Subaru has updated its Forester SUV for 2016 with a host of exterior, interior and dynamic improvements.
In a bid to keep the Forester SUV competitive against rivals such as the Nissan X-Trail, Ford Kuga, Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, amongs other compact crossover/SUV offerings, Subaru has implemented a number updates to keep the buying public interested. Let’s take a look at what’s changed…
The Forester now wears an updated face that incorporates a redesigned grille, bumper and headlights. The bumper is wider and the fog lamps are now garnished with L-shaped chrome trims. The grille is set in a chrome frame and features the updated mesh treatment. The design of the LED-adorned headlights has been improved too; the units feature Subaru’s signature C-shaped "Hawk-Eye" daytime running lights.
At the rear, LEDs are now used for the fog- and brakelamps, with the C-motif also evident in the design. The updated range also features new 17- and 18-inch alloy wheel designs and Subaru has also added a new colour: Sepia Bronze Metallic, to the range.
According to Subaru, the interior of the Forester has been reworked to be “classier and more functional”. The Forester now features a new steering wheel design with silver detailing on its three spokes. The LCD TFT instrument display has been upgraded with new graphics and colours while the middle display is now encased in smoked glass. The tachometer and speedometer needles have been reworked too.
Subaru has also used a more tactile material for often-used areas in the cabin such as the door handles, centre stack and handbrake. The trip computer on all Forester models have been re-upholstered in new material with contrasting silver stitching, which also features on the front and rear cup holders. New high-gloss black and chrome panels are also found on the dashboard.
The updated Forester is also fitted with improved fabric seats, which now feature more lumbar support. The design of the seats display a black 3D design with new contrasting silver stitching and the driver’s seat is now equipped with a memory function for added convenience. Automatic open/close functionality is included for the front electric windows and illuminated vanity mirrors are also included.
A choice of black or black and grey interior leather upholstery is available too.
Subaru has also revised the Forester's information, entertainment and communication interface, which includes Siri eyes-free, as standard on all models. The system works with the voice recognition system, linking to a Siri-compatible device and allowing the driver to use Siri via a button the steering wheel. If your device is not Siri compatible, then the voice recognition can still be used to control functions such as telephone, audio and climate control.
Furthermore, premium models in the Forester range are equipped with a new 8-speaker Harmon Kardon sound system, which includes 440-watt amplifier.
On the safety front, the Forester now includes Steering Responsive Headlamps (SRH) that shifts headlight illumination in the directions that the vehicle turns and is effective in both high and low beam modes. SRH is said to improve visibility at night, making the Forester a bit safer overall.
In an effort to improve ride comfort, Subaru has reduced cabin noise and vibrations with the use of more insulation around the windows, which are now 0.5 mm thicker than before. Sound-deadening material has also been added to the floor, rear apron, boot floor- and footwells.
The damping rates of the shock absorbers have also been tweaked, while the steering wheel's turning ratio has been increased to improve steering feel.
With its 220 mm ground clearance, X-Mode and symmetrical all-wheel drive system, the Forester still offers decent off-road capability.
Read more about the Forester in this SUV Comparison: Ford Kuga vs Honda CR-V vs Subaru Forester
Five models make up the Forester range, starting with the 2.0X derivative (powered by a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre Boxer engine that offers 110 kW and 198 Nm of torque through a 6-speed manual transmission). The claimed fuel consumption is 7.2 L/100 km.
A larger 2.5-litre Boxer engine is offered in X, XS and XS Premium trim levels with 126 kW and 235 Nm of torque. A CVT transmission is standard for these derivatives while X-Mode and the two-mode SI-Drive is standard for XS and XS Premium derivatives. Fuel consumption for these models is rated at 8.1 L/100 km.
The range-topping 2.0 XT derivative offers 177 kW and 350 Nm from its turbocharged Boxer engine. This model is also mated to a CVT with a claimed fuel consumption of 8.5 L/100 km. This derivative benefits from new 18-inch alloy wheels, as well as a more sporty bumper and three modes for SI-Drive.
Subaru Forester prices in South Africa
Subaru Forester 2.0X 6MT - R376 000
Subaru Forester 2.5X Lineartronic CVT - R427 000
Subaru Forester 2.5XS Lineartronic CVT - R459 000
Subaru Forester 2.5XS Premium Lineartronic CVT - R509 000
Subaru Forester 2.0XT Lineartronic CVT - R579 000
The Subaru Forester is sold with a 3-year / 75 000 km full maintenance plan, a 3-year / 100 000 km warranty and Subaru Assist. Various maintenance plan extension packages are optionally available at extra cost.