It was a super long time to wait this car. Longest wait ever I had when buying a new car. Wait is now finally over! Time to give the first impressions after driving first 500 km.

October 2019 I test drove the Chinese preproduction car. This one is of course a real production unit, meant for the European markets. Feature wise there is not that much difference. However very pleasant surprise was that powertrain felt more refined than on that test car I tested. I might be wrong but that is how I felt it on the road. Overtaking for example was very easy and it didn’t feel that engine is working too hard. Car is still not fast as said many times before. Still this was a very nice surprise that if there is a need to go faster, you can do it with this car.

Fuel economy

So the first trip with the car was little shy 500 km. Roads consisted almost only main roads / highways with speed limits 80 to 100 km/h. With a full tank car showed 550 km cruising range at the start. I guess car’s onboard computer needs to learn my driving style to estimate this more accurately. Trip meter showed 7.1 liters per 100 km fuel consumption. This converts to 33 US mpg and 39.8 UK mpg respectively. Let’s see how this evolves later on. Decent figures anyways for a big car.

Features

On one coffee pause I managed to register myself to Driver Monitoring System. Car now greets me when I enter into the car. Nice gimmick but gives a positive vibe anyways. During the driving I wondered how to change different status screens e.g. on the top display versus smaller display next to tachometer. Quickly I found meaning of different arrow buttons and info buttons. Also disabling lane assistance helped a lot. Maybe I try it later but now I wanted to drive car myself! Also adjusting distance to the car in front of you when using adaptive cruise control is essential. Easy once I figured out that there is 4 different distances you can set. All visible on the dash.

Driving

Not sure was it this Torque Vectoring or what but car was a really joy to drive on curvy road. Just need to test car on curvy gravel road and see how it goes there. Very promising indeed! On the straight new SGP platform shines too. Ride is soft but not too soft. There is a presence of firmness when required. Steering wheel is nice to touch and turning it feels logical.

Conclusion

I am very very happy that I waited this car and did not choose RAV4 over Forester e-Boxer. Specially now when I noticed that from performance wise car is better than I tested few months ago. Which was my top worry at the beginning when I was deciding which car to get.

1000 km update (25.1.)

I have owned car now little bit over a week. I think it is time to give some updates, do I still feel same than when I first drove car. I would say it is even better! There is very little negative things so far, if any. So far we haven’t had very severe weathers. One day was bit more windy and Forester was very confident and wind did not affect to it. Then one day was very slippery and I had a chance to test first time X-Mode. Multi function display showed me +9 degree hill. Road was tarmac but it was extremely icy. I stopped at middle of the hill and then accelerated carefully. Forester moved like there was no ice underneath. Now eagerly waiting a proper winter to be arrived. We are still without snow. Few months left winter time. There is still a chance to get some snow.

All seems to be very good by now. No “shopping hangover” in sight!