Chops and changes for ’16 Subaru Forester

  • Another makeover for Subaru’s SUV
  • Major changes inside and out for Forester
  • Brief was to be ‘classier and more functional 
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LONG-TIME FAVOURITE FOR SUV BUYERS:  The Forester, in two and all-wheel drive with a range of engines, has been updated for 2016. Image: Subaru / Quickpic

Subaru’S Forester SUV, one of the leaders in the ‘sport utility vehicle’ revolution of some years back, has been updated yet again.

Among the refreshments, varying according to model, are a redesigned grille and headlights, new 17 and 18″ alloy rims and revised cabin “appointments”

The cabin has redesigned seats, gloss-black and chromed accents and detailing and better graphics and visual ornamentation of the multi-function display. Premium units now have an eight-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system.

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UP WHERE IT BELONGS: Will the hills be alive with the sound of Boxer engines?     Image: Subaru / Quickpic

Subaru is also promising a quieter ride – one that has also been given more dynamic ability and refinement. The automaker expands: “The new Forester’s presence and emotional appeal has been emboldened with its smartly redesigned grille, bumper and headlights.

“The bumper has been widened and the foglight housings have L-shaped chromed detail giving the car a robust yet sophisticated look. The tweaked diode headlights and their signature C-shaped daytime running lights cntinue the ‘Hawk-Eye’ look for which some of Subaru’s products are known.”

The tail, brake and fog lights are also now lit by diodes.

The new 17″ six-spoked rims, Subaru says, have been designed with contrasting silver and black detailing while the range-topping turbocharged 2.0XT Lineartronic CVT hs 10-spoked rims, also with black and silver contrasting.

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Subaru adds: “Where the brief for the exterior was to emphasise the Forester’s bold nature, the interior has been reworked to be classier and more functional. There’s a new steering-wheel design with silver applications on the three spokes of the multi-function wheel.”

The cars’ TFT LCD instrument binnacle has also been revised: new graphics, new backlighting colours, smoked glass in the middle display and reworked tachometer and speedometer needles.

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NEW AUDIO, AND SIRI IN CHARGE: Subaru has made wide range of changes to the Forester’s cabin. Image: Subaru / Quickpic

You can, Subaru says, now “feel the difference” with new “more tactile” upholstery and materials on the door handles, centre stack grips and handbrake. The trip-data computer has also been upholstered with new material and surrounded by silver stitching.

Larger bolsters have been added to the cars’ seats and their upholstery made over with contrasting silver and black 3-D design; the power-adjusted driver’s seat stores lateral position, backrest angle and seat height settings for two individuals.

All windows now have auto full opening and closing.

“The result,” Subaru says, “is a cabin that feels and looks better but retains a comfortable ambience with the all-round visibility and functionality that’s synonymous with the Forester.”

Siri voice control is available for the ” entertainment and communication interface” from controls on the steering-wheel.

New to premium models is an eight-speaker Harman Kardon sound system: four 80mm mid-range (two in the facia, one in each rear door), a 6×9 woofer in each front door and a 160mm mid-woofer in each rear doors).


“The set-up is unique for the Subaru Forester,” Subaru says. “Powerful basses, crystal-clear highs and mighty mid-range sound are the instruments that make the sound system an experience like no other.”

The Forester, the automaker adds, still has its arsenal of active and passive safety features – body-hoops reinforcement, seven crash bags, IsoFIx child seat anchors and comprehensive dynamics control – but now added are headlights that react to steering-wheel movement through road curves.

Window glass a half-millimetre thicker and bedded in thicker insulation and noise insulation added to the floor, rear apron, boot floor and the foot wells are intended to create a quieter ride.


All models continue with the latest horizontally opposed (Boxer) engine technology and all-wheel drive and 220mm ground clearance for “impeccable abilities on or off-road”.

“The Forester’s abilities need to be seen to be believed,” Subaru says. “No matter the road surface or challenge, the Forester is the best car to take the road less travelled.”

The Forester is still available in five models:

2.0 X six-speed manual powered by a non-turbo two-litre four-cylinder petrol engine producing 110kW at 6200rpm and 198Nm at 4200rpm promising a possible 7.2 litres/100km helped by stop/start technology.

A non-turbo 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol making 126kW at 5800rpm and 235Nm at 4100rpm in the X, XS and XS Premium trim levels, each with a constantly variable transmission (CVT) with fuel consumption of 8.1 litres/100km.

The 2.5 XS Premium Lineartronic also has a double-volume sunroof and leather upholstery, automatic lights and wipers, keyless entry and starting and a one-touch now-illuminated powered tail hatch with remote control and an adjustable height setting.

Topping the new range is an all-new Forester 2.0 XT Lineartronic delivered of 177kW at 5600rpm) and 350Nm (from 2400-3600rpm) by a direct-injection turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine.

It’s said to be capable of 7.5sec to 100km/h, 210km/h and 8.5 litres/10km.

Prices below this image.

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TOP OF THE RANGE:  The all-new Forester 2.0 XT Lineartronic comes with full leather upholstery and a two-level sunroof.  Image: Subaru / Quickpic


The new 2016 Forester range is now available in South Africa. All models are sold with a three-year or 75 000km full maintenance plan, a three-year or 100 000km warranty and Subaru Assist. Various maintenance plan extension packages are extra-cost options.

Subaru Forester 2.0X 6MT – R376 000
Subaru Forester 2.5X Lineartronic CVT – R427 000
Subaru Forester 2.5XS Lineartronic CVT – R459 000
Subaru Forester 2.5XS Premium Lineartronic CVT – R509 000
Subaru Forester 2.0XT Lineartronic CVT – R579 000


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