Subaru's new 2013 Forester is now on sale in Australia, introducing buyers to the fourth generation model in its popular midsized SUV range.
The new 'Fozza' brings expanded drivetrain options, improved interior space, a host of new features, and improved efficiency across the board.
Style-wise, the new Forester is a continuation of the design language introduced with the current Liberty and Impreza/XV models - and arguably the most visually appealing to date.
Overall length and height is now 35mm greater than the model it replaces, but the 2013 Forester uses high strength steel and an aluminium bonnet to keep weight-gain to a minimal five kilograms.
Despite its taller stance, the new Forester’s aerodynamics have been improved from the previous 0.37cd, to a more hatch-like 0.33.
The 2013 XT and XT Premium range-toppers have already been detailed (here), but read on for our detailed breakdown of the rest of the 2013 Forester lineup.
For 2013, the previous Forester’s 126kW/235Nm 2.5 litre petrol and 108kW/350Nm 2.0 litre turbodiesel boxer engines continue largely unchanged, aside from the diesel’s maximum torque arriving 200rpm earlier at 1600rpm.
Diesel models continue as six-speed manual only, but are now spread across three trim levels; D, D-L, and D-S. These continue to lead the way in terms of fuel efficiency, with an official 5.9l/100km (down from 6.0l/100km).
The 2.5 litre petrol boxer is now auto-only, but the big news is that the previous model’s four speed torque converter unit (five-speed on S-Edition) has been replaced by Subaru’s Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT transmission with paddle shifters.
This transmission has helped the 2.5’s efficiency improve significantly, from 9.3l/100km to 8.1l/100km, and this driveline is available in i, i-L, and i-S trim levels.
At the lower end of the Forester’s price scale, a 2.0 litre base petrol option returns to the range for the first time since 2003, producing 110kW/198Nm, and returning an impressive 7.2l/100km.
The 2.0 litre base petrol is available with six-speed manual only, and available in i and i-L trim grades.
All non-turbo petrol models are now equipped with an automatic stop/start function, which switches off the engine when stationary for more than half a second, and will restart within 0.35 seconds when needed.
Subaru’s SI-Drive system is fitted to 2.0i-L, 2.5i-L, and 2.5i-S models, giving drivers the choice between ‘Sport’ linear throttle response or ‘Intelligent’ economy-biased throttle.
The 2013 Forester continues to offer two versions of Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drivetrain, with manual models utilising a viscous centre coupling, and autos a active torque-split arrangement.
The previous low-range transfer case available on non-turbo petrol manual Foresters is now absent from the Forester lineup, but off-road enthusiasts will be sated by the introduction of the new X-Mode off-road mode.
X-Mode is controlled by a console-mounted switch, and adjusts the traction/stability control and ABS settings to suit low-traction surfaces.
The function also brings hill-descent control to the Forester range for the first time, and permits descent speed control intuitively through the accelerator and brake pedals.
All trim levels feature a 4.3 inch multifunction dash display for the first time, demonstrating information such as fuel economy, eco evaluation, outside temperature, and self-maintenance advice.
Bluetooth telephony and audio also appears across the range, along with USB and 3.5mm connectivity.
The rear bench offers a reclining function for all models, along with a one-touch electronic folding mechanism.
Slightly larger dimensions in most areas permit a 23mm rear legroom gain, 32mm higher driving position, and 36mm higher rear seat location.
Combined with forward mounted A-pillars and door mounted wing mirrors, outward visibility is improved for all occupants.
Child seat anchorage points are now located on the rear seatbacks, eliminating the compromise to rearward vision of the current model roof points.
Seats-up cargo capacity for the 2013 Forester is actually 38 litres less than previously (now 422 litres), due to Subaru Australia’s insistence on a full-size spare wheel on all local models.
Previous Foresters have also come equipped with full-sized wheels, but the new model has been designed around a space saver wheel for markets who prefer outright cargo capacity.
Safety features include a knee airbag (for a total of seven) across all models - improving what was already a 5-Star ANCAP model - along with traction and stability control, reversing camera, and hill-start assist.
Subaru’s EyeSight collision avoidance system also makes its first Forester appearance on the 2.5i-S model (optional in 2.5i-L).
Also new to Forester is an automated tailgate on 2.5i-S and 2.0D-S models, with a memory height setting for those with low-ceiling car spaces.
Key visual differentiation between the trim grades is via wheel designs, with the entry i models equipped with 17 inch steel wheels, D, D-L,and 2.5i-L models gain 17 inch alloys, while S models feature 18-inch star pattern alloys.
Beyond the entry i/D models’ impressive levels of standard kit, the mid-spec L models gain front fog lights, leather steering wheel and gear selector.
On top of these features, S models gain an electronic sunroof, automatic xenon headlights, automatic wipers, keyless entry and push-button start, leather seats, electric driver seat adjustment, heated driver and front passenger seat, and satnav with additional 6.1 inch screen.
- Forester 2.0i manual - $30,990
- Forester 2.5i auto - $32,990
- Forester 2.0i-L manual - $33,490
- Forester 2.5i-L auto - $35,990
- Forester 2.5i-S auto - $43,990
- Forester 2.0D manual - $35,490
- Forester 2.0D-L manual - $37,490
- Forester 2.0D-S manual - $43,990
- Forester 2.0XT auto - $43,490
- Forester 2.0XT Premium auto - $50,490
- Option: EyeSight™ on Forester 2.5i-L - $1500
Note: prices exclude on-road costs.