Subaru Southern Africa presents the MY2021 Subaru Forester with more power, new derivatives as well as more tech and practicality.
It’s been 24 years since the first Subaru Forester defined what the world now refers to as the modern day SUV. It was a defining moment in the brand’s illustrious history, opening up a chapter that would see the Forester become the best-selling model in the company’s line-up.
The new 2021 line-up will extend this with the addition of 2 new flagship variants from which to choose. Starting with the new Subaru Forester 2.5i Sport ES CVT, this is an entirely new derivative that brings a refreshing and sporty design to the model line-up. Designed for those seeking a car with practicality and sporty aesthetics, the Forester Sport exudes power and athleticism. The range-topping 2.5i-S ES CVT represents the contemporary Forester SUV, exuding classic Subaru design that brings safety, practicality and adventure to the fore.
“The introduction of the 2.5-litre models and the Sport model to the line-up is so important for us as a brand, because it gives our customers more options and a more personalised experience,” says Nteo Nkoli, Marketing Lead for Subaru SA. “These long-awaited models are what many of our customers have been asking for, models that suit a particular lifestyle.”
The Power of Freedom: Engine and Dynamic Capability
For the first time since the launch of this 5th generation Forester, Subaru Southern Africa introduces the new direct injection 2.5-litre Boxer® Engine. The engine is mated to a lightweight Lineartronic® CVT transmission with shift paddles behind the steering wheel for stepped / manual control. The 2.5-litre engine delivers 136kW of power, an additional 21kW over the 2.0-litre engine. Maximum torque is 239Nm, an increase of 43Nm over the 2.0-litre.
The Forester features the Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-Drive) function that allows the driver to select a more efficient driving programme or something a little more sporty. The SI-Drive system will recalibrate the engine mapping to deliver the desired output. In Sport mode, the 2.5 Forester will accelerate from 0 – 100km/h in 9,3-seconds.
Despite the increase in power and performance, the 2.5-litre remains as efficient as the 2.0-litre model, delivering impressive fuel consumption figures of 7.6l/100km on the combined cycle. CO2 emissions are 193g/km.
Subaru is a name synonymous with safety and agility, a reputation built across the extremes of rally in the past as well as through impeccable safety ratings achieved over decades of car-crash testing. As standard across the entire Subaru range in South Africa is the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive™ system that is engineered for improved safety, agility and control. Subaru is one of the only manufacturers within the segment that offers this as standard across all our models, including the base models.
Fitted with a Boxer® engine that sits very low in the engine bay as well as Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive™ means the Forester’s dynamic abilities are excellent. No matter what the road conditions are, the drivetrain combination ensures a confident and well balanced drive and even under extreme corrective actions taken by the driver, the Forester is exceptionally stable. Part of the confident nature of the Forester is the Vehicle Dynamics Control system that makes use of ABS, EBD, ESP and Torque Vectoring to ensure traction and control is maintained.
It isn’t just agility and safety for which Symmetrical All Wheel Drive is beneficial, but also for that other trait for which Subaru is well known – an ability to conquer terrain and obstacles generally reserved for more serious off-roaders. The new Forester is fitted with X-Mode and Hill Descent Control as standard across the range. X Mode is a system that uses gear ratios and torque distribution to deliver power to specific wheels where the most grip is detected. In a nutshell, it gets you up and over, into and out of some tough terrain. The system has 2 driver-selectable programmes. SNOW/DIRT mode for slippery or loose surfaces such as dirt or gravel or snow. The other option is D.SNOW/MUD mode for heavier terrain like thick mud and deep, steep ruts. Hill Descent Control works as soon as any of these modes are activated, keeping a smooth reign on downhill speed.
With a class-leading 220mm of ground clearance, the Forester inspires confidence on any terrain.
Designed and Engineered with safety and versatility in mind
The Forester is an evolution of the previous generation. Now built upon the new Subaru Global platform, the Forester has been engineered to stringent standards of safety and versatility, woven into a package that stands out as a robust and classic Subaru design form. From the front, key highlights are the modern ‘Hawkeye’ LED headlamps, a large grille, fog lamps and an underguard treatment for added protection during off road excursions. The roof rails have also been redesigned, now featuring loopholes on the higher spec models, for easier use of ropes and straps when tying down cargo.
The base spec 2.0i-CVT sports 17-inch alloys while the 2.0i-S ES and 2.5i-S ES are shod with 18-inch alloys. The colour range for the non-Sport derivatives is as follows: Jasper Green Metallic, Horizon Blue Pearl, Crystal Black Silica, Crystal White Pearl, Ice Silver Metallic, Dark Grey Metallic, Red Pearl and Serpia Bronze Metallic.
The Forester is loved for its versatility. It is enjoyed by a range of customers from families to empty nesters and everything in between. Adventure and practicality are core principles in how the Forester has been designed and it is evident as you explore the cabin. The interior materials are of a high quality, yet with a solidity and strength that speaks of the reliability and robust nature of Subaru vehicles. At the same time, the designers have placed a high value on occupant comfort in the design of the seats as well as the cabin architecture and layout.
The wide-opening rear doors are unlike any other within the segment. The rear doors have been designed to allow the easiest and most comfortable access to the rear for general entry and loading but also for child seat accessibility and space. The Forester also features slip-resistant side sill steps at the rear.
Other convenience features include rear seat pockets designed to fit smartphones and tablets alike, a pair of USB ports for rear passengers in addition to the 2 USB ports up front and a new air-conditioning ventilation design for improved air flow to rear passengers.
In similar fashion, the boot features a wide-opening lid and a low sill for ease of loading into the 520-litre, rubberised boot. The boot space can be increased to 1 770-litres by flipping the switches either from the side of the boot opening panel or on top of the seatbacks themselves. The motorised bootlid can also be raised and lowered in just over 3-seconds, one of the fastest and therefore most convenient in the segment. Careful consideration has also been given to the materials used in the boot – an easy-to-clean yet aesthetically pleasing texture that is also used on the lower bumpers and wheel well cladding.
The S and ES Forester derivatives are fitted with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system that includes AUX, Bluetooth connectivity as well as the use of Apple CarPlay / Android Auto through the USB-A ports in the front. Also included in ES and Sport models there are electrically-adjustable front seats, automatic climate control, a sunroof and rain-sensing wipers to name just a few of the features. Forester is a full house vehicle.
The Athletic Forester Sport
The Subaru Forester 2.5i-Sport is a fresh new model added to the line-up with its own signature aesthetics and features. Featuring 5 exclusive colour combinations, the Sport contrasts the body colour with distinctive orange and black trim pieces. The grille and bumper elements are finished in black as are the side sills, wheel arch surrounds, rear bumpers and the top section of the boot lid. All of these elements are energised by vibrant orange accents that run along the lower half of the Forester Sport as well as on the corners of the roof rails. The 2021 Forester Sport version is also set apart from other derivatives with the use of 18-inch Dark Metallic alloy wheels.
There are 5 body colours that are available with the Sport models: Crystal White Pearl; Dark Blue Pearl; Magnetite Grey Metallic; Ice Silver Metallic and Crystal Black Silica.
The use of orange accentuates the interior elements too, strongly featured in the cabin surrounding the air vents, gear shifter and X-Mode switch as well as on the stitching throughout the car.
Also exclusively available on the Sport model is the addition of new Water Repellent Seats. This brand new seat material suits the adventurous lifestyles that Subaru owners enjoy. From wet swimming trunks and towels to soggy paws from our furry friends, the Water Repellent cloth seats are offered for the first time in South Africa.
Nteo Nkoli says, “the Forester Sport is a reflection of the adventurous ethos at Subaru and it certainly enhances the line-up with its sporty character and stand out design elements.”
For Subaru, safety begins from the ground up. It starts with the new Subaru Global Platform, one of the qualities of which is a better Ring-Shaped Reinforcement Frame that better disperses energy in a collision for reduced risk to passengers. Added to this, the engine and gearbox are designed to be pushed below the vehicle during a frontal collision instead of crashing into the cabin. Forester also benefits from no less than seven Airbags: 2 front airbags, 2 side airbags, 2 curtain airbags and 1 driver’s knee airbag.
Of primary concern to Subaru however, is to reduce the number of collisions that happen in the first place and in this area of Primary safety, the Forester sets new benchmarks once again. Forester delivers class-leading all-round visibility with fewer blind spots throughout the cabin than ever before. The A-pillars are thinner with more use of window glass. The C-pillars too have been designed to ensure a larger window behind the rear seats for maximum visibility. Within the cabin, new Forester now comes with an automatic mirror tilt-down function when the driver engages reverse gear. This assists with viewing blind-spots while reversing and parking. But it isn’t just exterior visibility that has improved, but interior visibility also plays a key role in the Primary safety of this car. It’s in the layout of the instrument clusters and Multi-Function Displays which are all designed in full colour to be easily readable, understandable and easy to operate. The multi-function steering wheel too, is there to assist driver’s to focus on the road ahead without getting distracted.
As always, the new Subaru Forester is built with Subaru core technology combination of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and Boxer engines. On the Subaru Global Platform, maneuverability is further enhanced with less body roll than the outgoing Forester and more direct steering. These are critical components for hazard avoidance responses. Active Torque Vectoring assists in this area as well, a feature that distributes less torque or brakes the requisite wheels for more precise handling and better driver control in situations where a loss of control is detected. This technology forms part of Subaru’s Preventative safety technology called Vehicle Dynamics Control(VDC). VDC controls a number of vehicle systems such as braking, torque distribution and engine output to ensure maximum traction and control when driving. The system includes Anti-Lock Braking, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Brake Assist and Traction control technologies. All of the above safety features come standard on all new Foresters.
Subaru’s award-winning EyeSight Driver Assist System is a standard feature on the 2021 Subaru ES line-up including the Subaru Sport model. Featured on the MY2021 line-up in its latest version, EyeSight is a system that makes use of camera-based technology and integrates features or assistance systems from Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Pre-Collision Braking, Lane Departure and Sway Warning and Lane Keep Assist. For the first time in South Africa, the Forester will take corrective action when you veer out of your line but using braking force on the requisite wheels to straighten the car, all the while flashing a warning in the driver’s multi-function display.
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—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 motorcycles 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®.
Adaptive Cruise Control between 0 – 180km/h is also made possible with EyeSight®. Adaptive Cruise Control maintains a set distance from the vehicle ahead by continuously monitoring the distance and speed difference, constantly adjusting the engine, transmission, and brakes where needed. Lane Sway and Lane Departure alerts the driver with a buzzer and flashing indicator if it detects lane drift or lane changes that are made without signaling. Other EyeSight® features include Lead Vehicle Start Alert which warns the driver when traffic up ahead is moving forward and Pre-Collision Throttle Management, a system that warns the driver and cuts power from the throttle in the event of wrong gear selection or accelerating from an intersection too early when a car is still right in front.
The Auto Vehicle Hold (AVH) function is a smarter feature that replaces the previous Hill Start Assist function and holds the vehicle on all road gradients, not only inclines.
A Reversing Camera, Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are all standard features on the ES models as well as a smart High Beam Assist which automatically switches the headlights between the high and low beams when needed. This technology is coupled with Steering Responsive Headlights that turn in conjunction with the steering angle for increased vision when navigating around bends at night.
Reverse Automatic Braking is also included on EyeSight-equipped models. When reversing, the RAB system uses sensors to detect objects and can automatically stop the vehicle if the driver does not take action in time. This is the only vehicle in its segment with this technology.
Nteo Nkoli says of the system, “EyeSight is a technology that really takes road safety to the next level and it is a standard feature in all but one of the Forester range, making the Forester a truly exceptional package.”
This Forester has scored 5-star safety ratings across all global ratings agencies.
The new Subaru Forester is the class-defining SUV for all seasons and now with more power and trim options, it’s more exciting than ever before. The Forester is the perfect depiction of Subaru’s innovative engineering, unmatched safety and legendary reliability.
The new Forester is now available from all Southern African dealers and pricing is as follows:
Each Subaru Forester model is sold with a 3yr/75 000km Maintenance Plan as well as the 5yr/150 000km Warranty.