It was officially revealed for the first time on November 1 and now Subaru’s fourth-generation Forester has been released in Japan, providing more details of the replacement for Subaru’s top-selling model and one of Australia’s most popular SUVs.
The new Forester will make its world debut in US-spec at the Los Angeles motor show in two weeks, before going on sale in Australia in naturally aspirated petrol and turbo-diesel form in January, with a new top-shelf turbo-petrol model to follow next year.
Mechanical details have now been released for the Japanese and North American markets and now Subaru Australia has confirmed the new Forester will come with a new generation of horizontally opposed boxer engines bringing significant improvements in fuel consumption.
All Foresters will also be available here with a new Lineartronic continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) with ‘X-Mode’, which Subaru says offers “confidence and control on difficult terrain, for even better rough road performance”, in addition to a six-speed manual transmission for entry-level models.
Normally aspirated petrol Foresters will also be fitted with a fuel-saving idle-stop function dubbed Auto Stop Start, while the new ‘SI-Drive’ system is claimed to match vehicle performance to driving style.
Subaru Australia has also confirmed the Mk4 Forester will be available with the company’s award-winning EyeSight driver assist system, which includes collision mitigation, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control functions.
Other local Forester features will include more soft-touch surfaces, improved field of vision, a multi-function trip computer and, in a first for Subaru, an automatic tailgate.
Full Australian specifications are yet to be revealed, but the US Forester will be powered by the same naturally aspirated 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol boxer as the outgoing model, plus a new 2.0-litre direct-injection intercooled turbo-petrol flat four that develops 250hp (187kW) at 5800rpm on premium unleaded fuel.
As we’ve reported, both engines will bring fuel-efficiency gains in the US, thanks to new six-speed manual and CVT transmissions. North America’s 2.0-litre turbo Forester will be available with a “high-torque CVT with six-speed and eight-speed manual modes” and Hill Descent Control.
Australia’s current Forester is powered by 126kW/235Nm 2.5 atmo-petrol, 169kW/320Nm 2.5 turbo-petrol and 108kW/350Nm 2.0 turbo-diesel boxer engines.
With the exception of the six-speed manual-only Forester diesel and the top-shelf S-Edition, which comes with a 193kW/347Nm turbo-petrol engine matched to a five-speed automatic transmission, Australia’s current Forester is available with only outmoded five-speed manual and four-speed automatic gearboxes.
In the US, the Forester will feature revised suspension with 220mm of ground clearance, as well as increased rear legroom, more cargo space and new infotainment systems, including smartphone integration, navigation, a reversing camera and premium harman/kardon sound system.
Naturally, all Foresters will come standard with symmetrical all-wheel drive, while wheel/tyre sizes in the US will be 7.0x17-inch with 225/60s for 2.5-litre models and 7.0x18-inch with 225/55s for the 2.0-litre turbo.
America’s Forester measures 4595mm long, 1795mm wide and 1732mm high and rides on a 2639mm wheelbase, making it about 35mm longer, the same width and about 30mm lower than Australia’s existing model, as well as about 25mm longer in wheelbase.
First official images two weeks ago showed the new Forester will retain its predecessor’s five-door, five-seat wagon body style, which continues to wear matte-black lower appendages and roof-rails, but now features new Impreza-style headlights, a fresh grille and bolder surfacing including a prominent full-length shoulder crease.
Other new design elements include wing mirrors mounted further back on the doors, protruding clear-lens tail-lights, more subtle wheel-arch flares, new alloy wheels and a clamshell bonnet design with deeper longitudinal sculpting.
“New Forester is an incredibly strong package from any perspective, whether style, features, safety or engineering,” said Subaru Australia Managing Director, Nick Senior.
“It builds impressively on Forester‘s core values that have seen it dominate its sales segment in the past four years and it retains its exclusive all-wheel-drive ability, making it ideal for customers who value their recreational and lifestyle choices.”
The Forester has been a sales hit for Subaru in Australia since its launch here in 1997, with the outgoing model dominating the compact SUV segment for four consecutive years until 2011 and more than 169,000 examples sold in total.
So far this year it has been outsold in its class by Nissan’s top-selling X-Trail, Mazda’s new CX-5 and Toyota’s RAV4, a redesigned version of which will also be launched next year.
Watch out for our first Australian drive of the new Forester on December 1.
Reproduced from www.carsales.com.au
Article by Marton Pettendy