Subaru Forester

Overview

The ultimate lifestyle partner, the compact yet spacious new Subaru Forester is a stylish sports utility vehicle, or SUV.

It’s the ideal vehicle for young families, outdoor enthusiasts, professionals, urbanites and former hot hatch owners (who now need more space and practicality).

And the new Forester range – which boasts revisions to the exterior and interior, a completely redesigned engine range and two new diesel models (regular and premium specification derivatives) – offers precisely that. And a whole lot more too.

Capable of taking you pretty much anywhere – including over the most rugged off-road terrain – the Forester is equally at home in the garages of the most ardent of petrol heads. That’s because the Forester also comes in the guise of the S-Edition, a car that is aimed at the performance junkie who happens to have a family. It delivers a 0 to 100 km/h time in the six-second bracket – while offering the same practicality and versatility that has made the Forester famous.

The Subaru Forester. It offers the dynamics and drive of a normal sedan, the space and practicality of a huge SUV, the peace of mind afforded by the inclusion of every imaginable safety feature… topped with Subaru’s uber impressive engine technology. The perfect fit for your life, the Forester allows you to get more done – while having more fun.

Design

Stepping straight off the Japanese catwalks, the Forester has an interior that is nothing short of cavernous while the exterior is bold and rugged.

Interior

The Forester is a great place to be – for the drivers and passengers alike. That’s because the interior is extremely stylish and spacious. In fact, even tall, long-limbed drivers will feel right at home)… head and legroom is exceptional throughout the vehicle.

Occupants need never worry about getting hot under the collar or shivering during winter months… there is dual zone climate control to address these concerns.

Storage space is yet another bonus: the Forester is peppered with cup holders, storage bins, pockets and trays throughout the cabin. The luggage compartment easily accommodates four large suitcases or golf bags.

Additional features which make the Forester a must-have on any car buyer’s list include Bluetooth, a new premium audio system* that includes USB input as well as Bluetooth and iPod connectivity, a sunroof, reverse camera (on all but the base model) and a chic yet functional multi-function steering wheel. There are also revised dials in the instrument binnacle.

Significantly – from a safety perspective – all-round visibility is nothing short of sensational. In fact, the Forester simply cannot be surpassed in this area.

Exterior

Much like certain individuals, some vehicles look good – but they don’t actually amount to very much. Nothing could be further from the truth with the Forester. This is a vehicle that is extremely easy on the eye; but it boasts dollops of truly useful features too.

For instance, the new grille with a silver metallic finish is embraced by fog lamps, which don’t just look good but also boost safety. Then there are the roof rails (clad in elegant silver on the Forester S- Edition), which boost practicality; the double volume sunroof, which bolsters comfort; and the new, aerodynamic exterior mirrors – which now incorporate indicator repeaters. The rear is home to a redesigned spoiler above the tailgate on the performance Forester S-Edition, which not only looks good but also offers aerodynamic benefits.

Ground clearance – at 215 to 225 mm – is very good, meaning drivers can head off into the wild blue yonder with complete peace of mind.

Look out for the Premium spec’d models, which have a full house of luxury and convenience features such as a premium audio CD/USB/AUX/RDS receiver system, and rear reverse camera with LCD display, as well as a double volume power sliding sunroof with sun shade cover, high intensity Xenon headlights.

Equally noteworthy is the Forester S- Edition – a car that is aimed at the performance junkie who happens to have a family. It’s a real head turner, with its unique range of colours, a black front grille, satin finish silver roof rails, STI-design 17-inch alloy wheels, a rear tailgate spoiler on the tailgate, rear privacy glass and S-Edition badging.

Safety

Confidence in Motion is all about safety – Subaru is committed to developing and building cars with class-leading active and passive safety features. And the Forester is no exception…

Active safety

The best way to survive an accident is to avoid it altogether – which is why the Forester offers extraordinary levels of active safety.

The Forester’s complete arsenal of active safety features includes a reverse camera, ABS Brake Assist, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and – of course – Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. This vitally important feature means that the vehicle literally clings to the road. It gives the driver real confidence out on the roads… even on twisty roads or in lousy weather.

Another important feature is the vehicle’s superb all round visibility; this also helps to avoid accidents.
It comes as no surprise to learn that, as a result of all these features, the Forester has been rewarded with a five-star ANCAP occupant safety rating. (ANCAP stands for Australasian New Car Assessment Programme; this is a highly respected and completely independent vehicle assessment programme.)

Passive safety

In the United States, the entire Subaru range (including the Forester, of course) has earned a 2011 Top Safety Pick from the authoritative Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Significantly, Subaru is the only manufacturer with a Top Safety Pick winner in every vehicle class in which it competes.

This is largely thanks to the vehicle’s battery of passive safety features – which includes airbags, seatbelts ISOFIX mounts and ring shaped reinforcement.

Technology

Overview Forester’s low centre of gravity, refined chassis, Symmetrical AWD and stability control add up to control, composure and cornering competence beyond ordinary SUVs.

Symetrical All wheel drive

There are plenty of pretenders to the compact SUV throne but most of them are just that: pretenders. The Forester, on the other hand, is the real deal. For starters, all Foresters are equipped with Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive…after all why opt for a front-drive hatchback or wagon masquerading as an SUV when you can head to a Subaru dealer and get the best of both: a vehicle which is the master of not just a tarmac universe.

You can’t really pass muster as an SUV if you’re merely being pulled along and the idea of distributing drive force to all four corners is to give the driver maximum confidence and security…and it works for you whether you’re on dirt, towing, or on a freeway made slick  from the first rains. If you buy a Forester you get Subaru’s AWD mated to either a six-speed manual on the diesel models, or a five-speed manual with low range (a unique feature in the segment) if you opt for the all-new 2,5-litre petrol engine. A tried and trusted automatic transmission is also available with this engine, designed to take advantage of the broader spread of torque and now available with paddle shift that heighten control both on and off road.

Finally, there’s the dramatically-styled and turbocharged  Forester S, which has a five-speed automatic designed to accentuate its sporty character. The drivetrain is fitted with Subaru’s Variable Torque Distribution which means it is capable of sending 80 percent of torque rearward in the blink of an eye.

Boxer Engine

If you’d expect to find a horizontally-opposed Boxer engine under the bonnet, you’d be right. The current line line-up personifies the current state of the art in engine design for a brand which remains engineering-driven. Since early 2011 petrol-powered Foresters have been equipped with an all-new engine which maximises driveability while minimising fuel consumption and emissions.

Part of this is achieved by using direct fuel injection, which along with Active Valve Control System and lightweight, low-friction internals helps you to squeeze every ounce of energy out of each litre of fuel. And if all that energy is transferred into power, it means there’s precious little to come out the exhaust – it’s a win-win!

Fancy a turbodiesel, and who doesn’t nowadays? Subaru’s Boxer Diesel – the first horizontally-opposed turbodiesel four cylinder engine in the world designed specifically for a passenger vehicle application – is that option. Clever design and the inherent smoothness of the Boxer layout make it the strong, silent type, and with a diesel particulate filter fitted as standard its CO2 emissions are just 168 g/km. It also achieves a rated fuel consumption of 6.4 l/100 km.

A compact SUV with superhatch performance isn’t commonplace but at Subaru we plead different…so the S model gets a turbocharged 2,5-litre and with 193 kW and 347 Nm we can safely say family motoring will never be the same again.

Transmission

The Forester’s cabin is primarily about one thing: creating an environment where the driver can go about his business in the most effective way, whether it be a drive to the shops for a Lotto ticket or a trip to see the snow on the Drakensberg’s highest peaks.

Being in full control all the time is the essence of safety so a comfortable and commanding driving position which allows all the controls to be operated easily is imperative. The steering column adjusts for height and distance so that the perfect relationship between man (or woman) and machine can be achieved. Ancillary controls on the steering column, generously-proportioned exterior mirrors, cruise control and Bluetooth compatibility are just some of the features which contribute to maximum control, irrespective of which one of the eight Subaru models you happen to choose.

Available models

2.0X, 2.0XS and 2.5XT