsh as Vixey’s.
The rims reminded me of the Crosstrek, but more subdued. I like the shape of the spokes.
I love the fact there is a hatch pop-open button.
Opening the door and sliding inside was easy. Being 5 feet 3 inches tall, I have some problems getting into SUVs. My own Vixey has a nice height, which was one of the reasons I had chosen her. Getting into this 2014 model was just as easy.
It is refreshing that Subaru knows what its customers prefer and look for in a new Subaru. I was not exactly prepared for the extreme updates when I sat inside. The changes were intuitive and creative.
First of all – push-button start! That could only mean a proximity key. No more hunting for my keys in my bottomless purse.
The dash was different, and I noticed many areas of my “analog” Forester were now digital. It allows the new features to tie in so much data that previously would have been unavailable.
The multi-function screen first showed me how far I had driven, how long it had taken me, and what my mpg was for that particular trip. I also could see the current time, the miles until my tank ran out (handy!), and the temperature outside – a balmy 37 degrees. Switching to another screen, I could see a real-time slide meter of my gas mileage performance during driving.
Another screen really intrigued me: Combined with the X-MODE button, which aids in traction and stability, this display showed when slippery road conditions existed at any of the four wheels.
The center display was updated to a Harman Kardon®1 stereo and housed an intuitive GPS that did not seem to need more than a few taps to understand how it worked.
The 2014 Forester had EyeSight2 with backup camera and distance measurement. The system even tells you when you are going out of the lane. For a manufacturer known for making safe vehicles, Subaru really hits it out of the park with this feature. Adding it to the cruise control makes for one incredible option.
Another thing I noticed were two buttons that would automatically pop down the two back passenger seats to a flat surface. Quite the useful feature.
1 Harman Kardon is a registered trademark of HARMAN International Industries, Inc.
2 EyeSight is a driver-assist system which may not operate optimally under all driving conditions. The driver is always responsible for safe and attentive driving. System effectiveness depends on many factors such as vehicle maintenance, and weather and road conditions. Please remember to turn off EyeSight when going through a car wash. See Owner’s Manual for complete details on system operation and limitations.