Subaru made its bones offering a lineup of cars and varying-sized crossovers and small SUVs equipped with all-wheel drive. While this may initially seem like an ideal recipe for selling vehicles in New England, Colorado and Portland, the extra traction adds welcome capability even in sunnier climates.
We recently tested a 2016 Forester compact SUV, which trailed only the Legacy and Outback in commercial fleet registrations in 2013. Driving the Forester in southern California, we appreciated the extra torque that minimizes wheel slip while turning a sharp corner or the greater stability at freeway speeds.
The Forester hasn't seen a dramatic update since it entered its fourth generation with the 2014 model year, yet we welcomed a chance to drive a vehicle we could see put to use in a fleet that provides in-home health-care or transports small payloads.
When you think Subaru, you think all-wheel drive. Yes. After that thought, you may think safety, and the Forester checks that box. The EyeSight optional safety package includes pre-collision braking and throttle management controlled by a pair of cameras mounted near the rear-view mirror. A grille-mounted radar system enables adaptive cruise control, as well as a lane departure and sway warning.
If you drift out of a lane, the Forester gives you an audible chime. A similar chime warns about an object ahead on the roadway to mitigate a frontal collision. The system also nudges you about the movement of a stopped vehicle in front.
You'll find one notable update for 2016 in the Forester cabin. Subaru has revamped its StarLink infotainment system with navigation that it displays on a 4.3-inch color screen. The maps are easy to read and points of interest mostly register through the search engine.
View the full list of 2016 upgrades here.
Originally posted on Automotive Fleet