Subaru Forester

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Subaru Forester
2019 Subaru Forester 2.5i Touring AWD front 3.17.19.jpg
2019 Subaru Forester
Overview
ManufacturerSubaru
Production1997–present
Body and chassis
ClassCompact crossover SUV
Body style5-door SUV
LayoutFront-engine, all-wheel drive
RelatedSubaru Impreza
Chronology
PredecessorSubaru Bighorn

The Subaru Forester (Japanese: スバル•フォレスター Subaru Foresutā) is a compact crossover SUV (sport utility vehicle)[1] that's been manufactured since 1997 by Subaru. Available in Japan from 1997, the Forester shares its platform with the Impreza. The current Forester has 5 trims, standard, premium, sport, limited, and touring. The touring has features like brown leather seats, heated seats, navigation, and panoramic sunroof. All wheel drive is standard on every model.

First generation (SF; 1997)[edit]

First generation (SF)
Subaru Forester front 20071022.jpg
Overview
Production1997–2002
AssemblyJapan: Ōta, Gunma
Body and chassis
Related
Powertrain
Engine
Transmission
Dimensions
Wheelbase2,525 mm (99.4 in)
Length1997–2000: 4,450 mm (175.2 in)
2000–2002: 4,460 mm (175.6 in)
Width1,735 mm (68.3 in)
Height1,650 mm (65.0 in)
Curb weight1,430 kg (3,152.6 lb)

The Forester was introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show in November 1995 as the Streega concept, and made available for sale in February 1997 in Japan, and to the US market in 1997 for MY1998. The Forester was one of the first emerging crossover SUVs.[2] It was built in the style of a car, but had a taller stance, higher h-point seating, and an all-wheel drive drivetrain. Subaru advertising employed the slogan "SUV tough, Car Easy". It used the Impreza platform but with the larger 2.5-liter DOHC EJ25D four-cylinder boxer engine from the Subaru Outback, making 123 kW (165 hp; 167 PS) at 5,600 rpm and 220 N⋅m (162 lb⋅ft) of torque at 4,000 rpm.

In Japan, the Forester replaced the Subaru Impreza Gravel Express, known in the US as the Subaru Outback Sport. However, the Outback Sport remained in production for the U.S. market. The Forester appeared after the introduction of the Nissan Rasheen in Japan with a similar appearance, and the Forester's Japanese competitors include the Toyota RAV4, Mitsubishi RVR, and the Suzuki Grand Vitara. Due to the Forester's low center of gravity, it meets the United States federal safety standards for passenger vehicles, and does not require a "risk of rollover" warning label on the driver's visor. Size and price-wise, it fits between the shared Impreza platform, and the larger Legacy.

The automatic transmissions used on AWD equipped vehicles will normally send 60% of the engine's torque to the front wheels and 40% to the rear wheels, using a computer-controlled, continuously variable, multi-plate transfer clutch. When the transmission detects a speed difference between the front and rear axle sets, the transmission progressively sends power to the rear wheels. Under slip conditions it can achieve an equal split in front and rear axle speeds.[3]

When accelerating or driving uphill, the vehicle's weight shifts rearward, reducing front-wheel traction, causing the transmission to automatically send torque to the rear wheels to compensate. When braking or driving downhill, the vehicle's weight shifts towards the front, reducing rear-wheel traction. The transmission again compensates by sending torque to the front wheels for better steering control and braking performance. If the automatic is placed in reverse or first gear, the transmission divides the torque 50/50 to both front and rear wheels.[citation needed] The manual transmission cars are set up with a near 50/50 torque split as a base setting, and it varies from there. Essentially, manual cars are set up with more bias towards the rear than automatic cars.

Australia[edit]

There was a change in body styling for all 2001–2002 models, and the 2001/2002 GT spec also had a change in engine management and power output was increased from 125 to 130 kW (174 hp; 177 PS).

United States[edit]

The U.S. market was offered the car starting in 1997 with either the 2.5-liter DOHC (MY1998 only), and in 1999+ models changed to a 2.5-liter SOHC naturally aspirated engine (no turbocharged engines). In 2000, for MY2001, Subaru updated the exterior with a modest facelift to the front, rear, sides, and the interior's dashboard.

The trim levels were the basic model "L" and the fully equipped "S" for the USA versions.

Forester L came with a high level of standard equipment, including ABS, air conditioning, power windows, power locks, cruise control, digital temperature gauge, multi-reflector halogen headlights, fog lights, roof rack, rear window defogger, trailer harness connector, reclining front bucket seats with adjustable lumbar support, tilt steering, tinted glass, AM/FM/cassette stereo with its antenna laminated in the left-rear quarter window. Notably new in 2001 were the three-point seatbelts for all five seating positions, including force limiters in front and height-adjustable shoulder belt anchors for front and rear outboard positions, plus rear seat headrests for all three seating positions.

Forester S adds a viscous limited-slip differential for the 2000 Model Year, rear disc brakes, 16 × 6.5-inch alloy wheels with 215/60R16 tires (the L uses 15 × 6-inch steel wheels), upgraded moquette upholstery, heated front seats with net storage pockets in back, dual vanity mirrors, heated sideview mirrors, heated windshield wipers, and keyless entry. New equipment for 2001 included Titanium pearl paint for the bumpers and cladding; six-disc in-dash CD sound system; leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob and handbrake handle; variable intermittent wipers with de-icers and driver's side fin; and the five-spoke alloy wheels. Some models were equipped with the $1,000 optional premium package on the Forester S, including monotone paint (Sedona Red Pearl), power moonroof, front side-impact airbags, and gold accent wheels. Other options were the $800 automatic transmission, $39 chrome tailpipe cover and $183 auto-dimming rear-view mirror with compass, bringing the sticker price to $25,412 including $495 delivery (U.S. dollars quoted).

Second generation (SG; 2002)[edit]

Second generation (SG)
03-05 Subaru Forester X 1.jpg
Overview
Also calledChevrolet Forester (India)[4][5][6]
Production2002–2008
AssemblyJapan: Ōta, Gunma
Body and chassis
Related
Powertrain
Engine
  • 2.0 L EJ20 H4
  • 2.0 L EJ20 turbo H4
  • 2.5 L EJ253 H4
  • 2.5 L EJ255 turbo H4
  • 2.5 L EJ25 turbo H4 (JDM Forester STi)
Transmission
Dimensions
Wheelbase2,525 mm (99.4 in)
Length2003–2005: 4,450 mm (175.2 in)
2006–2008: 4,485 mm (176.6 in)
Width1,735 mm (68.3 in)
Height1,650 mm (65.0 in)
Sports 2.5X: 1,590 mm (62.6 in)
Sports 2.5XT: 1,585 mm (62.4 in)
Curb weight2.0 L: 1,320 kg (2,910.1 lb)
2.0 L turbo: 1,410 kg (3,108.5 lb)
2.5 L: 1,424 kg (3,139.4 lb)
2.5 L turbo: 1,474 kg (3,249.6 lb)

The second generation was introduced as a 2003 model at the 2002 Chicago Auto Show, based on the new Impreza platform, featuring several fine-tune improvements over the past model. The 2003 Forester features weight-saving refinements such as an aluminum hood, perforated rails, and a hydro-formed front sub-frame. The most noticeable change was the offering of 2.5 L versions (normally aspirated and turbocharged) and in the U.S. the introduction of the turbocharged 2.5-liter model.

In the United States, the naturally aspirated X (previously L) and XS (previously S) were released in 2003. In 2004, the turbocharged XT trim was released. However, the same model had been available since the late 1990s elsewhere in the world. The X and XS models feature a 2.5 L SOHC EJ253 engine, while the XT model features a 2.5 L turbocharged DOHC engine. Both engines have timing belt (camshaft).[7] The XT model uses the same Mitsubishi Motors TD04 turbocharger used in the Subaru Impreza WRX[citation needed]. All Forester 2.5 L engines are of the interference engine type.

Starting with the 2004 XT, the turbocharged version had Active valve control system cylinder heads. The i-AVLS (active valve lift system) became standard on the naturally aspirated version of the Forester in 2006. This increased horsepower and torque figures to 173 HP and 166 ft-lbs. The 2006 XT received a higher compression ratio to 8.4:1 from 8.2:1. This increased the XT's power to 230 HP and 235 ft-lbs.

For the 2006 model year, Subaru gave the SG a facelift, using redesigned headlights, tail-lights, bonnet, grille, front bumper and side-moldings.

Safety[edit]

MY03-04 Models has a 4-Star ANCAP safety rating. MY05 Forester Model had a mid-life update, which increased its ANCAP safety rating to 5 Stars.

In 2006, the turbocharged engine (powering the Forester XT) was awarded International Engine of the Year.[8][9] This engine is also used in the Subaru Impreza WRX, as well as the re-badged Saab 9-2XAero.

Maintenance[edit]

All of the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engines for this generation have a timing belt made of rubber and cord. A belt must be replaced at 105,000 miles (169,000 km). These engines are interference engines, meaning that if the timing belt breaks or stretches, the pistons will hit the valves, requiring an engine teardown, and a likely rebuild. Also, if this belt is replaced around 105,000 miles, it is a good idea to change the water pump, thermostat, belt tensioner and all the idler pulleys for this belt. The water pump and thermostat are behind this belt. In Australia for the Series II (MY06) cars, Subaru changed the recommended service interval for the timing belt replacement from 100,000 kilometers to 125,000 kilometers. The 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine in the first-generation Foresters featured head gaskets which were prone to premature failure. For 2003 and later, this problem was addressed with a revised, higher performing design, but is still a problem.[10]

United States[edit]

2006–2008 Subaru Forester XT Sports

The U.S. Market was offered the car with either the 2.5 SOHC naturally aspirated engine, or the 2.5 DOHC turbocharged version added in 2004. In 2005, the L.L. Bean edition is added. In 2006, styling is updated, Active valve lift system is added to non-turbo engines to improve power and efficiency, XS model deleted, and Premium model added. In 2007, a bottle holder was added to front door panels, the 'Sports' trim level was added, which changed some interior and exterior features and added the VDT/VDC transmission to the XT Sports turbo Automatic model: In 2008, TPMS was added, L.L. Bean model deletes rear load-leveling suspension, but gains radio upgrade, the XT Turbo Limited models gets the VDT/VDC Auto transmission as well.

Australia[edit]

The Forester had three main models available in Australia until July 2005:

  • X - naturally aspirated 2.5 L flat-4, 112 kW (150 hp)
  • XS - naturally aspirated 2.5 L flat-4, 112 kW (150 hp)
  • XT - turbocharged 2.5 L flat-4, 155 kW (208 hp)

The Forester at the time had three main models available in Australia from August 2005 Series II:

  • X - naturally aspirated 2.5 L flat-4, 121 kW (162 hp)
  • XS - naturally aspirated 2.5 L flat-4, 121 kW (162 hp)
  • XT - turbocharged 2.5 L flat-4, 169 kW (227 hp)

The Luxury Pack edition was an option on all models - allowing for leather seats and a sunroof. These options were also included with the Columbia edition. The Weekender edition included fog lights, roof racks and alloy wheels. Standard with the Manufacture Year 2006 (MY06) Forester came with larger side mirrors with indicator lights, curtain airbags giving a 5 star safety rating, remodelled centre console and exterior with a new look nose, lights and bumpers and the rear lost the large Subaru badge under the rear window.

  • X - Air conditioning, CD player, power windows, ABS and cruise control.
  • XS - Auto levelling rear suspension, 16-inch Alloy Wheels, Fog lights, Climate Control and Cd Stacker - 6 Disc in Dash.
  • XT - As the XS but with 17-inch Alloy Wheels, high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights, Momo steering wheel and 7 Speaker Stereo.

India[edit]

The Forester was sold in India as a Chevrolet alongside other unique Chevrolet models sold there. However, since General Motors no longer holds an ownership stake in Subaru's parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries, sales in India of the Chevrolet-badged Forester have ended.

China[edit]

A look-alike was produced by Yema and known as the Yema F99 in China. It was a similar design to the pre-facelifted model. Production ran from 2012 to 2014. The engine was a 1.5l 4 cylinder mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox. The car was not related to the Forester even though they look very similar. The Forester was imported to China from 2004 until 2007 in the following models:

2004 Version sold in China:

  • 2.5XT Automatic

2006 Version (Facelift) sold in China:

  • 2.0X Manual
  • 2.0X Automatic
  • 2.5XT Automatic

2007 Version (Facelift) sold in China:

  • 2.0X Manual
  • 2.0X Automatic
  • 2.5XT Automatic

Forester STi (SF and SG; 2000)[edit]

Subaru Forester STi
2005 Subaru Forester STI (front).jpg
2005 Subaru Forester STI (front view)
Overview
TypeSport SUV/Wagon
ManufacturerSubaru (Fuji Heavy Industries)
Model years2001-2006
Body and chassis
Body style5-door wagon
LayoutFront engine, AWD
Doors5
RelatedSubaru Impreza WRX STI
Powertrain
Engine2457 cc EJ25 turbo H4
Transmission6-speed manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase2525 mm (99.4 in)
Length4455 mm (175.4 in)
Width1735 mm (68.3 in)
Height1550 mm (61 in)
Curb weight3307 lb (1500 kg)

In 2004, Subaru launched the Forester STI for the Japanese Market only. A "sportier" version of the standard second-gen (SG) Forester, the Forester STi incorporated most of the running components from the WRX STi, with several other changes. The base price for the Forester STi (new) was about ¥3,000,000 in 2005 or about US$28,000 (equivalent to $37,103 in 2020)[11] The Forester STi has AWD and a front-mounted engine. The Forester STi was never exported to any other markets. It was only distributed in Japan.

Exterior changes[edit]

Subaru Forester STi Version (SG) front (aftermarket wheels)

The Forester STi exterior was modified with additions such as a redesigned front fascia with new headlights, front bumper, grille and "STi" badged covered fog lights, like those seen on the Impreza WRX STi. The rear fascia was also redesigned with revised taillights, rear bumper and an added rear spoiler.[12]

Engine and mechanical changes[edit]

Multiple changes were made to engine and the mechanical components of the Forester to create the Forester STi. They include:

Engine[edit]

The Forester STi received the 2.5-liter turbocharged flat-four from the WRX STi, making 265 PS (195 kW) and 186.0 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual gearbox, a larger intercooler, and a low-back-pressure exhaust system were also added. The top three ratios of the gearbox are 14 percent taller to match the engine's torque curve.[12][11]

Mechanical components[edit]

Multiple changes were made to the mechanical components of the Forester to create the Forester STi. They include:

Suspension[edit]

To cope with the extra power made by the new engine, the Forester STi gets many upgraded suspension components including STi sport springs, revised struts at each corner and bigger anti-roll bars and cross-members. These changes result in a 1.2 inch lower ride height an improved resistance to torsional forces. Rolling resistance is also improved, but the higher center of gravity of the Forester still remains.[11]

Steering[edit]

The Forester STi has a new rack with quicker ratio that leads to more-deliberate turn-in.[11]

Wheels and tires[edit]

Subaru Forester STi Version (SG) rear (aftermarket wheels)

The Forester STi gets 18-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels with 225/45R-18 Bridgestone Potenzas. Four-piston Brembo brakes are employed on the front wheels, and two-piston units are used on the back.[11]

Interior[edit]

The Forester STi has special STi bucket seats with red inserts, a smaller leather steering wheel and a shift knob with red stitching.[11]

Performance[edit]

The 2006 Forester STi accelerates from 0-60 (0-96.6 kph) mph in 5.2 seconds, 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) in 5.4 seconds, and does the quarter mile in 14.1 seconds @ 97.0 mph (156.11 kph). The Forester STi can go on to reach a top speed of 140 mph (225.3 kph) The Forester STi has a power to weight ratio of 174 hp per ton.[13][14]

Third generation (SH; 2009)[edit]

Third generation (SH)
2009 Subaru Forester -- NHTSA.jpg
Overview
Production2009–2013
AssemblyJapan: Ōta, Gunma
Powertrain
Engine
Transmission
  • 5-speed manual
  • 6-speed manual (diesel)
  • 4-speed automatic
  • 5-speed automatic (S-edition)
Dimensions
Wheelbase2,616 mm (103 in)
Length4,559 mm (179.5 in)
Width1,781 mm (70.1 in)
Height1,674 mm (65.9 in)
1,742 mm (68.6 in)
(2010-2012 2.5X/XT)
Curb weight1,470 kg (3,250 lb)

The third generation Forester began to move away from a traditional wagon design towards becoming a crossover SUV. It was larger in nearly every dimension and featured a sloping roof line with more cargo space. Subaru unveiled the model year 2008 Forester in Japan on December 25, 2007. The North American version made its debut at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Styling was by Subaru Chief Designer Mamoru Ishii.[15] The dimensions derive from engineers using the basic body structure of the Japanese-spec Impreza wagon with the rear platform of the U.S.-spec Impreza sedan.[15] The Forester's wheelbase was increased 3.5 inches (89 mm), with overall increases of 3.0 inches (76 mm) in length, 1.8 inches (46 mm) in width and 4.3 inches (110 mm) in height.[15]

The independent double wishbone rear suspension was redesigned for better handling and a smoother ride. A "Sportshift" mode was added to the four-speed computer-controlled automatic transmission. The in-dash, touch-screen satellite navigation system became Bluetooth compatible, and integrated with a premium stereo. A six-speaker surround sound enhancement was optional.

The new model added 3.5 inches (89 mm) to the Forester's wheelbase, improving interior space and cargo room (31 cu ft (0.88 m3) expandable to 69 cu ft (2.0 m3)). Ground clearance was 8.9 inches (230 mm).

Europe[edit]

The Forester was available in Europe from 2008 with either the 2.0-liter EJ20 (150 hp; 110 kW) 196 Nm petrol engine with Active Valve Control System (AVCS) matched to either five-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearbox, or an all-new diesel-powered horizontally opposed Subaru EE boxer engine, and six-speed manual gearbox. The new model was introduced at the 2008 Paris Motor Show in October.[16] The diesel engine produces a power output of 147 PS (108 kW; 145 hp) and 350 Nm. The EE20 diesel engine in the Euro 4 guise was plagued by crankshaft failure caused by cracks forming when operated in cold climate. Although Subaru never acknowledged this defect, the engine was reworked for the Euro 5 model in 2011 to eliminate this issue.

In the UK, the petrol-powered Forester was offered in the popular X and XS models, while trim level for the diesel models were X, XC, and XS NavPlus.

In Russia, Belarus and Ukraine 2.5 and 2.5 Turbo engines were also available.

In Netherlands the Forester is offered with petrol or diesel engines. The petrol engine can also be fitted with an additional liquefied petroleum gas installation (LPG), usually an aftermarket installation provided directly through dealerships. The available equipment levels are Intro (petrol engine only), Comfort, Luxury, Premium and XT(petrol engine turbo). Maximum towing abilities for the petrol or petrol with LPG are 2000 kg (manual) or 1500 kg (auto), while the manual-only diesel can tow 2000 kg.

Australia[edit]

Interior

There were seven specifications with various trim and performance levels:[17]

  • X: Base model - naturally aspirated 2.5 L flat-4, 126 kW (169 hp) 229 Nm (169 ft-lbf)
  • XS: Lower luxury non-turbo model - naturally aspirated 2.5 L flat-4, 126 kW (169 hp) 229 Nm (169 ft-lbf)
  • XS Premium: luxury non-turbo model - naturally aspirated 2.5 L flat-4, 126 kW (169 hp) 229 Nm (169 ft-lbf)
  • 2.0 Diesel: turbo-diesel 2.0 L flat-4, 108 kW (145 hp) 350 Nm (258 ft-lbf)
  • 2.0 Premium Diesel: Premium - turbo-diesel 2.0 L flat-4, 108 kW (145 hp) 350 Nm (258 ft-lbf)
  • XT: Lower luxury turbo model - turbocharged 2.5 L flat-4, 169 kW (227 hp) 320 Nm (236 ft-lbf)
  • XT Premium: luxury turbo model - turbocharged 2.5 L flat-4, 169 kW (227 hp) 320 Nm (236 ft-lbf)
  • S-Edition: - turbocharged 2.5 L flat-4 193 kW (259 hp) 347 Nm (256 ft-lbf)

Of note is a serious head gasket issue that remains unresolved by Subaru. Mostly oil and or coolant leaks / cross cylinder failure being the worst.. Can be resolved by aftermarket gaskets, however, this is an expensive engine out job. [18] [19]

Summary of standard trim and equipment over different Australian models.

  • Wheels and tyres – The X model came with 16-inch steel wheels, the 2.0 diesel model with 16-inch alloys, all other models came with 17-inch alloy wheels. The S-Edition comes with STI style wheels.
  • Suspension – The X model came with double wishbone type, independent rear suspension. All other models came with self-levelling double wishbone type, independent suspension on the rear.
  • Miscellaneous – The Premium versions of the 2.0 diesel, XS and XT models came with leather seating and an electric sunroof. These items were not available as options on other models.
  • Transmission. The X came with either a dual range, five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic transmission. Both diesel models come with a six-speed manual transmission only. All other models came with either a single-range, five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. The S-Edition has a 5 speed Automatic Transmission.
  • Entertainment – The XT Premium came with a multi-information in-dash satellite navigation system and single CD/DVD player (7-inch touch screen). The X and 2.0 diesel came with an AM/FM radio, CD player (MP3 and WMA compatible), four-speaker stereo (tweeters and subwoofer optional extra). All other models came with an AM/FM radio, six-stack in-dash CD player (MP3 and WMA compatible), and a six-speaker SRS stereo system with subwoofer. The system from the XT Premium was optional on all other models, but cost A$4851.50 (fitted).[20]

United States[edit]

The Forester trim levels were the 2.5X, the 2.5X Premium, the 2.5X Limited and the 2.5XT and 2.5XT Limited both with turbo. The interior color was either black or light gray, with three upholstery selections, including leather.[21] Nine exterior colors were offered, with four colors in a pearlescent appearance.

Starting July 2009, Subaru no longer offered a special-edition L.L. Bean trim level on the Forester.[22]

The USA 2.5X model was certified PZEV emissions (Rated 175 hp (130.5 kW) instead 170 hp (126.8 kW)), with a badge attached to the rear of the vehicle on the bottom right-hand side of the tailgate. All other USA models were certified LEV2. The PZEV Forester was available for sale in all fifty states, unlike other manufacturers who only sold PZEV-certified vehicles in states that had adopted California emission standards. The engine without the turbo runs on unleaded gasoline rated at 87 octane, and the turbo engine (EJ255) requires premium fuel rated minimum 91 octane.

Safety equipment included front airbags with side curtain airbags and front passenger side airbags (for a total of six airbags) and brake assist that detects panic-braking situations and applies maximum braking force more quickly. The five-speed manual transmission was equipped with Incline Start Assist.

Some of the standard equipment found on the 2.5X included Subaru's VDC (Vehicle Dynamics Control), 16 inch steel wheels, and an auxiliary audio jack for MP3 players. Optional equipment included 17 inch alloy wheels, panoramic moonroof, heated front seats and heated side-view mirrors. The L.L. Bean edition added automatic climate control, leather upholstery, an upgraded stereo with six speakers and a six disc in-dash CD changer over the four-speaker stereo with single disc CD player, and an in-dash navigation system, as well as L.L. Bean signature floor mats and rear cargo tray.

The 2.5 XT came with the premium stereo standard, as well as 17-inch alloy wheels, and the panoramic moonroof. The 2.5 XT Limited added leather upholstery with heated front seats, in-dash navigation, a rear spoiler, and automatic climate control. For 2009, XT models came only with a four-speed automatic with Sport Shift.

Forester XTI concept[edit]

The Forester XTI concept vehicle used the 2.5-liter intercooled turbo engine from the Subaru WRX STI, six-speed manual transmission, 18 × 8-inch S204 forged alloy wheels with Yokohama Advan Neova 255/40R18 performance tires, adjustable coil-over suspension, Brembo brakes with four-piston front calipers, 2-piston rear calipers, Super Sport ABS and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), leather and Alcantara sport seats, a special instrument cluster, front dash and center console and leather-wrapped steering wheel. Engine is rated 315 hp (235 kW) and 300 lb⋅ft (407 N⋅m) torque.

The vehicle was unveiled in the 2008 SEMA Show.[23]

Mountain Rescue Vehicle[edit]

Subaru produced a specialized vehicle for the National Ski Patrol based on the 2.5XT turbo.[24] It includes diamond plate floor, rear steel walls, a 9,500-pound winch and a roof-mounted toboggan. The vehicle was unveiled in the 2008 SEMA Show.[25][26]

Facelift[edit]

In 2010, USA model year 2011, the Subaru Forester received a minor facelift featuring a new grille insert and several small changes in various trim levels. A new 2.5X Touring trim level was also introduced above the 2.5X Limited. The 2.5X Touring trim added HID lighting, a rearview camera, dual-zone climate control, and silver roof rails. 2.5XT models got a slightly larger rear roof spoiler.[27]

Subaru also quietly switched to the all new 2.5L DOHC FB25 third generation boxer engine in naturally aspirated Forester models. The new engine made the same 170 hp (126.8 kW) as the outgoing EJ253, but torque increased by 4 lb⋅ft to 174 lb⋅ft (235.9 N⋅m). Fuel economy improved by 1 mpg EPA city/highway to 21/27. 2.5XT models retained the 2.5L DOHC EJ255 turbo engine.[28]

Gallery[edit]

Pre-facelift styling

Post-facelift styling

Fourth generation (SJ; 2012)[edit]

Fourth generation (SJ)
Subaru Forester 2.0XT AWD Platinum (IV) – Frontansicht, 1. März 2014, Wuppertal.jpg
Overview
Production2012–2018
Assembly
Powertrain
Engine
Transmission
Dimensions
Wheelbase103.9 in (2,640 mm)
Length180.9 in (4,595 mm)
Width70.7 in (1,796 mm)
Height68.2 in (1,732 mm)[30]
Curb weight1,495 to 1,686 kg (3,296 to 3,717 lb)

The fourth-generation Forester was unveiled in the 2012 Guangzhou Motor Show,[31] followed by the 2013 New York International Auto Show.[32]

Changes to the line-up include:

  • Continuously Variable Transmission and decreased towing capacity. Maximum towing capacity was reduced to 1,500 lb (680 kg) across all trim lines (in the United States; overseas the towing capacity is double that). Turbocharged variants use a high-torque CVT with steering wheel paddle shifter controls.
  • Revised, sport-oriented suspension, wheels (18-inch) and chassis bracing for XT (turbo) variant, providing flatter cornering in turns and better handling overall with little impact on ride.
  • Increased fuel economy, up to 32 mpg (7.35 L/100 km) highway (EPA rated)
  • 1.4 inches longer, 0.6 inches wider, 1 inch longer wheelbase
  • Increased interior volume: rear seat legroom is 41.7 inches (1,060 mm) and rear cargo volume (with seats folded down) is 74.7 cubic feet (2.12 m3).[33]
  • New option on higher end CVT models is "X-MODE" AWD control system, which was developed for driving on uneven or slippery road conditions. Engine, Transmission and VDC are controlled cooperatively.[34][35]
  • New option on top of the line 2.5i and 2.0XT Touring models only: EyeSight Driver Assist System

Japan models went on sale in November 2012. Early model includes 2.0i, 2.0i-L, 2.0i-L EyeSight, 2.0i-S EyeSight, 2.0XT (280 PS), 2.0XT EyeSight (280 PS).[36] 2.0i engine models include six-speed manual (2.0i, 2.0i-L) or Lineartronic CVT transmission; 2.0XT (280 PS) engine models include Lineartronic CVT transmission.[37]

Asian models went on sale in March 2013 as 2014 model year. Early model includes 2.0i-L, 2.0i Premium and 2.0XT. Association of Southeast Asian Nations production of the Subaru Forester began in February 2016. Malaysia-based Tan Chong Motor Assemblies assembled approximately 10,000 Forester units annually for Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia respectively.[29]

US models went on sale in March 2013 as 2014 model year vehicles. Early models include 2.5i in base, Premium, Limited and top-line Touring versions, and performance-oriented turbocharged 2.0XT (253 PS) in Premium and Touring versions. Base and Premium model 2014 Foresters can be equipped with the manual six-speed transmission or the Lineartronic CVT. All other models are equipped with the Lineartronic CVT. An option on Limited/Touring 2.5i and Premium/Touring 2.0XT is new X-Mode control and Hill Descent Control (HDC) features. These are not available on other models.

It has been awarded Motor Trend's 2009 and 2014 SUV of the Year and The Car Connection's Best Car To Buy 2014.[38]

Safety[edit]

Interior

According to IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) the 2014 Forester achieved Good crash test ratings in Small Overlap Front, Moderate Overlap Front, Side, Roof Strength, and Head Restraining & Seats categories. The Forester had not been rated Good in the Small Overlap Front test until modifications were made for the 2014 model year. The small overlap test, introduced in 2012 by the IIHS, simulates a frontal collision on 25 percent of the driver's side front corner. Since its adoption, the IIHS has noticed several automakers making non-symmetrical modifications to their vehicles. Another small overlap test was conducted on a number of vehicles, including a 2014 Forester, but was conducted on the passenger side instead. The crash test showed substantially more intrusion into the passenger side than into the driver's side of the Forester, it would have been rated Marginal[39][40]

X Mode[edit]

The 2014 Forester has a new feature called X Mode that allows owners to go through more extreme conditions both on the road and off. The concept is that any driver, regardless of skill level, can drive safely on wet roads or muddy areas. It works by monitoring wheel-slip on all four wheels; should one or more wheels begin to slip, X Mode kicks in and applies the brakes to the affected wheel which results in a transfer of power to the opposite wheel. After it is engaged by a simple push button, X Mode stays engaged up until the vehicle's speed is about 25 mph (40 km/h) then disengages itself.[41]

EyeSight Driver Assist System[42][edit]

The 2014 top-of-the-line Touring model Forester offers Subaru's EyeSight[43] driver assist technology that uses stereoscopic CCD cameras mounted on either side of the rearview mirror. Eyesight offers several driver assist technologies/features which include:

  • Pre-Collision Braking System
  • Pre-Collision Throttle Management
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Lane Departure and Sway Warning

The system can be manually turned on or off. Being an optical, instead of radar, based system, it has limitations in limited visibility situations; driving into the sun, fog, or where the windshield is not cleared (snow, mud, etc.) may cause the system to disengage.

Engines[edit]

gasoline engines
Model Years Type/code Power/rpm, Torque/rpm
2.5i 2014-2018 2,498 cc (152.4 cu in) H4 (FB25) 172 PS (127 kW; 170 hp) at 5,800, 24.1 kg⋅m (236 N⋅m; 174 lbf⋅ft) at 4,100
2.0XT (253 PS) 2014–2018 1,998 cc (121.9 cu in) H4 (FA20F) 253 PS (186 kW; 250 hp) at 5,600, 35.7 kg⋅m (350 N⋅m; 258 lbf⋅ft) at 2,000-4,800
2.0XT (280 PS) 2014–2018 1,998 cc (121.9 cu in) H4 (FA20F) 280 PS (206 kW; 276 hp) at 5,700, 35.7 kg⋅m (350 N⋅m; 258 lbf⋅ft) at 2,000-5,600

The 2014 and 2015 models had a major revamp of interior comfort. The passenger seat is higher, the sound system has been upgraded, the rear bench seats are higher and the console is re-positioned for the person riding in the center. The manual transmission models were also upgraded to a six-speed transmission instead of the previous generation's five-speed transmission. Engines during these year models did o have an issue, this is related predominantly to USA manufactured vehicles and USA manufactured porous engine blocks, Subaru Australia have had no significant issues with excess oil consumption in Australia with the Japanese manufactured vehicles.(Source Subaru Australia Head Office and extensive research prior to purchase by Australian customer (KRH))[original research?] with oil consumption. Numerous other automotive manufactures at the time have had oil consumption issues. Subaru had its settlement of a lawsuit approved by a US Court in August 2016.[44] The US complainants experienced over 1.5 quarts (1.4 liters) of oil consumed between change intervals with low-level dash lights coming on. The settlement provided for such complainants to receive an extended eight year warranty on the engine, allowing for an engine rebuild for that excessive oil consumption. Some speculation on this is the use of different style piston rings on the engine style change and synthetic oil.[according to whom?]

Pre-facelift styling

Post-facelift styling (2016–2018)[45]

Fifth generation (SK; 2018)[edit]

Fifth generation (SK)
2018 Subaru Forester (SK MY19) 2.5i AWD wagon (2018-10-08) 01.jpg
Overview
Production2018–present
Assembly
Body and chassis
PlatformSubaru Global Platform
Powertrain
Engine
TransmissionLineartronic CVT
Hybrid drivetraine-Boxer MHEV
Dimensions
Wheelbase105.1 in (2,670 mm)
Length182.1 in (4,625 mm)
Width71.5 in (1,815 mm)
Height68.1 in (1,730 mm)[46][47]
Curb weight1,564 to 1,627 kg (3,449 to 3,588 lb)

The 2019 Subaru Forester was revealed on March 28, 2018 at the New York International Auto Show.[47] Like contemporary Subaru models, the 2019 model year moved the Forester to the Subaru Global Platform.

Mechanical features[edit]

All 2019 Subaru Foresters have one of three versions of Subaru's Symmetrical All Wheel Drive (AWD) system. The trim level determines which system is installed. All provide a nominal torque split biased 60 front to 40 rear.

  • Base: Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) utilizing electronically controlled clutches to control torque split.
  • Premium: enhanced "X-Mode" which is a Single Mode System that optimizes engine output and transmission ratio. It enhances control of the VDC system to further control wheelspin and incorporates Hill Descent Control (HDC).
  • Sport, Limited and Touring: further enhanced "Dual Function X-Mode" System that adds specific, user engaged, settings for Snow/Dirt and Deep Snow/Mud modes.

For the first time, all trim levels of Forester are only available with one engine: Subaru's new FB25 DI. The engine is a non-turbo, direct injection flat (boxer) 4 cylinder producing 182 hp (136 kW) at 5800 rpm and 176 lb⋅ft (239 N⋅m) at 4400 rpm.[48] There is also only a single transmission option: the Lineartronic CVT.[49]

Safety[edit]

All Foresters come standard with Subaru's Eyesight Driver Assist Technology.[48]

For the first time Subaru DriverFocus™ Distraction Mitigation System comes standard on the Touring trim, which provides an alert when it detects the driver is distracted or is drowsy. In addition, the DriverFocus system is able to recognize five different drivers and will set seat and mirror positions and climate control settings accordingly.[48]

In 2019, the Start/Stop feature was added to all Forester models. This feature turns off the engine when the brake pedal is pressed. The engine restarts when the brake pedal is released. This feature comes on by default every time the engine is turned on but may be disabled after the engine is on.

e-BOXER[edit]

Subaru introduced the e-BOXER hybrid powertrain for the European-market Forester and XV at Geneva in March 2019; the e-BOXER integrates an electric motor into the Lineartronic CVT to improve fuel economy and increase power.[50] The e-BOXER powertrain features a modified FB20 rated at 110 kW (148 hp; 150 PS) at 5,600–6,000 rpm and 194 N⋅m (143 lb⋅ft) of torque at 4,000 rpm. Like the first-generation XV Crosstrek Hybrid, the Forester e-BOXER adds a single electric motor rated at 12.3 kW (16.5 hp; 16.7 PS) maximum output.[51] The battery for the traction motor is placed above the rear axle, improving the front/rear weight balance.[52]

Forester Sport (JDM)[edit]

A Forester Sport with an all new 1.8L direct injection turbocharged flat-4 engine was introduced in October 2020 for the Japanese domestic market. Codenamed CB18, the engine produces 130 kW (174 hp; 177 PS) at 5,200-5,600 rpm and 300 N⋅m (220 lb⋅ft) at 1,600-3,600 rpm.[53] This engine is also present in the JDM-only Subaru Levorg.[54] With the introduction of the Sport, the FB20D e-BOXER became the standard engine across the rest of the Forester line in Japan.[53] As of July 2021, there are no reports whether other markets will receive the CB18.[55]

From the outside, the Forester Sport is identified by its black grille as well as grey-painted fog lamps covers, side mirrors and rocker panels. The Sport also is equipped with a set of dark 18-inch wheels, while the rear fascia adds additional trim around the tailgate window. Externally, the most obvious change is the dual exhaust outlets, which are part of a redesigned and sportier lower apron.

2022 Facelift[edit]

The Forester will be facelifted in North America for 2022, it receives a new front end as well as a slightly tweaked rear bumper. The powertrain remains unchanged. All Forester models get Subaru's updated fourth generation eyesight driver-assist system. The biggest news for the 2022 facelift is the introduction of a more off-road focused Wilderness model.[56]

Forester Wilderness[edit]

The Forester Wilderness is intended to be a more off-road oriented version of the Forester and slots between the Limited and Touring trim levels in the Forester lineup. It features a 0.5 inches (13 mm) lift for a total of 9.2 inches of ground clearance, the Wilderness also gets all-terrain tires, a modified final drive ratio, and a stronger roof rack. Subaru's StarTex water-repellent seats are also standard. The Wilderness is powered by the same 2.5L FBD naturally-aspirated 4 cylinder engine powering other North American market Foresters. Visually, the Forester receives more body cladding, and on the inside, gets copper-colored accents.[57]

Awards[edit]

Sales[edit]

Calendar
Year
Canada[66] Thailand United States[66] Australia
1997 N/A 2,139[67]
1998 6,515[67]
1999 7,390[68]
2000 8,049[68]
2001 8,416[69]
2002 9,863[69]
2003 11,780[70]
2004 4,204 6,568 11,852[70]
2005 3,614 53,541 12,320[71]
2006 3,737 51,258 13,010[71]
2007 3,303 44,530 12,554[72]
2008 6,322 60,748 14,423[72]
2009 8,638 77,781 13,753[73]
2010 8,941 85,080 14,644[73]
2011 8,673 76,196 13,142[74]
2012 7,156 80,356 11,533[74]
2013 11,239 123,592 13,649[75]
2014 12,302 105[76] 159,953 13,670[77]
2015 12,706 129[78] 175,192
2016 13,798 1,468[79] 178,593
2017 13,441 939[80] 177,563 12,474[81]
2018 14,248 749 171,613 12,432[82]
2019 13,059 2,366[83] 180,179[84] 15,096[85]
2020 13,134 1,192[86] 176,996

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External links[edit]