Friday, June 22, 2018

Fifth-generation Subaru Forester (SK9/E)

The Subaru Forester is one of the forerunners of the crossover utility vehicle craze since the Toyota RAV4 and the Toyota Harrier and while it was basically a bigger Impreza, the Forester is an all-rounder thanks to Subaru's legendary AWD powerhouse that keeps it going no matter what's going on ahead. For the fifth-generation model, the Forester's taking a radical new approach for crossover shoppers as it's going to the direction that will make speedo boys crying back to their mommies.

2019 Subaru Forester
2019 Subaru Forester
At first glance, the all-new, fifth-generation Subaru Forester looks slightly different than the previous model but believe it or not, this is an all-new model so everything around here is almost as fresh as freshly picked tomatoes in the sunshine and while Subaru promises to be their most promising Forester ever, it isn't the most promising for speedo boys elsewhere because with this new model, turbocharging and manual are now out of the equation, meaning the new model is now offered with a choice of a naturally aspirated 2.5L boxer-4 engine and the first-ever 2.0L e-Boxer hybrid powertrain. More with that later on but first, let's observe the design.

At the design flow, the new Forester looks almost the same as the old model, judging from the front view, but on the back, it's almost like a botched up Kia Sorento R at some point, making it a clear approach that their new model looks different from the old one, so job done. Did you know that in the X-BREAK model, it features black gloss finish frame, black-finish 18-in. wheels and rear roof spoiler as well as orange accents on the black underguards and roof rail mounts.

2019 Subaru Forester interior

Peeking through the interior, the new Forester is starting to shape like the Impreza's and because it now runs on Subaru Global Platform, like from the Impreza, it's now surprisingly bigger than the previous model, meaning there's more room for granny and her friends for a weekend trip at Ocean Shores and Leavenworth. Being a five-seater, it only works if you are in a middle of a one-child policy, but because this is the kind of crossover your granny's friend drove every other day, it works really rather well, now that you mentioned personal experience from the previous model. It's now surprisingly dirt-resistant as well so there's no problem getting dirty while getting inside after in a middle of a rainy day at Oregon. Benefiting the new platform is the added space on the back that provides over five hundred litres of storage volume, meaning there's more stuff for some stuff granny bought at the grocery store or stuff for their next retreat at the province.

2019 Subaru Forester
2019 Subaru Forester

Back to what I said, the new Forester throws turbocharging and manual out of the equation, which is bad news for speedo boys everywhere, and in its place, it's now powered with a choice of a naturally aspirated 2.5L boxer-4 engine and the first-ever 2.0L e-Boxer hybrid powertrain, all mated with Subaru's Lineartronic CVT with a Manual Mode setting. Beginning on the FB25 engine, it now comes with direct fuel injection and higher compression as well as active valve control system on the exhaust. It now generates 184PS of power and 239Nm of torque, which is less than the Mazda CX-5, a crossover that is somewhat more enjoyable to own than this. Under the new WLTC Mode regulations, it returns with a 13.2kmpl fuel economy which is also less than the CX-5 as well.

The Advance model features an FB20 boxer engine coupled with a 10kW MA1 electric motor and li-ion battery and with this new e-Boxer hybrid powertrain, which combines boxer engine with electric technology, it promises 14kmpl of fuel economy under the new WLTC Mode regulations, which isn't bad as should say. Disappointing it maybe, the upside with the Forester Advance with e-Boxer is in any case your granny's friend forgot her phone at your home, she can come back to pick it up and then go home without worrying about fuel for the next day she'll visit your home again and again and again. That's personal experience done it right.

After getting to know the performance, how about driving? Since it runs on the SGP, the new Forester promises to be more refined than the previous model, meaning the handling is pretty much relatively superior compared to the old one and there's one pinky-lifting thing that will have you noticed. There is now Active Torque Vectoring, which is the same as you get from the WRX S4, the WRX STi, and the Levorg, and coupled that with Vehicle Dynamics Control, the Forester is as subtle to drive as carrying a bag of rice you bought from an Asian store with both hands.

What's a Forester be without X-Mode? X-Mode utilizes the the engine, transmission shift pattern, Active AWD front/rear clutch force, brakes and the Vehicle Dynamics Control to handle all kinds of situations and in the case of some models like the X-BREAK, there is a dual-mode version of X-Mode that offers Snow/Dirt and Deep Snow/Mud modes to make it more capable when things get rough.

Since Subaru is now synonymous with safety, the new Forester comes with EyeSight that includes Automatic Pre-Collision Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure and Sway Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Pre-Collision Throttle Management and Lead Vehicle Start Alert. The EyeSight Safety Plus, meanwhile, adds more safety tech such as Subaru Rear Vehicle Detection, Adaptive Driving Beam, Smart Rear View Mirror, Front View Monitor, and Side View Monitor, giving the new Forester a more safer drive good enough for your granny's friend to enjoy what it's like to be in the most high-tech Subaru to date.

Should you buy one? The new Forester stats at 2,808,000 Japanese Yen, which is surprisingly cheaper to own than the Mazda CX-5 powered by a 2.5L engine, while the hybrid-powered Forester Advance starts at 3,099,600 Yen. The petrol one won't arrive dealerships until mid-July while the Advance arrives by September but either way, you'll be too late to have one anyway, considering the skyrocketing waitlist over the new model. Still, the new Forester disappoints speedo boys with the removal of the turbo and manual variants from the previous model but for some relatives you know had a previous Forester from the start, the new model shapes the Forester into a more generous crossover fit enough for trips to Leavenworth, Ocean Shores, or Oregon, and then come back home with some fuel left for work, making it a more rewarding experience and with safety tech's at hand, the Forester puts everyone inside it first and that's something Subaru's trying to tell to the world that they're trying to copy Volvo's safety success story and while it sounds too deep, the new model can trigger some mixed reactions on its first day and that was the trivia for the day.

Available colors: Crystal White Pearl, Ice Silver Metallic, Dark Grey Metallic, Crystal Black Silica, Crimson Red Pearl, Sepia Bronze Metallic, Jasper Green Metallic, Horizon Blue Pearl, and Dark Blue Pearl.

Photo: Subaru Corporation

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