It seems to be an unspoken rule that families should have one car for the city and another for out-of-town trips. Too bad in our case, owning a car is already a luxury and owning two cars means either you’re a pretentious debt-ridden douche trying to keep up with the Dela Cruzes or you (il)legitimately have an income that allows you to own at least two cars.
As for the out-of-towner car, there was a time when AUVs (like the Tamaraw FX, the successor Revo, Adventure and the like) were popular choices. AUVs aren’t really popular these days so any car with considerable ride height actually qualifies. The illusion that you also need a big car to protect the family gave SUVs a real good run as the family out-of-town vehicle of choice.
Now what if you plan to just keep one car. Condo living’s popular these days and parking spaces cost a fortune so you only have a space for a single car. That’s where baby SUVs and CUVs (Crossover Utility Vehicles) like the Hyundai Tucson, and the Mazda CX-7 come into play. But here’s another option – the Subaru Forester. It claims to be an SUV, but quite frankly, it’s really more like a station wagon.
Subarus, in the UK, had been marketed primarily for those living in the country. They were first sold in dealerships that also sold trucks and tractors earning a reputation that they’re for the wet and rough and tumble terrains. What better reputation would you need for our metro roads, you think?
But get this. Like many SUVs these days, the Forester isn’t exactly one for the great outdoors. True SUVs should have the grunt and the cogs to deal with steep inclines (low range gears and 4×4) but many of the marketed SUVs don’t have them anymore. Probably why only choice cars like Land Rovers qualify as true SUVs these days. But a Land Rover as family car? You have got to be bad-ass capitalist, an oligarch or a politician to own one.
So what about the Forester? Sure it gets a s 2.5L turbocharged gasoline with Subie’s famed all-wheel drive system which promises to be quite the exceptional performance. Still, the car wouldn’t really go off-road so for all practical purposes it’s a pretty nippy station wagon. We don’t have forests here, we have jungles both rural and urban.
And what seems to be it’s case as a viable family transporter would fall apart once evaluated in terms of practicality. Anything that isn’t a Toyota, a Nissan, a Honda, a Mitsubishi, or a Korean car automatically qualifies as a “luxury” car at least in perception. The case is true for Subaru. Sure, a Forester can be had for Php 1.78 million but the maintenance costs will kill you. Parts are damn expensive and fat chance you’d be able to readily source surplus parts from Banawe.
Something to deal with the potholes of metro roads with the size to intimidate other bastards on the road, be spacious
to fit the wife and the kids, and can handle the long stretches of rural highways, sure the Subaru would work fine. But in a country where, say, a Mitsubishi Montero might just as well be more practical and economical, why bother with the Subie?
Still want one? Check out Motor Image’s (Philippine dealer) Subaru Forester page.