Subaru Forester XT has gained popularity among a section of motorists in Kenya.
The XT is the turbocharged version of the Forester. A turbocharger is a machine that increases the power in an engine.
According to Subaru Kenya, the vehicle can accelerate from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in 7.5 seconds, which is impressive for motorists who need that extra assurance while overtaking.
Reviewers write that models equipped with the turbocharger are smoother from a stop and feel quite powerful.
The XT comes in a 2,000cc four-cylinder petrol engine that puts out 250 horsepower, and a maximum speed of 220 kilometres per hour.
In Kenya, a foreign-used 2015 Subaru XT model would set you back between Sh2.6 million and Sh3.2 million.
The 2015 version, which is the unit being sold widely at Kenyan bazaars currently, does about 10 kilometres per litre in the city or 12 kilometres per litre on the highway.
The fuel economy could be higher or lower than the estimates depending on driving habits. Aggressive drivers tend to get bad fuel economy.
Subaru Kenya says the fuel economy on aggressive drivers could go to as low as 8.9 kilometres per litre.
The five-seater vehicle is fairly heavy, with a kerb weight (weight of an unloaded vehicle), of 1,647 kilograms. It can comfortably transport a maximum of 680-kg load.
The Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) has a ground clearance of 8.7 inches on kerb weight.
The 2015 Forester has standard all-wheel drive. Car experts say the Forester XT has a compliant, car-like ride, with most observing that it has a controlled handling and composed body motions. However, it doesn’t feel exclusively sporty.
The XT stands on 18-inch rims, and boasts of a high grade multi-function screen display.
Mutinda, who sells foreign-used cars at Smart Auto in Parklands, Nairobi, says the Forester XT is the ideal vehicle for occasional off-road trips and family use.
Reviewers say the vehicle handles well on sharp bends due to its weight, streamlined body frame and re-engineered suspension.
The car offers bigger legroom compared to its predecessors, and a 520-litre boot space.
XT owners, who have driven the Subaru Tecnica International or the WRX versions of the automaker, say it’s less powerful compared to the latter two.
Some of the documented common problems linked to the Subaru Forester XT include regular engine failure, high oil consumption, broken coil springs, shuddering and jerking, transmission problems, and regular suspension challenges.
The 2015 model is documented to have recorded a high number of engine-related problems, while the 2014 version experienced transmission issues at a higher rate. The 2016 make, on the other hand, has a high caseload of suspension issues, while the 2018 model recorded a high number of electrical problems.
In 2019, Subaru, a Japanese automaker, announced that it will discontinue the production of the Forester 2 litre XT turbocharged model.
Subaru has been offering a Forester with a turbocharged engine since 2003 and the all-new fifth-generation 2019 Forester marked a drastic departure from the sporty model.
Subaru Corporation’s senior general manager, Tomohiro Ishitobi, said they discontinued the 2 litre XT because “sportiness does not depend on power”.
The subsequent models ride on the Subaru Global Platform and the automaker says it has all the sportiness it needs.