I have been owner of the new e-Boxer Forester bit more than one month for now. So I decided to write experiences of that ownership. It will be interesting to see how opinions changes over time. So these thoughts and experiences are from 5 week ownership. Most likely after more time has passed, more experiences are provided here. Stay tuned!

Fuel consumption

This topic I covered already quite well. I have long term tracking in one post and then I tried to optimize my speed in winter conditions to achieve as low fuel consumption figures as possible. To put this in short. Forester hybrid is not the most fuel economical car available. It is not the worst possible but combined with small tank (48 liters) capacity cruising range is somewhere around 500km.

Speed km/hFuel consumption / 100km
City driving (including stop and go)9.5 liters
806 liters
1007.2 liters

Above numbers are not calculated from the fuel pump. These are observations from different driving conditions. However table should give a very rough idea of the fuel economy.

Floor mats

Every car has floor mats. Nothing special in this. However Subaru sells special protection for the back seats as accessory. I bought trunk floor mat and also these rear seat protectors. Interestingly these are attached using tape. One thing I am missing from accessory catalog is floor mats, that could cover also center hump. When kid wants to use different rear door to exit the car. He might touch with dirty shoes the center hump. So there I miss extra protection.

Interior

Interior in general is well designed. Materials feels good. Even one friend of mine (BMW owner) wondered that Subaru has gone quite far with their interior design. His opinion was that there was a presence of premium feeling. In my opinion we are not quite yet there, and there is not actually need even. Subaru is rugged and long lasting vehicle. Materials feels just fine as it is now. Only that brown interior could be offered as an option in all European markets. Not just only in Central Europe.

Otherwise interior design works OK. There is two issues at the moment. If you own larger phone, it doesn’t fit properly to the place where Subaru engineers probably thought its place is. Especially if you want to connect cable to your phone and use Apple CarPlay. Other issue I have noticed is that the elbow rest could be sliding model. Now it is in fixed position and that is just a bit in wrong place for me. Not a big issue though.

Offroad and X-Mode 2.0

This I hope that I have chance to do bit more! Maybe some overlanding and that kind of stuff. So far I have experience of gravel roads with very big holes. In these situations great ground clearance is more important than AWD. However e.g. X-Mode is more than enhancing AWD capabilities. It has also hill decent control. That I have used quite a few times already. It helps greatly in steep hills that are covered with ice. Please be aware that you cannot enable X-Mode in very high speeds. Slow down to 20km/h and enable it then. Or just from stand still.

Problems and issues

GPF issue

First real issue came after driving only 2300 km! This was related to the Gasoline Particulate Filter (GPF). I am pretty sure this was triggered due to my short distance driving. Although there is long distance driving every now and then too. But it seems that after piling up enough emissions, system tries to do regen process. At this point there is little information available how the system really works. However I am sharing experiences of this in a separate blog post.

Driver Monitoring System issue

Real problem I did experience once was with the Driver Monitoring System. It kept me reminding all the time. Purpose for the system is that it ensures driver drivers car, and does not do something else. E.g. driver is not texting. If it detects this type of situation, it alerts to the dash “Please keep eyes on road”.

I was really driving and not doing anything else than that. Car kept constantly alerting me to keep eyes on the road. That was fixed by restarting car. For some reason this reminds me IT systems. “Have you tried to turn it off and on again?”. Hopefully Subaru that won’t happen often and Subaru fixes it in upcoming software versions.

Apple CarPlay issue

Apple CarPlay has some unrealibility issues. Button has been grayed out now twice. It is two times too much already. So I was unable to access CarPlay at all. Like phone was disconnected. No matter if I connected cable again. Only restarting car resolved the issue on both times.

Third time when I experienced similar behavior, I was able to access CarPLay by unlocking iPhone. Usually it just works when connecting the cable.

User error

First I though that there is a bug in back seat reminder. It works so that when you shut down the engine, car reminds you to check also back seat that nothing important is not forgotten there. E.g. a kid during hot day. This reminder didn’t come always. But I found a reason. It detects if the back doors was opened in the first place, before driving anywhere. So in these cases car assumes that there is nothing, if the backdoor stayed closed. Logical.

Cargo space

After one weekend trip I can say that there is plenty of room available. My wife tends to take quite much stuff even for the shortest vacation. Evaluating by that, there is more cargo capacity than we need.

Driving

This is difficult part to measure. But in my opinion Forester feels very relaxing but at the same time very responsive to drive. On interesting thing I have noticed that driving in a heavy rain is almost like driving in perfect conditions. I don’t have much experience of other brands than Toyota (and now of course Subaru). But behind Toyota’s steering wheel, this type of experiences or feelings never came. This is not only my opinion. I have seen similar comments from other Forester owners too.

Where Forester really shines are curvy gravel roads. I think these are the conditions where their AWD is beneficial. However, don’t get it wrong here. This is not any rally Subaru. It is just fun to drive those gravel roads. Goes there with a big confidence.

In “Driving” category I want to highlight engine power also. Virtually every reviewer or test driver thinks that Forester is under powered. In my experience there is enough power available for merging highways or passing slower traffic. I know that many people justify more powerful cars as a safety feature. That passing is more easier and shorter distance/visibility is required. That thinking might lead to more risky situations when it is safe to overtake someone. That is a different story however. Just wanted to point out that everyday driving situations goes fine with the e-Boxer.

One thing what has been asked in the comments section is how smoothly switch between electric and gasoline engine is. Answer is that it depends. During driving, when the car is moving. It is very smooth switch between power sources. But when you are stopped e.g. in traffic lights. It feels like bit like a start / stop system on regular car. Just a bit smoother. So on those moments it is noticeable.