2000 Subaru Forester Reviews
Subaru invented the concept of car-based hybrid SUVs with the Legacy Outback, a station wagon tricked out to look like a sport ute. The Forester is a bigger step in the same direction. Using the platform for the 4WD Impreza station wagon, Subaru added a taller, wider, longer body with SUV styling attributes and more ground clearance than a Ford Explorer, and presto another sport utility vehicle is born.
Though it resembles truck-based SUVs, the Forester is classified as a car under government safety standards. The big changes for 2000 are that cruise control is standard on the base L model and all Subarus now come with free roadside assistance for three years.
Giving the Forester 7.5 inches of ground clearance helps make it feel like a full-fledged SUV behind the wheel because the driver sits taller in the saddle than in a car. Forester holds five people, and the split rear seat folds to create nearly 65 cubic feet of cargo room. The rear seatback also reclines, which is an unusual touch.
Standard fog lights, two-tone paint and a roof rack give Forester overt SUV styling cues. Want an even more aggressive look? Subaru dealers can install protective underbody bars, a grille brush guard and a differential protector. Accessories also are available for hauling bikes, skis and kayaks.
Under the Hood
Subaru uses horizontally opposed engines in which cylinders are arranged opposite each other instead of in line or a V configuration. Forester has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 165 horsepower, which Subaru brags is more than rivals such as the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4. The standard 4WD system is permanently engaged and apportions power among the four wheels as needed for optimal traction. Subaru says 4WD and 7.5 inches of ground clearance give the Forester true go-anywhere capability.