“It’s not the Subaru Forester’s first rodeo when it comes to finding itself in a sticky, messy, or dirty situation and then taking care of it.”

A normally quiet and adult-centric domicile was quickly turned upside down when a friend came to visit with her three children.

Within minutes, the kids were bouncing on the couch, pawing at collector memorabilia, and crying.

The youngest, then 18 months, needed the inevitable diaper change.

But before I could even offer any assistance, Diapergate was resolved. It took a few moments to collect my jaw from the floor.

If you’re a racing fan, the speed at which the dirty deed was taken care of can be likened to those working on a team’s pit crew during a race. Before you can even blink, the car’s tires have been changed, it’s been refueled and it’s on the circuit again.

My friend looked me straight in the eyes and offered me these words: “It’s not my first rodeo.” Clearly.

It’s not the Subaru Forester’s first rodeo when it comes to finding itself in a sticky, messy, or dirty situation and then taking care of it. Quickly.

With its tried and tested Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system and the additional assistance of X-Mode (equipped on all Foresters with the CVT transmission), it’ll have you out of the mud – or purposely playing in it – before you know it.

Though it wasn’t my first rodeo with the Japanese manufacturer’s SUV, the setting in which we’d be testing it out was all-new to me: The Maritimes.

There’s a pleasant discomfort about stepping foot into uncharted territory.

But there’s also warm welcome of being wrapped up in the arms of a vehicle that feels like home.

Home in a sense where there’s room to spread out. With the rear seats folded, there’s an impressive, best-in-class, 2,115L of cargo space.

Home in a sense where the Forester allows the sun’s glory to fill the cabin with its warmth (well, when it decides to bless me with its presence) thanks to its greenhouse-like design to let as much light inside as possible.

And home in a sense where you feel safe; protected.

It’s no surprise that the Forester is an Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick Plus; meaning, this vehicle has earned this winning title nine years running (2007-2015.)

While the 2016 Forester receives new updates like a new audio system, steering responsive fog lights, a shark fin antenna, one-touch turn signals and more, these changes aren’t alienating to Subaru aficionados – or those coming into the brand – who demand some of the latest tech features yet want an easy-to-navigate centre stack.

Those characteristics alone made this first-time Maritime wrangler feel a little more at ease with her new setting and the task at hand.
Over the three-day drive, we’d cover three provinces: New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.

Essentially, the world was our oyster. Then we’d eat them for dinner.

Okay, that was a bad joke, but it’s true.

The idea was to have fun, enjoy the car and take as many photos as we’d like in hopes for claiming bragging rights to the best “road trip” style shots. Our drive routes would take as along the Trans Canada Highway, through potato fields, along red dirt roads and over the Confederation Bridge.

Though no trip to PEI would be complete without purchasing an Anne of Green Gables hat, which included her signature red, braided locks. Then wearing it for almost the rest of the adventure and having almost everyone take it for a spin.

I always thought I could pull off being a redhead. Then again, maybe not.

Whether it was the whale spotting while aboard the Confederation Ferry (from PEI to Nova Scotia), or jumping for joy when meeting the world’s largest lobster in Shediac, NB, or just taking a scenic run along the St. John river in Fredericton, NB, I wouldn’t say I’m a veteran when it comes to the lay of the land in the Atlantic provinces, but the next time I go, it won’t be my first rodeo.

And if the 2016 Subaru Forester is my steer, I’m heading in the right direction.

With or without crying kids.

The 2016 Forester 2.5i has a starting MSRP of $25,995 (excluding delivery and taxes). The 2.0XT starts at $33,495 (excluding delivery and taxes).

Visit www.subaru.ca for more information

Contact the writer at alexandra [dot] straub [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

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