Published on January 9th, 2019 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Subaru Forester e-Boxer first drive impression

Yes, Subaru may be a little late to the hybrid party but being late means taking into consideration all the ‘mistakes’ that the early adopters might have made and making sure you get your product to market immediately as a segment leader. This is why Subaru engineers have released an all new family hybrid vehicle with Subaru’s all wheel drive technology still intact for surefooted handling.

Meet the all-new Forester e-Boxer, a hybrid model of the brand’s popular SUV. This petrol-electric mid-sized SUV boasts a proprietary dual-engine mechanism, which consists of a lithium ion battery pack that activates at lower speeds to conserve fuel and a petrol engine that kicks in at higher speeds to provide seamless driving pleasure.

Space is also not compromised by the Forester e-Boxer’s greener drivetrain. The hybrid model, like the All-New Forester, rides on the Subaru Global Platform, which has been designed from the start to accommodate conventional, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric powertrains. This results in a negligible difference in height of the cargo floor between the hybrid and the petrol versions, enabling the Forester e-Boxer to offer more than 500L of cargo space.

Subaru Japan claims fuel consumption on the Japanese government’s JC08 test cycle of an impressive 5.4 litres per 100km. The e-Boxer’s fuel consumption should be about 40% of the standard petrol driven version.

On our quick drive, we noticed the better acceleration from standstill and the provided drive circuit delivered the same surefooted handling that the Forester has delivered in the past. With tight turns and quick slaloms on the open course, this hybrid Forester returned a focused and well damped drive with no issues. Even when we decided to be a little ‘silly’ behind the steering wheel and ‘push’ the e-Boxer around the corners, it kept its tail in tight and we did not need to ‘fight’ with the steering wheel to stay in control.

Scheduled for sale in the Singapore market starting this February, this Forester e-Boxer will compete head to head with the Toyota C-HR hybrid and Honda Vezel (HR-V) hybrid on pricing since there is no CR-V hybrid and CX5 hybrid on sale as yet.

For Malaysia, this Forester e-Boxer launch and price is still pending the announcement of 2019 National Automotive Policy (NAP) incentives.

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