You might not have realised it, but the Subaru’s best-selling SUV, the Forester, has been in production for over 20 years now. The Forester was one of Subaru’s first emerging crossover SUVs – preceded only by the larger Outback – built on the platform of a regular sedan, but with lifted suspension and a higher seating position.
Introduced in Japan in early 1997, the first-generation Forester filled the space in Subaru’s lineup for a small crossover between the compact-sized Impreza and the mid-size Legacy/Outback. It offered all the benefits of a full-sized SUV when driving on uneven terrain, yet offered excellent fuel economy and remained easy to manoeuvre around small cities.
Being based on the immensely popular Impreza sedan had its benefits, with numerous shared engines and parts. Buyers were drawn in particular to the turbocharged variant of the Forester, which was mechanically similar to the Impreza WRX and had equal potential for modification.