It has been very surprising for me that this blog has already some regular readers and very active participation on the comments section. Some of us have received their 2020 Subaru Forester e-Boxer already. So experiences starts to build up and we can share those through this blog. In this blog post I will share experiences what readers have of their new hybrid car. Real users, not any professional auto reviewers. So if you wish your e-Boxer to be featured in this page, you can contact directly through the contact page. Or make it simple and just comment down below. Provide information how the new car feels, e-Boxer fuel economy / mpg is interesting topic too, anything what comes to mind and could be useful to others.

Kees Corner

Kees from the Netherlands has honor to be the first one to share experiences of his new car. And I must say that colour looks fantastic! So many great pictures of the first adventures with the brand new car.

I have only driven 50 kilometers or so up to now, but already I can tell the e-boxer has enough power for me. It accelerates quite nicely. My previous car was a Mercedes E Class, so more powerful, but the Foz does what it needs to do, on top of which it can go places few other cars can 😉 It is noisier inside than my previous car, but I knew that in advance and it doesn’t bother me.  I very much like the combination of the Sepia bronze and the brown leather interior – it’s very classy. Connecting the car to the phone via bluetooth was very easy. Using adaptive cruise control was easy and intuitive too. Going through the numerous settings will be quite a job, especially cos you have to go through 500+ pages of the manual to find out what there is, what you can personalise in the settings.  I am happy with the Geolandars. Will be driving to the south of France next week, and it feels good to have tires that can deal with any environment. 

So far, so good 😉


Road trip to France

Kees continues to update his experiences of the gorgeous new car. This time he had a road trip to France with his wife. He also wrote a mini review of the e-Boxer. I agree with him about the high revs. It sounds bit same experience as I had with MY2013 Forester in German, Saxen road trip. It helped a bit to keep car on the S mode during hill climbing sessions. But now back to Kees and his review of the e-Boxer.

So there were 92 kilometres on the clock and then the Foz took me and my wife from (close to) Amsterdam to the south of France and back again. 3500 kilometres later, we’re back and I thought you guys might like to hear how it went, car-wise of course.

On the downside: sometimes it takes a lot of revs to go uphill. Our trip included Grenoble and Chambery, and the mountains around those places, so uphill also means up-mountain. But still, the Forester does not inspire speeds over 130 km, and would be hard put to go any faster when going uphill. I touched 6000 revs several times. Put differently: going fast, and going uphill, are two areas in which the Foz does not shine. The whining sound is a warning and means, slow down, go back to 90 km per hour…. And at 9.4 litres/100km, not economical to drive.

On the upside: the above was the only real downside

  1. The seats are great: I’m a tall guy, and in the previous cars (Mercedes, Volvo, Infiniti) both my back and my neck would start hurting after a few hours. Now, in the Foz, the 10-hour return trip in one go (with 4 petrol stops) was a joy!! 
  2. The off-road capability is awesome. We went up and down muddy forest tracks, farm tracks and mountain tracks, through meadows and some puddles. It was all easypeasy for the Foz. Indeed, had we been in any other car but a Jeep/Landrover, one of our adventures might have seen us stuck and crying for a tractor.
  3. The turning circle is really small, which proved very helpful off-road on several occasions.
  4. The premium sound system is excellent. 

What more to say? Lots of things, but I should have written them down and forgot. So, if you have any questions, perhaps I can answer them with my 3500 km behind me. I will end with four small tips though:

  1. With the S/I button in sports mode, the Foz actually pushes you back in your seat a bit when accelerating from zero. Well done Subaru 😉
  2. The mud protector mats were something I’d negotiated – thankfully, cos going off-road means getting dirty and these things were very useful indeed.
  3. Yesterday, I managed to get Auto Android to work (at least, enough for now). I advise you to do the same, or the I-phone alternative of course. Google Maps will be better than the Subaru navigator, which oddly sometimes indicates non-existent traffic jams and also sometimes suddenly starts to rethink the best route, meanwhile telling you that you should turn back, while you are heading in the right direction. Oh by the way, if you do use the Subaru system, have given your route and can’t widen the screen further than 200 metres, then touch the compass in the top-right corner (once or twice). Fixed 😉
  4. If you get into a foggy situation, turn on the fog light (easy; shows as a green fog light on your screen)). Once you’ve done that, you can turn on the rear fog light by giving the thicker band on the poke a turn in the forward direction. The band will come back automatically, but you will see a reddish fog light on your screen. Took me a while to figure that out…

This concludes my brief review. Perhaps the Adventurer will show a few of the photos I have sent him for atmosphere. Which reminds me: thanks Adventure Forester for the platform and the effort you put in!

Thank You Kees for the kind words! It’s my pleasure to maintain this web site. Best thanks for me is that this site engages the e-Boxer owners (or future owners) and together we are able to share hopefully some useful information to others.

Andrzej, PL

We are finally getting our cars to be delivered. Some of us got cars many weeks ago but seems that Poland and Finland got cars roughly at the same time. From pricing point of view Forester makes a lot of more sense in Poland. But then there is other factors to consider. E.g. very good platform, as Andrzej compares it to Volvo XC90. Personally I have never drove Volvo. Once traveled on backseat and that felt a smooth ride. But now, to the comments!

So, we got first experiences with new Forester e-boxer after first 600 km. I have to add, that never drove Forester before and not belong to “mad” Foresters fans. But also nor have any prejudgments. I used many cars privately and in the office. Lately for 13 years used Volvo XC 90 and last year hybrid Ford C Max, and naturally will compare Forester to the both of them and cars we tested before we bought it. 

Forester look like Forester, but his current design is disputable. It has many not necessary shiny outside decorations, which are in contradiction with terrain dedication of this car. Forester looks not so nasty like new RAV4, but is far away from the best designed in class Kodiaq. Visibility from inside is really good. Places for travelers are not bed, average in class. Are quite comfortable and roomy. Driver’s chair electric regulation is acceptable, but without back regulation, which is exceptional in bad sense in the class. Steering wheel is OK. Cockpit instead is overload. Upper screen could be eliminated without any problem. Instead of it Subaru could offer HUD (Honda CRV got it). Main screen gives good information and its quality is not bed. Information system is to complicated. Half of information is not useful. Three ways of access to three screens is crazy.

Used materials, plastics, textiles etc. are nice and look not cheap (exceptional are outside doorknobs, which seems to be made from cheapest possible plastic). Strange think inside is old style back mirror with simple handy adjustment. All competitors in the class have photochromic mirrors. Foresters sold on American market got also photochromic mirrors. Subaru probably think that Europeans are not wort for it. 

Suspension is surprisingly very good, close even to Volvo XC90 suspension. In one important point is even better – Volvo didn’t have realy permanent all wheels’ drive. Suspension is trustfully, stable, comfortable and quiet! 
But engine system is weakest point of Forester e-boxer. With 150 HP of gas engine (in fact 147 HP) and “symbolic” electrical engine is like an elephant on the road. Ford C Max for example has 188 HP in gas engine, 18 kW in electrical engine, and weigh app. 300 kg less. Comparable to Forester is like a panther on the road. The CVT gear box works similar in both cars. Till 100 km/h are quiet, but during acceleration to higher speeds they make rising noise. Hybrid Ford is completely silent till 70 km/h. Forester surprisingly isn’t completely quiet on lower speeds, on electrical drive. Service guy’s told me that it would be probably better after 2000 km. We will see.

Acceleration of Forester at app.12 sec. till 100 km/h is shame for Subaru company! It is worst result in class. Subaru made big affords to made best in class passive secure car, but seems to forget active security. You should be careful and aware of it. Have to adopt driving style to this limitation.
Fuel consumption is normal (main hybrid competitors: at RAV4 is app. 30% bigger, at Honda CRV is 20% lower), but fuel tank driving distance is catastrophic! It’s a shame, Forester got only 48 liters’ tank, which gives only app. 500 km ride distance! In fact, due to suggested reasonable running of the car it is only 400 km. distance.

It should be improved noise reduction. Especially noise from gas engine and wind. Before we decided to buy Forester we had some tests drives with other cars similar class. Currently other producers are making huge efforts to reduce noise inside the cabin. Noise has important influence of this how tired are you during driving especially on longer trips. In our opinion the best results got Ford EDGE. Ford got fantastic noise reduction speakers system. Honda CVR also got it, but not so good. Kodiak try to reduce noise offering laminated windows glass, as an option. Subaru is doing nothing on this area! It’s shame, even in highest trim level with Karman speakers they didn’t offer noise reduction system or at least laminated glas.

We choose Forester because of important for us advantages: best price in class (in Poland), real all-wheel drive, safeness and reliability, comfortableness for all passengers (we got three children), terrain dedication (we are living on country side) – and so far Forester fulfill this expectations.

Jozef, Slovakia

Great to see another user experience insight, which we can add to this blog! This time it is Jozef from Slovakia. Based on his comments, it sounds that he a right decision when choosing e-Boxer Forester and he is very happy to the hybrid car indeed!

Hello everyone, I would like to briefly summarize our first impressions from the time our car arrived. We have it for few weeks now. We were buying it through the importer, opted for the middle trim level called STYLE (the best price/performance ratio), dark grey metallic colour. The pricelist price was set to EUR 36,480, including metallic colour.

We have already travelled about 1,000 km. We´ve been driving almost everywhere, in the town, highway or country roads. We have fallen in love with the car and are happy about it every day. Actually, we are even more keen than expected. Anyway, I have to note that the car is great despite its few shortcomings. Even our friends, who took a ride or tried it were surprised, gave us the positive feedback, were speaking only nicely. What I appreciate the most about the car is seating behind the steering wheel and visibility from the vehicle, comfort and its driving properties as such. Spaciousness, great LED lights, safety elements are the matter of course….the power is sufficient for me – I am not the racer-driver type – so it is ok. Other great things such as apple car play, voice control, air-conditioning etc. Our current consumption is 7.8 l/km.

Andrzej was writing a lot about shortcomings in his post. I was kind of disillusioned from it as he was writing mostly about what he did not like about the car and he concluded advantages into last three lines 🙂 I would like to add here: I am not a warm-blooded proponent and advocate of Subaru no matter what. However, I must admit that one question came to my mind: Why did Andrzej actually buy the car when he matters so many things? Of course, I don´t claim that what he writes is not true, but I was just surprised. Me, personally consider few of those things shortcomings and agree with him but not so much to say it is a shame etc. It is Subaru that has made its decision and we are not able to change it. If you are interested, I can add some more insights in the future.