The Subaru Forester’s design transformation illustrates the changing tastes of the new car market. It began life in 1997 as a rugged, no-nonsense, four-wheel-drive estate and, sure enough, through three more renewals in 2002, 2008 and, most recently, 2012, it has beefed up to become – yes, you guessed it – an SUV.
The Forester's available with a 148bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine, a 145bhp 2.0-litre diesel and, for those after a performance-orientated model, a turbocharged 237bhp 2.0-litre petrol.
You can also choose between a six-speed manual or CVT automatic gearbox, and three different trim levels. The Forester has four-wheel drive as standard and carries Subaru’s impressive off-road credentials with it.
Does the Forester represent an appealing leftfield choice in a very mainstream market? Read on to find out.