The Beatles 1967 hit, “Getting Better” was one of the last songs created from scratch by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and was included on the album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Its production on March 23rd, 1967, had been delayed two days when Lennon mistakenly ingested LSD instead of an intended upper – something he typically did to get the recording work completed. Provenance of the song goes back to 1964 when session drummer, Jimmy Nicol, subbed for an ailing Ringo Starr on tour and when asked about his extreme case of nerves would reply that he was “getting better’. He made that response so often that it became a joke phrase amongst members of the biggest band in the world.
The song’s lyrics include the line, “I have to admit it’s getting better,” and relative to the Subaru Forester, I do. In the spring of 2011, I tested the then-current Forester, so therefore had a point of reference for analyzing this 2014 model. And I’ll have to admit that this new Ice silver metallic Forester was impressive. It had an M.S.R.P. of $33,220, somewhat north of thirty thousand dollars just like the Subaru I drove two years ago. This 2014 Forester had a base of $29,995 with option packag 30 for $2,400 and freight charges of $825. The package included keyless entry, pushbutton starter, pre-collision braking system, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and HID headlamps. Standard on the Touring Forester was dual-zone climate control, GPS navigation, satellite radio, Harman & Kardon 440 watt stereo, Bluetooth technology, 10-way power driver bucket, heated front seats, power windows/locks/mirrors/tailgate, power moonroof, tilt/telescope, and black leather upholstery.
Subaru sedans and SUV’s all have “boxer,” horizontally opposed engines, and this one was a four cylinder, 2.5 liter model with 170 horsepower and 174 lb. ft. of torque. The all-wheel drive power train got its motion through a CVT transmission – another superb one like last week’s test car had. Fuel economy ratings for the Subaru are 24 and 32, with my observance at 27.5. Zero to sixty acceleration of this vehicle is reportedly 7.5 seconds with a top speed of 120 mph. Handling and guidance of the Forester was an improvement over the 2011 model.
Styling of the 2014 Forester was slightly updated and aerodynamics are improved as is cargo space inside the five passenger vehicle. Wheels are 17” five-spoke alloys fitted with Michelin 225/60R17 all season radials. Weight comes in at 3,433 lbs., length is 180.9”, width is 70.7”, and the height is 68.2”.
I enjoyed testing the new 2014 Forester and feel the company has managed to improve a top seller (80,000 units per year). Regarding the 2011/2012 model, it’s a good thing that Subaru didn’t “let it be.”