This is the new Subaru Forester Sport

A former TG favourite enters a new generation. With orange detailing...

We love a Subaru Forester here at Top Gear. A small 4x4 long before the word ‘crossover’ had been uttered by any human, and, essentially, an SUV long before anyone knew they wanted one.

But despite being one of the pioneers, it’s been surpassed by a less able, more fashionable crowd. At least in the sales charts. Underdog stories get little more heart-wrenching.

It’s still going, though, and there’s a brand new one. The car you see here is the Sport version, a little pretend-STI that we hope does at least a minor impression of go-faster Foresters of old.

Look at the orange detailing! The black alloys! The LED fog lights! They’re distractions from the entirely standard drivetrain that lies beneath, though this being an American-market car, that does at least involve an unfashionably large petrol engine.

A 2.5-litre boxer engine with 180bhp and 176lb ft is mated to a CVT automatic, but don’t panic, because the Sport adds a manual mode so you can flick through its seven notional gears. You also get some extra sport modes on the car’s SI-Drive selection dial.

Most importantly of all, this remains a small 4x4 with some proper utilitarian ability: active torque-vectoring, hill-descent control and towing assist all ensure you can do stuff beyond trundling to the mall in it.

Prices start at the equivalent of £23,000 over in the States, and you can bet it’ll be a wee bit more when the new Forester eventually makes it to the UK with a smaller, more sensible engine.

Will be get the Sport version? Don’t hold your breath…