Who says crossovers can’t handle a real-life off-road trail? Subaru just proved naysayers wrong when they brought bone stock Foresters, in both turbo and non-turbo trims, to the first-ever X-Mode drive that brought their compact crossovers from San Juan to through some rough terrain eventually ending up at the Daraitan River in Tanay, Rizal.
The highly experiential activity, open to both the motoring media and Forester owners, showcases some of the leading feature of the country’s best-selling compact crossover. Chief among them is the generous 220-millimeter ground clearance and 500-millimeter water wading depth. Of course, this is joined by the 23.0-degree approach, 21.0-degree ramp breakover, and 25.0-degree departure angles. These figures are certainly are much more adept at handling off-road trails compared to other vehicles in its class (see chart below).
More than just the design though, the secret of the Forester is in its unique mechanical architecture that makes it a cut above the rest in handling difficult terrain. Where other crossovers fear to tread, it remains a confident vehicle thanks first to the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (S-AWD) system that reduces mechanical power loss from the engine to the wheels. Next, the Boxer engine reduces the center of gravity meaning it has a lesser tendency to tip when traversing steep terrain.
The main highlight though is X-Mode. First introduced in the current-generation Forester, X-Mode coordinates the engine, transmission, AWD, and brakes enabling it to safely drive through any terrain. It also re-configures the Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), traction control, and enables Hill Descent Control. Hardcore SUVs may be more capable than the Forester, but none can do it quite as efficiently or easily than a Forester.
Subaru, through its exclusive Philippine distributor, Motor Image Pilipinas, aims to continue doing activities such as the X-Mode Drive in order to provide a venue that highlights the capability of Subaru vehicles in a safe manner. Indeed, it’s in these sorts of activities where owners can appreciate what makes Subaru, a Subaru.
Who's Got the Off-Roading Chops?
|Ownership||Subaru Forester||Honda CR-V||Mazda CX-5||Ford Everest|
|Vehicle Classification||Compact Crossover||Compact Crossover||Compact Crossover||Mid-Sized SUV|
|4WD System||Symmetrical AWD,
|Real Time AWD||i-ACTIVE AWD||F/4WD, Low, Locking,
Terrain Management System
|Under the Hood|
|Aspiration||Turbo, Direct Injection||Normally Aspirated, EFI||Normally Aspirated, Direct Injection||Turbo, Common Rail|
|Layout / # of Cylinders||F4||I4||I4||I5|
|BHP @ rpm||240 @ 5,600||185 @ 7,000||188 @ 5,700||200 @ 3,000|
|Nm @ rpm||350 @ 2,400-3,600||220 @ 4,400||250 @ 4,000||470 @ 1,750-2,500|
|Fuel / Min. Octane||Gasoline / 95~||Gasoline / 91~||Gasoline / 91~||Diesel|
|Dimensions and Weights|
|Curb Weight (kg)||1,620||1,570||1,586||N/A|
|Ramp Breakover Angle||21.0||21.0||21.0||21.5|
|Ground Clearance (mm)||220||173||210||225|
|Water Wading Depth (mm)||500||N/A||N/A||800|