Review: 2006 Subaru Forester 2.5 XT

Go to MYRIDE.COM for more car videos.More power, revised handling, new features, and updated styling are part of a significant Subaru Forester update for 2006. More power on normally aspirated Foresters comes about because of a new variable valve-lift system. horsepower for this 2.5-liter flat four is now 173 (up from 165 hp in 2005), and Subaru says real-world drivability has been improved. The turbocharged engine in the 2.5 XT Limited model is also more powerful for 2006; it receives a 20-hp Boost for a 230-hp total, and it produces fewer tailpipe emissions. Minor revisions to the manual and automatic transmissions are also part of the 2006 upgrade. Other mechanical changes this year include a slight Boost to ground clearance, a retuned suspension (for sharper handling and a smoother ride, says Subaru) and improved brake feel. For the interior of this small crossover SUV, Subaru added a rear fold-down armrest, reshaped the rear seat for additional thigh support, installed a new multi-function center console and put in new tie-downs for the cargo area. The upscale L.L. Bean Edition trim also has widened water-resistant matting for the cargo area and a new Momo steering wheel. Finishing up the 2006 Subaru Forester alterations is a styling refresh that gives the Forester a less blocky-looking front fascia, new taillights and larger exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals.

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