As a man that’s driven practically every car we’ve ever made, we wanted to know what Subaru fanatic Paul Cowland would make of the all-new Forester e-BOXER, the first self-charging hybrid from Subaru.
When it comes to buying a new car, consumers currently face something of a dilemma. Changes in legislation and the corresponding movement in the automotive market means that for many, a car that emits less CO2 and uses less fuel is more desirable than ever. But, for some of us, a fully electric vehicle – with its currently limited range and the need to plan ahead for charging opportunities – is too much of a leap from our current petrol or diesel motors.
Now, Subaru has created its first hybrid drivetrain – which looks to the future with its balance of traditional and modern technologies. Indeed, the all-new Forester e-BOXER seems to offer the best of both worlds. On top, it’s the ever-dependable Forester that we’ve all come to love over the years, yet underneath there have been a few welcome changes. Under the bonnet you’ll find the famous Subaru petrol boxer engine – meaning you can drive it just like a normal Subaru – allied to an electric motor that gives you the best aspects of EV technology, without the worry of running out of charge.
The combined petrol engine and electric motor work seamlessly together. When pulling away or driving at slow speeds in traffic, the battery-powered electric motor alone drives the car in EV Mode. When you accelerate or drive under increased load (such as climbing a hill), the petrol engine and electric motor work together to provide instant, responsive power. The electric motor power assistance – Motor Assist – is completely automatic. When braking or decelerating, the e-BOXER uses regenerative braking to capture energy from the car’s movement to recharge the battery.
Having driven a few hybrids in my time, I was keen to see whether the all-new Forester offered the same seamless transition between EV and internal combustion modes. Having driven this one for a week, I can say that it’s practically undetectable. If you’re stuck in traffic, or pulling away, or even when you back off the throttle on a downhill section, the EV system gently takes over without you realising, using the power of the onboard battery. It’s also something of a literal cheap thrill to realise the fact that, when you’re moving on the motor – you’re not using any fuel!
Then, when you need to go a little quicker, or move onto higher load situations and speeds, the engine gently sparks into life to give you the power and confidence that you need. In reality, the handover between these two powertrains is never apparent. The Forester e-BOXER’s onboard computers simply work out what’s needed where and distributes the power accordingly. A neat little screen shows you how power is apportioned to which part of the car, and it’s rather fun to see the battery feeding the motors, before a split-second invisible change sees the engine or regenerative braking adding more charge to top it back up.
Despite clearly having an impressive level of tech beneath the skin, none of these eco-friendly upgrades ever really invade the enjoyment of your drive in the Forester e-BOXER. What’s wonderful about this most ‘real-world’ hybrid set-up is that all you have to do is fuel-up as you’ve always done and enjoy driving your Subaru... you’ll just be getting a more rewarding and efficient drive as you do so.
And that’s the clever part of the e-BOXER proposition. Everything us Subaru fans want our cars to be able to do, whether it's navigating through muddy fields or cruising smoothly down the motorway, is still there. Business is still very much as usual on that front, with the all-new Forester the same super-safe, dependable and capable car it’s always been – only with a raft of exciting new upgrades and functionality for you to enjoy. Drive like you’ve always driven, letting the open road take you wherever you want to go – only with the quiet hum of the electric motors reminding you from time to time of the difference.
At a time when we’re all looking to make a small change in how and what we drive, the Forester e-BOXER is the perfect intermediate step before the world goes fully EV and motoring changes forever. Take one for a drive and see what you think. If this is what the future of motoring looks like, you can count me in!
View All-New Forester e-BOXER
News & stories
Subaru is renowned for the safety, capability and reliability of its range of SUVs – but which is the best choice for you? We constantly strive to build cars that …Read more
We’re delighted to announce that Subaru dealerships across the country have re-opened both aftersales and sales operations, following the latest Government guidance. For Subaru, safety is always paramount. A focus …Read more
Craig Goulding, part of Subaru’s technical team, knows a thing or two about towing a caravan. He’s been doing it for 30 years and has probably visited every caravan site …Read more
For the second year running, Subaru has been voted Best Manufacturer for Safety Features in the 2020 Driver Power survey, the UK’s number one car ownership poll. In the overall …Read more
With the country in the grips of the coronavirus pandemic, you’re probably not driving your Subaru as much as you’re used to. If you’re wondering what to do with your …Read more
With the situation in the UK continuing to evolve as the nation responds to the coronavirus pandemic, we’d like to assure you that Subaru UK and Subaru dealerships across the …Read more
The UK is gripped by the Coronavirus pandemic sweeping across Europe, but for me it’s almost business as usual. As a busy mixed practice vet, theservice my colleagues and I …Read more
Later this year, Euro NCAP is introducing even more rigorous safety tests for new vehicles to give consumers enhanced guidance about the collision safety of their cars. We explore the …Read more
All-new Forester e-BOXER – the first self-charging hybrid from Subaru – has awarded 4×4 Magazine’s Best Small SUV of the Year 2020, a testimony to our on-going commitment to build …Read more
The all-new Subaru Forester e-BOXER – the first self-charging hybrid from Subaru – has been named Euro NCAP’s Best in Class 2019 in the Small Off-Road / MPV class. This …Read more
We’re delighted to announce that all-new Forester e-BOXER – the first self-charging hybrid from Subaru – has achieved the maximum 5-star rating in the 2019 European New Car Assessment Programme …Read more
It’s that time of year again; where the world and their offspring load up their motors to visit loved ones and spread festive cheer. Here are a few tips to …Read more
The price of many vehicles will be going up in January 2020. Find out what the Excess Emission Premium – also known as EEP – is and how it could …Read more
As a man that’s driven practically every car we’ve ever made, we wanted to know what Subaru fanatic Paul Cowland would make of the all-new Forester e-BOXER, the first self-charging …Read more
Looking ahead, Subaru Corporation recently announced Subaru’s vision to eliminate traffic accident deaths involving Subaru vehicles by 2030. Already, the new Subaru Global Platform (SGP) is delivering new vehicles with …Read more
You’ll likely recognise Julian Norton from the hit Channel 5 series The Yorkshire Vet, now into its eighth series of heart-warming tales of veterinary life in rural Yorkshire. We chat …Read more
Subaru has been voted Best Manufacturer for Safety Features in the 2019 Driver Power Survey, the UK’s number one car ownership survey – beating off stiff competition from 29 other …Read more
This month we’ve caught back up with Julian Norton, co-star of hit Channel 5 series The Yorkshire Vet. We might have faced some wintery conditions in the UK of late, …Read more
Known as the world’s toughest race track, the fabled Nürburgring requires a special kind of car to truly get the most from its many twists and turns. Paul Cowland tells …Read more
Subaru UK are pleased to announce that K T Green have been named ‘Subaru Dealer of the Year 2018’. The family-owned dealership, based in Pool in Wharfedale, Leeds, was recognised …Read more
Birmingham, 11th January 2019 – Subaru UK is pleased to announce the Subaru XV has been awarded 4×4 Magazine’s ‘Crossover Estate of the Year 2019’, a testimony to Subaru’s on-going …Read more