Subaru Forester

The Subaru Forester is a great hit with the girls, but the new model, while oh-so-sleek, has lost some of its puritanical, functional charm

Yet again this week I found myself suspecting I might have lesbian tendencies, though this time it had nothing to do with the tingling feeling I sometimes get when I see Jodie Foster in her pants.

I had been driving around in the new Subaru Forester and happened to tell a lesbian friend of mine (I mention this casually as if to imply I have many lesbian friends and am thus more broad-minded than the average motoring journalist, though sadly I have only the one and she hasn't had sex since 2003, and that was with a man). "You know that's a total dyke's car, don't you?" she laughed. "What do you mean?" I said. "Subarus are for everyone, they are famously classless. Toffs love them, farmers love them, I love them." "Maybe," she said. "But just Google 'lesbian Subaru' and you'll see what I mean."

Turns out she's right, particularly in the States where there are special clubs for Sapphic Subaristes – they call themselves Lesbaristes. They are particularly keen on the Forester, it seems. Martina Navratilova once even fronted an ad campaign for them, which resulted in a sales increase of 50 per cent.



Clearly Martina has terrific taste in cars. The old Forester was brilliant: reliable (regularly featuring in the top-10 customer satisfaction surveys), practical (it had a washing-up bowl in the boot), and, with the punchy flat four engine, every bit as fast as the Impreza on which it was based. You could practically hose down the interior, and they designed the door handles with extra deep recesses so you could open them while wearing chunky mittens, a brilliant detail that.

But the new one is rather different. Unlike previous Foresters, it doesn't look like it was built out of Duplo bricks. It is sleek and vaguely space ship-ey. It also sits much higher, virtually as high as a full-blown SUV, which can't help but affect cornering. Subarus should be slightly non-conformist, eccentric even, but I fear I detect the smoothing, homo-genising hand of Toyota, which is gradually increasing its stake in the company.

The Forester is still a great car, and much nicer inside than the old one, but it has lost some of the puritanical functionality that I suspect – without wishing to stereotype anyone – was what appealed to its improbable female niche, and me.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

    Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

    Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

    Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

    £15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

    Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

    Day In a Page

    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project