A LEAP AHEAD - Subaru Forester
The fifth-generation of Subaru’s best-selling model has arrived in South Africa. Say hello to the all-new Subaru Forester.
The Forester has played a key role in establishing the Subaru customer base in South Africa and has remained the most popular and successful model from Subaru in the region. Ashley Lazarus, Marketing Manager for Subaru Southern Africa believes this model will continue the success. "For two decades, the Forester has offered customers the highest standards of safety, versatility and reliability for amazing value and that only gets better with this new model."
The World Car of the Year 2019 candidate might look a tad sedate compared to the Subaru Viziv Future Concept that previewed it, but don’t let its looks hide the fact that this SUV is sporting some impressive technology under the skin. Despite that, the styling of the new Forester is more evolutionary than revolutionary, and is strongly reminiscent of the model it replaces, with LED headlights and a more wind-swept front end standing out as the most obvious updates.
The Mazda CX5-rival continues the model's tradition of offering a car-like ride and handling with the capability of an SUV. Standard symmetrical full-time all-wheel drive, a hallmark of Subaru's vehicles, provides all-weather confidence and capability, while standard active torque vectoring, first introduced on the WRX and WRX STI performance models, offers improved handling and cornering performance.
With all-new design and engineering, the new Forester is designed around the Subaru Global Platform (SGP), that sees its wheelbase grow by 30mm to 2670mm overall, resulting in the roomiest cabin in its history, while retaining the manoeuvrability that's synonymous with the popular Subaru, whilst delivering major improvements in safety, ride, handling and occupant comfort. All Forester trim levels come standard with seven airbags including Subaru Advanced Frontal Airbags, front seat side pelvis/torso airbags, side curtain airbags and driver's knee airbag.
The Forester also features some innovative technology called EyeSight Driver Assist, which further works with Pre-Collision Braking and Throttle Management; Adaptive Cruise Control; Lane Departure and Sway Warning; and Lane Keep Assist. EyeSight uses two Subaru-developed colour cameras mounted inside the car on the upper edge of the windshield, thus reducing the potential for damage that could occur in bumper-mounted systems.
This cutting-edge system works like a second pair of eyes for the road ahead, using a pair of stereo cameras to capture colour images with excellent image recognition up to 110m ahead-nearly as capable as the human eye. One of the system's key features is its ability to spot potential danger such as other vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles or motor cycles and warn the driver in due time or even apply emergency braking if needs be to prevent a collision or at worst, reduce the damage of a collision. This is just one of the many features of EyeSight. EyeSight is equipped standard on the 2.0i-S ES and the 2.0i-L ES derivatives, both at a price of under R500 000 making them the safest mid-sized SUV in its class at this price point.
The new Forester will be the first model in the Subaru line-up to receive the new two-mode X-Mode system. X-Mode is a device that automatically adjusts the throttle power in off-road driving, leaving the driver to handle only the steering in difficult driving conditions. The new X-Mode offers two modes - one for driving in snow and deep mud and the second for driving in sand and snow, and debuts on the premium model. Other Forester models have the standard X-Mode single mode function. Both versions feature Subaru's Hill descent control. Of course, all-new Forester retains its class-leading 220mm of ground clearance, but more consideration has been given to improved departure and break-over angles. All have been optimised to conquer obstacles without sustaining damage or getting stuck.
There’s a new motor too, a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre BOXER motor that produces 115kw and 196nm – up by 5kw on the previous 2.0-litre, although torque is down by 2nm. It’s paired exclusively with a Lineartronic continuously variable transmission, and features stop-start technology. It also features the familiar SI-Drive, Subaru's drivetrain management system that allows you to specify quicker throttle response and more aggressive transmission 'shifting' from the CVT when switched from Intelligent to Sport driving mode. New fuel consumption figures are 7.6L/100km, a 13% saving over the previous generation SUV.
Much like all new-generation Subarus, the Forester ushers in the highest levels of comfort, convenience and technology specifications. It's the nature of Forester to offer great levels of value in the entire package, no less with the new car. Standard features across the range are high-resolution touchscreen infotainment with smartphone integration, Apply CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth control with switches to operate these on the steering wheel as well as voice-command functionality and four USB ports. Also, standard are electric windows, electric parking brake, electric side mirrors, multi-function display, remote keyless entry, a security system with engine immobilizer and powered seats for the driver and passenger. The High spec version adds features such as electric seats with 2-memory programmable settings, a 9-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system, rain-sensing front windscreen wipers, and Sunroof. Forester also features a revised electric tailgate that operates in 5 seconds, almost half the time of the previous model.
Pricing for the new Forester is as follows:
Forester 2.0i CVT (Base Spec) - R429 000
Forester 2.0i-L ES CVT (Medium Spec) - R469 000
Forester 2.0i-S ES CVT (High Spec) - R499 000
All new Foresters are sold with Subaru's 5yr/150 000km Warranty and a 3yr/75,000km Full Maintenance Plan which is further extendable to a 5yr/150,000km.
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