A lesbian icon from day one, the Subaru Forester gets the kind of makeover that doesn’t get in the way of its virtues, says Gaywheels.com’s Marty Padgett.
If a car can be shorthand for the lesbian community, that car is the Subaru Forester. Willing to tackle all sorts of dicey situations, able to carry untold amounts of stuff in its backpack but easy to sport around town, it’s like a woman-appreciating superhero in sheetmetal.
Unlike most of the gals we know, though, the Forester’s been a little frumpwagon, with dowdy styling. The only runway this thing would walk might be at O’Hare, not in Milan.
It’s needed an intervention in the form of at least one queer eye — and for 2009 the Forester gets exactly that. It’s no fashion plate, but it’s a tall skinny latte of a crossover now, with a delicate face and a lean body that runs counter to the bloated SUVs that guys tend to drool over. The new Forester is bigger than before, but it disguises its additional room on the outside while granting your friends better leg and headroom front and back.
You need an SUV but you’d prefer not to crush the remaining Dorito-sized bits of green earth into early oblivion. To that end, the engines motivating the new Forester are both four-cylinders, one turbocharged and one not. The turbo car is truly quick, the standard one just adequately so, but both turn in city fuel economy in the mid-20s, almost double what a HUMMER gets. Five-speed manual and four-speed automatic gearboxes are available, while all-wheel drive is
Subaru says the “U” in SUV gets neglected with other vehicles in the class. The Forester? No way. It’s Sasha Cohen-flexible: the second row of seats folds down and there are all sorts of storage bins throughout the cabin. The center console’s big enough to hold a laptop, a man-
purse or a set of climbing pitons.
It’s a nice package, and the Forester is less expensive than before. Marching up the pricing ladder from the base $19,995 model, the 2.5X version with a manual gearbox and a premium package starts at $22,495. The 2.5X L.L. Bean edition, with leather, auto climate control and a
power driver seat, starts from $25,995. Turbo models start at $26,195.
Subaru showed us how the Forester will carry more than 2000 granola bars if you wedge them in just right. They were sort of joking about it, but maybe you’re not? You’re out, you’re proud–and let’s face it, you have a lot of baggage. Finally you can own it, and lug it around
Subaru is a gay-friendly company.
Read other Subaru reviews by Gaywheels.com’s writers