What is it?
An updated version of the third-generation Subaru Forester, with a new 2.0-litre diesel engine at its heart. Subaru makes bold claims for it’s new powerplant, which is linked to a six-speed manual gearbox. Officially it returns 7.2 per cent better fuel economy (up to an official 47.9mpg), lower emissions (155g/km), increased torque (258lb ft, accessible from 600 to 2400rpm, 200rpm lower than before) and improved refinement.
Improvements are put down to the adoption of a new common-rail fuel-injection system, a more efficient turbo-charging system, new camshaft timing, an improved cooling system, the use of lighter connecting rods and the use of a smaller alternator.
Other changes are minor to the point of being of little relevance, but for the eagle-eyed there’s a new chrome finish on the grille, more compact wing mirrors, a new instrument binnacle and a new design of steering wheel.
The model we’re testing here is the top-of-the-range 2.0D XS NavPlus, which starts at a hearty £29,070. More on that later, but that price does buy a car laden with kit, including sat-nav, reversing camera, CD player, leather seats, an electric driver’s seat and keyless entry.