18 February 2022

Subaru Forester Premium 2022 Car Review

This Kiwi road trip favourite recently got a midlife makeover with the Gen-V Forester. The Forester is the brand’s most popular offering globally, and its unsurprising with its rugged utilitarian features.

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Subaru Forester Premium 2022 Car Review
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Subaru Forester Premium 2022 Car Review
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Subaru Forester Premium 2022 Car Review
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Subaru Forester Premium 2022 Car Review
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Subaru Forester Premium 2022 Car Review
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Subaru Forester Premium 2022 Car Review

MODEL: Forester Premium
ENGINE: 2.5 litre four cylinder
POWER: 136kW/239Nm
GEARBOX: 7 seven-speed Linetronic CVT
0-100KM/H: 9.5 seconds
ECONOMY: 7.4L/100km
PRICE: $52,990 + ORC
STATUS: Currently available

Adventurous looks

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The Gen-V Forester has some stylish new updates giving a modernised appearance with new C-shaped LED headlights and similarly fashioned rear taillights. Additional exterior updates include a revised rhombus shaped grill and tweaks to the claddings and bumpers. The sills are cleverly concealed by the doors, which not only looks good but will protect your clothing when you are climbing in an out of the cabin - especially if you have done a bit of a stretch on a dirt road.

The Gen-V Forester has also grown, now 21mm wider and 19mm longer. This all adds to its road presence and the benefit is a roomier cabin with an extra 35mm of leg room for rear seat passengers.

This premium model also sports an intelligent integrated roof rack, which includes handy silver tie down points. There are also new two tone 18” alloy wheels adding modern flare, and a glorious sunroof just like the X-Sport variant.

Premium touches

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This interior was well appointed in the entertainment space, plus the 8-inch infotainment system includes three years of map support for the built-in navigation system. The sound is simply splendid from the nine speaker Harman Kardon setup. You get the usual items like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and if you are feeling a bit retro you can make use of the single disk CD player.

The seats are eight-way power operated and finished in a black leather. Both the driver and passenger’s seats are heated for added comfort, and this leather treatment extends to the steering wheel and gear selector. One-touch electric folding-seats make expanding storage options easy, with the seats up storage comes in at almost 500 litres.

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The multi-function display unit on the top of the dash is a nice extra to have but when you press the camera button to show you the view around you, it is projected onto a smaller 6.3-inch screen which we found a bit odd, especially considering the reverse camera uses the larger eight-inch infotainment system. The extra display features vehicle maintenance, eyesight information and many other informative bits of info for the driver.

We found the driver monitoring system interesting, it was often reminding us to keep our eyes on the road and it even displayed a cup of coffee - recommending a break from driving.

Still has that note

The Subaru Forester is equipped with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder boxer engine, which still gives it that signature note. Fuel consumption is rated at 7.4L/100km and produces 168g/km of CO2. This fuel consumption is rather conservative especially if you remember Subaru’s of the past.

The transmission is a very smooth seven-speed Linetronic unit with the added fun of paddle shifters. There are also Subaru’s X-Mode Dual function terrain modes, which include Deep Snow and Mud for when situations get more slippery. And for performance driving, the SI drive selector makes the vehicle more responsive and sharper off the line. Peak power is rated at 136kW at a fairly high 5800rpm, and torque is 239Nm. Torque wise it’s a little more than we were expecting, especially considering the engine isn’t turbo charged.


We feel the latest Forester Premium exceeds its predecessor in many ways. The cabin is far more comfortable and insulated. This added refinement along with the capable AWD system makes us feel like it could be the perfect companion on a road trip to the ski fields or a weekend escape, especially if you plan to venture off the beaten track. It’s difficult to find a SUV with this level of road grip these days, the Gen-V Forester handles more like a wagon, and you always feel in control.


  • Spacious and comfy
  • Plenty of room especially second row
  • Roof racks and integrated handy tie downs


  • The driver monitoring system is a bit too excitable

At a glance


Subaru Forester Premium




$52,990 + ORC

ANCAP safety rating

Power and Torque




Fuel economy/CO2

7.4L/100km / 168g/km

Towing capacity

750kg Unbraked,1800kg Braked



Seating capacity


Luggage capacity/payload

498L (All Seats Up) / 1768L

Safety systems

  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Lane Sway Warning
  • Lead Vehicle Start Alert
  • Pre-Collision Braking System
  • Pre-Collision Brake Assist
  • Pre-Collision Throttle Management
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Lane Centring Function
  • Autonomous Emergency Steering

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