Wednesday, December 19, 2012

First Drive in NZ: All-New Subaru Forester High On Refinement, Space

Just been driving the new Forester XT turbo in New Zealand, and it's the first Subaru Turbo I've driven with a CVT.
I had mixed feelings about how that transmission would work with the turbo, but I guess that the fact that Subaru's new third generation Lineartronic is going to be used with its new range of European market turbodiesels in both the Outback and Forester later in the year means that it will take the torque.
I noticed no disconcerting flare - often a bugbear with CVTs and more powerful engines - and loved the way the car stepped smoothly off the line, settling into low-revving cruise mode for town and around work, and open-road driving very decorously.
Well-chosen gearing allows the Forester to surf along on its low to mid-revolution biased torque curve, which will allow pretty useful economy in normal running, while the surge of energy on tap when you mash the throttle is very pleasing. With a rise in engine pitch, the Forester XT quickly catches up with itself in that distinctive CVT way, and dispatched overtaking maneuvers with great aplomb.

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