2014 Forester: 0 – 100 in 6.2 seconds, 8.4 l/100 klms

There is a lot more information starting to come out about the new 2014 Forester now.

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The Australian Subaru site even has a front-page teaser for the new Forester (shown below, click to go to page).

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Judging from the colour of the Forester in the teaser it looks like there could be some new colours. I sure hope so because the current colour range is basically five greys, two whites, two blacks, and a red-ish wine colour.

According to one report (here at MotorTrend) the new twin-scroll turbo direct-injection 2.0 litre XT model can get the car to 100 kph in 6.2 seconds, which makes it 1.2 seconds faster than the 2.5 litre turbo current model. According to Subaru this make the Forester the quickest SUV in that market segment and faster than many performance sedans.

Another trick of the new twin-scroll 2.0 litre turbo is that, apparently, according to two articles I have now read, it will run happily on standard octane petrol although 93 octane or above is recommended. This is different to the current 2.5 litre turbo where, as anyone who has tried it will know, it is not an option to run on petrol with an octane value lower than 95. You HAVE to use high octane or the engine runs very badly.

It seems, from the reports I have found, running on 93 octane or higher the new turbo Forester achieves highway fuel economy of 8.4 litres/100 kilometres. Subaru claim this makes the Forester the most economical SUV in its class.

This is much better than the 10.1 litres I am currently getting in my 2005 2.5 litre turbo. Even based on something like 8.8 (because you never get what the brochure says) then this is going to save me about 35 litres per month which, at the current cost of 95 octane fuel, is a saving of about $60 per month for petrol. If premium petrol gets to $1.80 a litre by next June as expected then the savings will be even better.

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The new Forester is slightly larger overall compared to the current model. Compared to my 2005 model I think there is going to be about 4” more leg room in the front and 3.5” in the back.

Also the two reviews I have read have made a big thing of the steering power assist now being applied via the rack and not via the column. It seems this is usually a feature only found on more expensive vehicles and is a much better way to provide power-assisted steering. Personally, I have no idea really what the difference is and why rack-assisted power steering would be better.

I am not too sure why they would bother but it seems the tailgate is now also power-assisted and can be opened (and presumably closed) via controls in the cabin.

The CVT transmission has three modes: regular mode, Sports mode, and S-Sharp mode. Sports mode simply has a different computer program for the ranges which provides a more powerful ratio slide going up, and better braking slides coming down. The S-Sharp mode (written as S#) provides fake gear-shift ratios so the CVT ‘feels’ to the driver more like a traditional automatic with actual gears—even though it does not have any.

We are also told the cargo area is 12 percent larger. Not that, lately anyway, I have been using the cargo area for anything much more than putting all my luggage and crap in to cart back and forth to the ‘mine’ each week.

The roof height of the new Forester is higher than the current model and the seating position for all occupants is higher. Even so, the overall centre-of-gravity has been dropped by over three cm. The Forester already had the lowest centre of gravity of all the popular SUVs and now they have dropped it further—thereby providing and even more sedan-like ride on the open road.

To help even more with the sedan-like ride the wheel track is 0.8 of an inch wider and, praise be to the Lord, Subaru have reduce cabin noise significantly.

So far this Forester is ticking all my boxes. I guess the big question remaining is: How much in Australia? The turbo version is going to be about $22,000 in the USA so applying the old two times factor (even though our dollar is worth more than theirs; how does that work out) that usually applies here then the Australian price is going to be around $44,000. I hope I have room on the mortgage.

BarryMark