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Subaru lifts lid on all-new Forester

Published: November 1, 2012 | 9:26 am
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Subaru’s Forester SUV is falling into line with the latest Impreza (not sold in SA) and XV ranges. Only front-three-quarter pictures have been released for now, but the facial resemblance to its aforementioned siblings is quite blatant.

Local Forester fans won’t have to wait too long to see it in the flesh, however, as our Subaru SA contact has confirmed that the new SUV will go on sale here during the second quarter of 2013.

TURBO POWER

South African buyers will be able to choose between a normally aspirated 2.5-litre petrol engine carried over from the current range and a new 2-litre turbo with direct injection.

As before, the 2.5 puts out 126kW at 5800rpm and 235Nm at 4100. The 2.0T, however, makes a little less oomph than the 2.5T it replaces (186kW at 5600rpm, down from 193kW) but does have a bit more twisting force (349Nm from 2000rpm, up from 347Nm) and its direct fuel injection mechanism will make it more economical.

A turbodiesel model is also in the pipeline but our contact tells us it may be delayed for a few months, depending on the availability of Subaru’s new CVT gearbox.

As for the Forester’s dynamic qualities, redesigned suspension is said to deliver agile handling and a more compliant ride. It should be rather decent off the beaten track too, thanks to 221mm of ground clearance and Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive system.

BIGGER INSIDE

Despite having similar dimensions to the current Forester the new model has a more spacious interior, with improved rear legroom and a bigger boot, says Subaru.

Like just about every other new car these days, it also has more gadgets. Although the local specification has yet to be confirmed, North American models offer features like smartphone integration, rear-view camera and a Harman/kardon premium sound system with amplifier.

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