Subaru's new Forester recently went on sale here with prices starting at €34,995 for the new 2.0D X diesel or the new low CO2 2.0i XE Lineartronic CVT automatic, rising to €38,295 for the range topping 2.0D XC.
Subaru expects the new Forester will build upon the model’s reputation as a go-anywhere, user-friendly SUV with improved performance, safety and efficiency, and a more spacious and better appointed cabin.
Subaru says its unique symmetrical all-wheel drive system remains at the heart of the Forester, while a low centre of gravity and improved body rigidity contribute to improved refinement and a typically engaging drive on the road. The engine line-up includes 2.0-litre Boxer diesel and petrol units, with all units claiming significantly improved CO2 and economy figures over the outgoing model.
The new Subaru Forester is the fourth-generation of the SUV and is expected to quickly become the Japanese brand’s most popular model. Last year, the Forester accounted for 170,000 sales globally – 27 per cent of Subaru’s total sales – with 15,000 sold in Europe.
Shaped around SUV buyers’ top priorities, the Forester offers a high and commanding driving position; generous interior space and cargo capacity; exterior dimensions that are easily steered through city streets; and ease of entry and exit for adults and children. High ground clearance and all-wheel drive enable the all-terrain capabilities for which Forester is rightly renowned.
Subaru says its engineers have been able to increase the size of the cabin in the new Forester by expanding the wheelbase and widening the vehicle’s body, while cargo capacity in the new model has also been increased, continuing the Forester tradition for maximum practicality.
The new Forester is 2mm taller than the outgoing model, 15mm wider, and 35mm longer, with a 25mm longer wheelbase – and through clever packaging, there are bigger increases in interior space than external dimensions.
Subaru also claims designers have significantly improved the quality and ambience inside the new Forester through the use of higher grade materials on the dashboard, the centre console and doors. Particular attention has been given to the controls and areas touched by the driver, such as the steering wheel and gear shift, while optimising the switchgear feel of all other controls.
The Forester was recently awarded the full five-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating. Its vehicle dynamics control electronic stability control system has been upgraded for superior stability, while a new trailer stability control also improves safety during towing. Greater use of ultra-high tensile steel reinforces the vehicle, making it exceptionally strong yet light.
All safety equipment is fitted as standard to every model in the Forester range, including twin front, side, curtain and knee airbags, upholding Subaru’s commitment to improving crash safety performance.
Every Forester is equipped with two core Subaru technologies: Symmetrical all-wheel-drive, providing sure-footedness in all conditions, and the latest generation Boxer engines, contributing to the low centre of gravity beneficial to balance, road holding and handling.
I'm looking forward to a week long test on Irish roads in the new Subaru Forester to confirm the carmaker's claims that in everyday driving conditions, the new model’s agility, driving performance and ride quality are all improved through a combination of Subaru’s latest technologies, and enhanced chassis and body rigidity. I also want to check out the vehicle’s fully-independent suspension, which, the carmaker says, has been upgraded to improve steering response, traction and ride comfort.