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    Review: 2015 Lexus LX 570


    • Old School SUV, With Some Luxuries


    The full-size luxury SUV marketplace are full of models that will never venture off payment. Such models include the Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator, and Mercedes-Benz GL that have either basic to somewhat advanced four-wheel drive systems. Then there is the Range Rover which boasts a number of off-road technologies and equipment to get you through some of murkiest conditions on earth. Sure, you never see one tackle an off-road trail unless its featured in a promo video, but it’s nice to know the model can get you through. It makes some wonder if there is a competitor that can match the Range Rover in terms of off-road ability and luxuries. Well Lexus believes they have that competitor in the form of the LX 570. I spent a week in it to see if it can compete.

     

    The LX 570 is the sister model to the Toyota Land Cruiser, so a fair number of items are shared between the two. For example, the basic shape of the body are similar. Both models boast similar profiles and key design items such as a large glass area and a split-opening tailgate. At least Lexus’ designers should be credited for trying to make the LX look somewhat different from the Land Cruiser. Such details include flared out fenders boasting 20-inch wheels, and a set of running boards. The front-end gets the brand’s distinctive spindle grille and a set of headlights with LEDs. The addition of the spindle grille seems out of place when compared to the rest of the LX’s design.

     


    2015 Lexus LX 570 11


    The interior of the LX 570 further differentiates from the Land Cruiser thanks to a new dashboard layout and some luxury touches. Step inside and you’ll notice the large amount of leather and wood trim used throughout. You’ll also notice a large number of buttons and switches throughout the dash and center console. These control aspects of the four-wheel drive and other systems to get you through the muck. The latest version of Lexus’ Enform infortainment system is here, minus the mouse controller. Instead you have a fair number of buttons and a touchscreen to help you move around. It takes a few moments to wrap your head around where everything is, but once it clicks, the system becomes quite easy to use. However, the system is starting to look somewhat dated when compared to competitors. Plus, I want to ask the person who thought it was a great idea to put the fan control in the system and not have a dedicated knob or buttons for it.

     

    Passengers up front get power adjustments with memory, along with heat and cooling. I found the front seats to provide excellent support and the heat was very nice for the extreme cold that I found myself driving the LX in. Second row passengers will find an abundance of head and legroom, along with heated seats and a two-zone climate control system. There is a third row, but that’s best left in case of emergencies as legroom is minimal. The third-row also presents a problem for cargo space. With the seats down, the LX 570 only has 15.5 cubic feet of space. Fold the seats up and space increases to 45 cubic feet, but the seats are still in the cargo area. Now you might wonder why the seats don’t fold into the floor. The answer is the four-wheel drive and off-road equipment takes up all that space.

     

    Thoughts on Engine and Ride Are on the Next Page


     

    Power for the LX 570 comes from a 5.7L V8 with 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic and a full-time four-wheel drive system. Tipping the scales at just a hair over 6,000 pounds, the V8 engine has its work cut out for it. But thanks to the engine having a decent amount of torque and a quick-shifting automatic, the LX is able to get out of its way with no sweat. Lexus should also be given credit for the amount of refinement done to the engine as it barely makes a murmur when accelerating. The big downside for this powertrain is fuel economy. The EPA rates the LX 570 at 12 City/17 Highway/14 Combined. I was lucky to get 13 MPG as my average for the week.

     

    Now as I mentioned earlier, the LX 570 comes packed with a fair amount of off-road equipment and tech. Here is what LX comes with:

    • Adjustable Suspension
    • Hill-Start Assist
    • Turn Assist: Brakes the outside wheel to provide a tighter turning radius
    • Crawl Control: Adjusts throttle and brakes when driving through difficult terrain



    2015 Lexus LX 570 7


    So how does the LX 570 fare off-road then? Well mother nature was happy to oblige by dropping a few inches of snow during my time with the vehicle. For the most part, the LX was able to drive through unplowed roads with no problem. The four-wheel drive system kept the vehicle moving while the adjustable suspension kept the body above the snow. One downside on the LX was the tires equipped. The Dunlop Grand Trek tires felt like they were scrambling for traction in the snow. If you’re planning to get an LX to drive in the snow, I would recommend swapping tires.

     


    Aside from this brief excursion into the snow, the LX did alright around town and on the expressway. With the suspension set in either comfort or normal, the LX glides over bumps and imperfections. Sound deadening is excellent with nary a hint of road and wind noise entering the cabin. Out on the curves, the LX shows signs of body lean. Even with the suspension set in the Sport setting, the lean is noticeable. Steering is slow, giving the feeling that you are driving a tractor and not an SUV.

     

    The Lexus LX 570 has the luxuries and off-road tech which puts it in the direct line of the Range Rover. But the poor gas mileage and cargo space make it an outlier in the full-size luxury SUV class. If you are planning to traverse the Rocky Mountains or go on a summer vacation in the Sahara desert, then the LX 570 makes sense. Otherwise, you have a fair number of competitors that offer better fuel economy and a few more luxuries for the price.

     

    Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the LX 570, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

     

     

    Year: 2015
    Make: Lexus
    Model: LX 570
    Trim: N/A
    Engine: 5.7L 32-Valve, DOHC, Dual VVT-i V8
    Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Full-Time Four-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 383 @ 5,600
    Torque @ RPM: 403 @ 3,600
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 12/17/14
    Curb Weight: 6,000 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Toyota, Aichi Japan
    Base Price: $82,930
    As Tested Price: $90,720 (Includes $925.00 Destination Charge)

     

    Options:
    Mark Levinson Audio System - $2,350
    Dual-Screen DVD Rear-Seat Entertainment System - $2,005
    Luxury Package - $1,510
    Intuitive Park Assist - $1,000

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    The full-size luxury SUV marketplace are full of models that will never venture off payment.

     

     

    Well they are all pretty damn expensive.

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      Toyota division posts best-ever January in RAV4, Highlander TCUV posted 17th consecutive month of best-ever monthly sales L/Certified by Lexus achieves best-ever January sales Plano, Texas (February 1, 2017) – Toyota Motor North America (TMNA), Inc., today reported its U.S. January 2017 sales of 143,048 vehicles, a decrease of 11.3 percent from January 2016 on a volume basis. With the same number of selling days in January 2017 compared to January 2016, sales were down 11.3 percent on a daily selling rate (DSR) basis. 
       
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      TOYOTA  U.S. SALES SUMMARY
      JANUARY 2017
        -- CURRENT MONTH --
      -- CALENDAR YEAR TO DATE --     
                          2017
      2016
      DSR %
      VOL %
      2017
      2016
      DSR %
      VOL %
      TOTAL TOYOTA
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      161,283
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      140,350
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      6
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      6
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      142.7
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      2,388
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      -100
      -100
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      2
      -100
      -100
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      3
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      -100
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      3
      -100
      -100
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      782
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      -100
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      782
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      -100
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      715
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      16.8
      16.8
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      16.8
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      22,362
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      -10.1
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      -10.1
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      23,612
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      26,848
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      -24.3
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      67,791
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      -17.2
      56,122
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      -17.2
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      622
      -36.8
      -36.8
      393
      622
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      -36.8
      IS
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      2,178
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      -34.7
      1,423
      2,178
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      RC
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      755
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      -40.8
      447
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      3,400
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      3,400
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      1,298
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      -67.5
      422
      1,298
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      LS
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      397
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      -29.5
      280
      397
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      1
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      -100
      0
      1
      -100
      -100
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      -100
      0
      1
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      -100
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      -97.8
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      -97.8
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      852
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      34.5
      1,146
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      273
      -0.4
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      273
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      7,232
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      -1.7
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      3,133
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      585
      -8.7
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      585
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      84,841
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      24
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      24
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    • By William Maley
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      Disclaimer: Chrysler Provided the Pacifica, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Chrysler
      Model: Pacifica
      Trim: Touring L
      Engine: 3.6L 24-Valve VVT V6
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 287 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 262 @ 4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/28/22
      Curb Weight: 4,330 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Windsor, Ontario
      Base Price: $34,495
      As Tested Price: $36,880 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
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      8 Passenger Seating - $495.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
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      But last year, Chrysler surprised everyone with a new minivan. Wearing the Pacifica nameplate, the van was unlike anything that had come before. It featured a sleek design, handsome interior, and the option of a plug-in hybrid powertrain. The bigger surprise was that Chrysler would be the only brand getting the new van. The Dodge Caravan would continue in its current incarnation for a few years to provide a low-cost option for those shoppers. Has Chrysler pulled a rabbit out its hat or has the unthinkable happened and the Pacifica trails the competition?
      The first thing to take in about the new Pacifica is how good-looking it is. The design comes courtesy of the 700C that debuted quietly a few years back at the Detroit Auto Show. The rounded front end is reminiscent of the recently departed 200 with a narrow grille and headlights, chrome trim along the edges of the grilles, and a sculpted hood. The side profile shows off two character lines; one running from the front fender to the chrome trim for the windows and another running through the door handles and curving into the rear fender. We would only make one slight change to the Pacifica. Our Touring L tester featured 17-inch wheels that looked a bit small for a vehicle this size. We would go for the larger 18-inch wheels that fill in the wheel wells much better.
      Anyone who has been in the last-generation Chrysler Town and Country or Dodge Caravan knows the interior was well past its sell-by date. When pitted against competitors, the two vans came up very short in terms of design, materials, space for cargo and passengers; and infotainment. Step inside the Pacifica and it is clear that Chrysler has done its homework. The design is much more modern with flowing lines and contrasting colors. It also feels more spacious than the outgoing vans thanks to some smart decisions such as the removal of the center console to allow for an open floor between driver and passenger, and the use of a knob for the transmission. Material quality has also seen a noticeable improvement with many surfaces now boasting soft-touch plastics. It wouldn’t be crazy to say the Chrysler Pacifica is ahead of everyone when it comes to the interior.
      Depending on the trim, you can order the Pacifica with seating for seven or eight people. Our Touring L featured the eight-seat layout with a removable middle seat for the third row. It will take you a few moments to figure out how to remove the seat, but once you do, it is quite easy to remove and install the seat. The rest of the seats feature Chrysler’s Stow ’n Go folding system where the seats can fold into compartments in the floor to provide a flat load area. Cargo area is in line with the current crop of minivans with 32.3 cubic feet behind the third row, 87.5 cubic feet behind the second row, and 140.5 cubic feet with both rows folded. As for passengers, both rows of rear seats provide an excellent amount of head and legroom. Getting into the third row is much easier thanks to second-row seats offering a tilt function.
      FCA has equipped the Pacifica with the newest version of their UConnect system. The interface may look similar to the older UConnect system, but there are a number of changes that help catapult this new version towards the top of the infotainment system list. First, the new system is much sharper thanks to the new fonts and an updated screen that provides improved brightness levels. FCA has also improved the overall performance of the system, meaning no slow downs when going between various functions. One item we cannot comment on is navigation as our test Pacifica didn’t come with it.
      Power for the Pacifica comes from the 3.6L Pentastar V6 with 287 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission that routes power to the front-wheels only. It might not be the fastest van on the road (that honor falls to the Toyota Sienna), but Pacifica comes very close. Power comes on a smooth and steady rate. You’ll find yourself not wanting more power when merging onto a freeway or trying to make a pass. FCA has seemed to get its act together with the nine-speed automatic transmission. Issues with clunky shifts and gear hunting have been mostly ironed out. The transmission now features smooth and quick upshifts. The only item we would want FCA to work on is the transmission’s hesitation to downshift in certain situations such as making a pass.
      EPA fuel economy for the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is rated at 18 City/28 Highway/22 Combined. Our week mostly spent in the city returned 23.2 mpg.
      The primary concern when it comes to a van’s ride and handling characteristics is providing maximum comfort and the Pacifica delivers. The suspension delivers a smooth ride even on some of the rough roads on offer from Metro Detroit area. An added bonus is how well the Pacifica isolates road and wind noise from coming inside. At highway speeds, only a whisper of wind noise makes it inside. But the Pacifica becomes a bit of a surprise when it comes to handling. Despite its large size, FCA’s engineers made the Pacifica feel quite nimble. The steering might not give that impression as it feels somewhat light when turning. But go around a corner and the van feels more like a midsize sedan than a van. 
      It has been a long time coming for a new minivan from FCA and the good news is that they haven’t dropped the ball. The Pacifica may not have ripped up the rulebook when it comes to minivans, but it sure has expanded or rewritten bits of it. From a surprising balance of ride and handling characteristics to the best interior in the class, it is clear that FCA wants to reclaim the crown of the best minivan. But there one thing that we need to address and that is FCA’s poor reliability history. No matter which survey or study look at, more often than not, FCA’s core brands are towards the bottom. What does this mean for the Pacifica? We can’t say for right now, but this could be the one thing that makes or breaks Chrysler’s new van.
      For right now, the Pacifica is at the top of the class.
      Disclaimer: Chrysler Provided the Pacifica, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Chrysler
      Model: Pacifica
      Trim: Touring L
      Engine: 3.6L 24-Valve VVT V6
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 287 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 262 @ 4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/28/22
      Curb Weight: 4,330 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Windsor, Ontario
      Base Price: $34,495
      As Tested Price: $36,880 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Premium Audio Group - $895.00
      8 Passenger Seating - $495.00
    • By William Maley
      They say timing is everything. As I mentioned in our quick drive piece of 2016 Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium, the automaker announced a refreshed version for 2017. Changes included a revised exterior, improved interior materials, and a revised EyeSight active safety system. Once we heard about the refresh, we knew we need to get one in for review. That’s what happened this past fall as a 2017 Subaru Forester 2.0XT Touring arrived at the Cheers & Gears Detroit garage. The XT is the important bit as it means we have the turbo engine.
      Let us begin with the engine as this is one of the best points of the Forester. The XT gets a turbocharged 2.0L boxer-four producing 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This comes paired with Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT and all-wheel drive. The turbo engine solves some of the issues we had in the previous Forester. The 2.5i wasn’t as responsive as we would have liked and it takes its sweet time to get up to higher speeds. With the turbo engine, the Forester leaps into action. Yes, it does a take a moment for the turbo to spool up. But once it does, the engine delivers power at a steady and smooth rate.  Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT is one of the better CVTs on the market. Part of this comes from the simulated gear changes Subaru has programmed for the CVT. This will fool most people into thinking that the transmission is a standard automatic. Also, the CVT doesn’t have much of a groan when you decide to floor the accelerator. The downside to the turbo engine is fuel economy. EPA fuel economy figures for the 2.0XT stand at 23 City/27 Highway/25 Combined. Our average for the week was 24.7 MPG. If you’re expecting Subaru to make some changes to the suspension and/or steering for the Forester 2.0XT, then you’ll be very disappointed. The 2.0XT is the same as the 2.5i we drove earlier. That means a smooth ride over some of the worst roads Michigan has on offer, but a fair amount of body roll when going around a corner.  Changes for the 2017 Forester’s exterior include a new grille design, LED accent lights for the head and taillights; and a new set of wheels. The XT also gets a more aggressive front bumper. While the Forester is still a box, at least the changes have made it a bit more stylish. The interior remains mostly unchanged when compared to the 2016 model. The only change we noted is the option of brown leather for the XT Touring that is used for the seats and various parts of the dash and doors. It is a nice touch, but it would have been nice if Subaru had gone a bit further with the luxury touches - especially considering the price of our tester. Subaru has upgraded their EyeSight system for 2017 by installing a new set of color stereo cameras. Subaru says the new cameras allow better detection of various objects and a wider range of monitoring. We believe it as the updated system was able to detect vehicles slightly faster than the previous system when using the adaptive cruise control system. There is one big issue for the 2017 Forester 2.0XT Touring, price. The base price is $34,295. Equipped with an option package that brings a larger screen for the Starlink infotainment system, EyeSight, and reverse automatic braking, the as-tested price comes to $36,765. Taking into consideration for what you get for the price, the Forester 2.0XT Touring isn’t worth it considering you can get into some luxury crossovers for around the same price. You can get the Forester 2.0XT in the Premium trim which kicks off at $29,295, but you cannot get EyeSight as an option. If you really want a Forester with a turbo engine, wait for 2.0XT Touring to hit the used car lot as it will become a slightly better value. Otherwise, skip the 2.0XT and go with the Forester 2.5i or another crossover. Disclaimer: Subaru Provided the Forester 2.0XT Touring, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Subaru
      Model: Forester
      Trim: 2.0XT Touring
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC GDI Boxer-Four
      Driveline: CVT, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 250 @ 5,600
      Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 2,000 - 4,800
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 23/27/25
      Curb Weight: 3,686 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: OTA, Gunma, Japan
      Base Price: $34,295
      As Tested Price: $36,765 (Includes $875.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Option Package 34 - $1,595.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      They say timing is everything. As I mentioned in our quick drive piece of 2016 Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium, the automaker announced a refreshed version for 2017. Changes included a revised exterior, improved interior materials, and a revised EyeSight active safety system. Once we heard about the refresh, we knew we need to get one in for review. That’s what happened this past fall as a 2017 Subaru Forester 2.0XT Touring arrived at the Cheers & Gears Detroit garage. The XT is the important bit as it means we have the turbo engine.
      Let us begin with the engine as this is one of the best points of the Forester. The XT gets a turbocharged 2.0L boxer-four producing 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This comes paired with Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT and all-wheel drive. The turbo engine solves some of the issues we had in the previous Forester. The 2.5i wasn’t as responsive as we would have liked and it takes its sweet time to get up to higher speeds. With the turbo engine, the Forester leaps into action. Yes, it does a take a moment for the turbo to spool up. But once it does, the engine delivers power at a steady and smooth rate.  Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT is one of the better CVTs on the market. Part of this comes from the simulated gear changes Subaru has programmed for the CVT. This will fool most people into thinking that the transmission is a standard automatic. Also, the CVT doesn’t have much of a groan when you decide to floor the accelerator. The downside to the turbo engine is fuel economy. EPA fuel economy figures for the 2.0XT stand at 23 City/27 Highway/25 Combined. Our average for the week was 24.7 MPG. If you’re expecting Subaru to make some changes to the suspension and/or steering for the Forester 2.0XT, then you’ll be very disappointed. The 2.0XT is the same as the 2.5i we drove earlier. That means a smooth ride over some of the worst roads Michigan has on offer, but a fair amount of body roll when going around a corner.  Changes for the 2017 Forester’s exterior include a new grille design, LED accent lights for the head and taillights; and a new set of wheels. The XT also gets a more aggressive front bumper. While the Forester is still a box, at least the changes have made it a bit more stylish. The interior remains mostly unchanged when compared to the 2016 model. The only change we noted is the option of brown leather for the XT Touring that is used for the seats and various parts of the dash and doors. It is a nice touch, but it would have been nice if Subaru had gone a bit further with the luxury touches - especially considering the price of our tester. Subaru has upgraded their EyeSight system for 2017 by installing a new set of color stereo cameras. Subaru says the new cameras allow better detection of various objects and a wider range of monitoring. We believe it as the updated system was able to detect vehicles slightly faster than the previous system when using the adaptive cruise control system. There is one big issue for the 2017 Forester 2.0XT Touring, price. The base price is $34,295. Equipped with an option package that brings a larger screen for the Starlink infotainment system, EyeSight, and reverse automatic braking, the as-tested price comes to $36,765. Taking into consideration for what you get for the price, the Forester 2.0XT Touring isn’t worth it considering you can get into some luxury crossovers for around the same price. You can get the Forester 2.0XT in the Premium trim which kicks off at $29,295, but you cannot get EyeSight as an option. If you really want a Forester with a turbo engine, wait for 2.0XT Touring to hit the used car lot as it will become a slightly better value. Otherwise, skip the 2.0XT and go with the Forester 2.5i or another crossover. Disclaimer: Subaru Provided the Forester 2.0XT Touring, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Subaru
      Model: Forester
      Trim: 2.0XT Touring
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC GDI Boxer-Four
      Driveline: CVT, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 250 @ 5,600
      Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 2,000 - 4,800
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 23/27/25
      Curb Weight: 3,686 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: OTA, Gunma, Japan
      Base Price: $34,295
      As Tested Price: $36,765 (Includes $875.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Option Package 34 - $1,595.00
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