Remember when Subaru defined blue and yellow paint schemes, big rear wings and gold wheels? That was Subaru and, more specifically, its rally heritage. Following on from the much-loved, rally bred WRX and STI sedans, the more practical side of Subaru has in recent times been thrust to the fore with models such as the Outback and XV. The Forester on test here is the pinnacle of modern-day Subaru’s intentions to harness all of that dust-biting might and package it into an urban romper that can also duke it out on the rough stuff. It takes a few steers to discover that this fifth-generation Forester has truly gone upscale and sophisticated, with a step-up in refinement, size and docility on past iterations. This new premium feel is typified by a spacious and luxurious cabin underscored by a new digital layout of a pair of split information screens, the largest being a TFT and home to an app-led engagement with the car’s many features. Connectivity is right up there with modern expectat...

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