Subaru Southern Africa has confirmed a more powerful and advanced Forester is on its way and will be on sale from mid-February 2021. What's changed and how much will it cost?
The Forester is Subaru's best-selling model in its portfolio and since its introduction 24 years ago, the capable SUV has won over many fans.
For 2021, Subaru Southern Africa will increase its local Forester offering with 2 new derivatives. The most notable of the new derivatives is the 2.5i Sport ES model, which combines practicality with sporty aesthetics. Those lamenting the lack of a properly potent engine in the same vein as the older-gen XT motors will have to make do with a naturally-aspirated motor, however, in 2021 guise, it now produces 136 kW and 239 Nm. This is an increase of 21 kW and 43 Nm over the 2.0-litre variant. In terms of fuel consumption, Subaru is claiming this flagship model consumes just 7.6 L/100 km. The vehicle is only available with a CVT.
Visually, this sporty model needs to look the part. The exterior of the Forester Sport features 5 body colours that are contrasted with orange and black accents. The interior also features the orange and black accents, most notably around the gear shifter and X-Mode selector. The 2.5-litre models ride on 18-inch wheels, setting them apart from the 2.0-litre models. Interestingly, for the first time, Subaru is offering its Forester with water-repellent seats, which are available on the Sport model, perfect for wet dogs or kids.
If you don't want the attention of the Sport model's orange and black accent trim, you can opt for the 2.5-S ES model which features standard body colour options and leather seats inside. It's identically specced aside from the water-repellent seats and funky colour treatment.
In terms of safety, the Forester comes with Subaru's award-winning EyeSight Driver Assist System and works in conjunction with Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Pre-Collision Braking, Lane Departure and Sway Warning and Lane Keep Assist. Blind Spot Detection, Smart high beam assist, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are fitted as standard too. Subaru Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) and its fabled symmetrical all-wheel-drive is on hand for safer all-weather, all surface stability and traction bringing technology such as ABS, EBD, ESP and Torque Vectoring into play when needed.
In terms of rivals, the Forester 2.5 goes head-to-head with the Toyota RAV4 2.5 VX and the ever-popular Mazda CX-5 is available with a 2.5-litre engine too.
Each Subaru Forester model is sold with a 3-year/75 000 km Maintenance Plan as well as the 5-year/150 000 km warranty.
Subaru Forester - Price in South Africa
Subaru Forester 2.5i Sport ES - R599 000
Subaru Forester 2.5i-S ES - R629 000