Subaru have the new Subaru Forester on show at the LA Motor Show currently on in the USA.
I have written about many of the features of the new Forester in previous posts including the 18” wheels, the direct-injection twin-scroll internal-cam-drive 2.0 litre 250 hp engine (in the USA XT model), the high-torque 8-speed column paddle shift Lineotronic CVT transmission, and the slightly overall larger size.
There is a wee hope that Australia buyers might even get an option of the even quicker Japanese market version of the direct-injection twin-scroll engine that develops 268 hp. This might be available as an up-market option; maybe. But we probably won’t know that until this new Forester is actually released here around February or March next year. Then what they might do is not release the 268 hp version until later in the year, or even until the next year. Thereby ‘forcing’ dedicated buyers to upgrade once again within 12 to 18 months. Sneaky . . .
The few test drive reviews I have found have given the new Forester high points for road handling (partially due to the 3.5 cm lower centre of gravity), much improved suspension compared to the current model, and significantly lower cabin noise both from road noise and wind noise.
Some reviewers have picked on Subaru’s LED-tube style always-on running lights that sort of wrap around the headlight cluster. One reviewer even referred to them as ‘corny’ and said they should have been put below the headlight cluster in a strip or even below the grill as an inverted “L”.
Always-on LED running lights are now mandatory safety items in some European countries on all new model cars and I understand they are thinking of making them mandatory on new cars in Australia.
The theory of always-on running lights is that they make cars ‘more visible’, even in daylight, and thereby help to prevent accidents. This is supposed to be especially so when open-road driving and overtaking.
It is hard to tell what these running-lights really look like until you see them for real, but based on this picture they look okay to me.
Many MY05 model Forester owners did not upgrade to the current model due to the very soft rolly-polly suspension but from all reports Subaru have definitely fixed this. They have tightened the body by 150 percent (so the reviews say) and at the same time reworked the entire suspension system to give the car back its sporty edge sure-footed road feel.
It could happen that I will be very disappointed when I actually get to test drive it, but I have to say, at this stage I am still excited. The three or four months wait until it hits the showroom floors in Australia is going to be a long wait.