Posts Tagged ‘forester’

Subaru Forester Facelift to Be Revealed at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show

Posted by Stephen On Monday, October 12th, 2015

Debuting in Japan on October 28th is the all new Subaru Forester. Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., the manufacturer of Subaru cars, recently announced that they will be launching the newly upgraded Subaru Forester edition in Japan, and will be exhibiting the model at the Press Day of the Tokyo Motor Show 2015.

Consumers can look forward to a promising SUV as the new Forester is equipped with many new upgrades, making it an even better vehicle than ever. All the new features improve upon the Forester’s reliability, safety and stability.

The brand new Subaru Forester model has an all new look from the inside to out. Subaru gave the Forester an upgrade on the inside and made it more of an SUV on the outside.

With an improved driving stability, the steering response has become more linear by modifying the steering-gear ratio, giving the driver a great feeling of control over the vehicles movement. Giving the Suspension settings a boost in optimization, the Subaru Forester gives you a more solid and smoother ride.

Subaru has given the Forester a quieter ride inside by improving upon the Lineartronic transmission, increasing the door glass thickness and strengthening the sealing. All of these features along with some others rid you more of unwanted sounds.

Key Forester Upgrades to Look Forward To

Exterior

The exterior of the Forester has gotten a number of upgrades, including 17-inch redesigned aluminum wheels, a redesigned front face, newly designed rear combination lights and the Subaru is even providing new color options.

The 17-inch aluminum wheels are a nice upgrade giving you reduced drag, better handling and improved fuel efficiency. Moving up to the turbocharged model will give you 18-inch aluminum wheels, bringing a noticeably strong look to the vehicle.

Having a newly designed front bumper, grill and headlights gives the Forester a wider appearance showing off its dependability and design. The front just screams, “I’m a Subaru, and I am built tough.”

Giving the rear combination lights a similar sideways U-shape as the headlights, they provide a sense of wideness and lift to the rear.

Subaru is giving you all new color options on the Forester this year. The new colors available are Sepia Bronze Metallic, and Dark Blue Pearl which both give a beautiful new look to the vehicle.

Interior

Subaru has given the Forester a brand new interior with a higher-quality appearance and finish. They’ve also given a color LCD multi-information display, SD navigation compatible with “Siri Eyes Free”, driver-side memory function seats and rear seat heaters.

Upgrading the interior finish and appearance was the first step Subaru took in the new Forester. With metallic accents, a decorative panel with a silver frame and piano-black hues. Creating a luxurious feel, leather is covering the instrument panel, the center tray and the door grips.

In the center of the meter panel rests a color LCD multi-information display. The display gives you important information necessary for driving, the status of EyeSight and Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE).

For more safety and convenience, an SD navigation system which supports “Siri Eyes Free” has been made available. Just by pressing the Talk button on the steering wheel, you can enable Siri and give verbal commands.

The Subaru Forester has also made available a spectacular Harman Kardon sound system, which provides you with amazing sound quality.

The upgraded Forester has given the driver even more convenience this year with driver-side power memory seats. By doing this, Subaru has taken the worry out of having a family member or friend mess up the driver seat. Whoever drives the vehicle is able to have their own seat setting, eliminating the need for long, drawn-out seat re positioning.

When it’s cold out not only can the front passengers keep warm, but now the back passengers can as well. Newly built rear heated seats allow for even more comfort to the back seat passengers.

Safety

This year’s JDM Forester is giving you a feeling of safety with an available advanced safety package, supplemental restraint system (SRS), LED high & low beam lights, steering responsive headlights, lane change assist (LCA), adaptive driving beam (ADB), blind spot detection (BSD) and Eyesight (ver.3).

The available advanced safety package provides the driver with a easier and more comfortable drive. Included is EyeSight front detection which is a radar that will detect vehicles in the rear blind spots.

Side and curtain airbags are the supplemental restraint system (SRS), which is standard on
all Foresters.

To enable the headlights each have their own high and low beam settings, the Forester is equipped with a bi-functional projector mechanism. Subaru has used this to take advantage of the LED projection lights ability to increase nighttime visibility.

The LED headlights also adapt to your steering. When you turn the steering wheel to the right or left that direction is illuminated, giving you even more nighttime visibility.

With lane change assist (LCA) and blind spot detection (BSD), the drive will be cautioned when a vehicle is rapidly approaching from the rear in the next lane or in a blind spot. In order to alert the driver an LED lights up the side door mirror, or flashes if there is a danger of collision.

Adaptive driving beam (ADB) us an high-performance stereo camera system that detects the presence of other vehicles ahead, and oncoming lanes. It will adjust the range of the high beams so that the other drivers are not distracted, and at the same time allowing you to have plenty of visibility. ADB is another great feature which improves upon nighttime driving.

The all new EyeSight version 3 is what makes almost everything possible. EyeSight gives you the Active Lane Keep steering assistance system, as well as Pre-Collision Braking Control and Adaptive Cruise Control. Subaru’s Eyesight version 3 has made vast improvements on safety technology.

Improvements in Driving Enjoyment

Subaru has improved upon the Forester’s chassis performance, suspension settings, steering-gear ration and on the turbocharged model the active torque vectoring. All of this adds to the comfort and enjoyment of the new Subaru Forester.

The Forester’s Chassis has been given an upgrade for enhanced performance. The rear trailing link bushings have been optimized to give better steering response and straight-line stability.

To give you a comfortable ride with little vibration and better performance, the Forester had optimized the shock absorber damping and the spring constant of coil springs and initial roll performance has been optimized. Subaru has also made changes to the rod guide bushing and the oil used to operate the front and rear shock absorbers to provide stable movement and lessening the vibration.

On previous Subaru Forester models, there was 15.5:1 steering-gear ration, but for the upgraded version, this now has been changed to 14.0:1. The change in the steering-gear ratio improves upon maneuverability and gives the Forester even more agile handling.

On the turbocharged model of the Forester, Subaru has added Active Torque Vectoring. With Active Torque Vectoring the cornering lines are improved.

Engine and Transmission

Improvements to the engine and transmission have been made by increasing the quietness of the vehicle, the availability to improve on fuel efficiency, the available auto-step shift control and close-ratio eight-speed shifting on the turbocharged models.

By thickening the door glass, adding stronger sealing and improving upon the Lineartronic transmission the Forester has great noise reduction. You will get the most quiet and comfortable ride with these upgrades.

Available on some models, the NA (Naturally Aspirated) engine improves upon fuel efficiency without losing performance. The NA engines have more efficient combustion and reduced friction giving it a fuel economy of 16.0 km/liter.

In doing this the new Forester is eligible for the next higher level of Japan’s Eco-car tax incentives (40% reduction in acquisition tax, 25% cut in tonnage tax and 50% off the following year’s automobile tax).

On the turbocharged models of the Forester, there has been given an auto-step shift control giving them a sporty and direct acceleration. Made available as well is the SI-DRIVE S# (Sport Sharp) mode with close-ratio eight-speed shifting adds on even more power.


Japanese Car Auction Find – 2013 Subaru Forester 2.0XT

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, March 21st, 2015

A few days back we looked at a teaser for a new Mitsubishi Outlander that will make its appearance at the upcoming 2015 New York Auto Show. Since we showcased a Mitsubishi Outlander auction find not too long ago, today we’re going to showcase one of the Outlander’s primary competitors from another underdog Japanese automaker. And that brings us to today’s auction find – a 2013 Subaru Forester 2.0XT.

2013 Subaru Forester 2.0XT

This is a fourth-generation Forester, so basically the exact model that any new Mitsubishi Outlander will be competing against. Even though it’s technically a 2013MY, it’s still a worthy comparison to make today. Let’s start with the exterior, which is Crystal Black Silica for this model.

The Forester has a surprisingly distinguished aesthetic. Where other automakers home in on a flowing, fluid body style, which is in turn accompanied by excessively large grilles, the 2015 Subaru Forrester we see here is rugged and edgy. It doesn’t have the swooping body lines you’d find on a Mazda CX-5 or, to a lesser degree, one of the new Toyota RAV4s. This is a car that really looks like an SUV.

2013 Subaru Forester 2.0XT rear view

We’ll also point out that even though it’s not overbearingly large and looks nothing like a swoop or a smile, the grille on the Forester here is actually quite stylish. It has a bold chrome outline over a simple trapezoidal spindle grille. It stands out because there’s not much chrome throughout the rest of the body; the fog lights are the only other element to make use of that material.

Any research at all into the redesigned fourth-generation Subaru Forrester will reveal a host of positive reviews. Consumers at Kelley Blue Book rated the fourth-generation Subaru Forester (which would’ve hit Japanese dealerships as a 2013MY) at 8.1 out of 10 for its reliability, good fuel economy (without sacrificing all-wheel drive) and a well-appointed interior. The Forester is generally regarded as an SUV with great all-around value.

Since this is a Forrester 2.0XT, you will find a powerful 2.0L turbocharged engine paired with a Lineartronic CVT transmission. System output is rated at 280PS or 276 horsepower. This model also comes with EyeSight Driver Assist System, which was newly integrated in the refreshed 2013MY.

2013 Subaru Forester 2.0XT interior

Since this is an XT model, you’ll enjoy a sport-tuned suspension with 18-inch alloy wheels (see pictures above) and chassis bracing to better handle the extra output from the turbocharged engine. This means flatter cornering and better overall handling, without having any effect on ride comfort. And, you get all that with an EPA rated 32 mpg highway.

To learn more about this 2013 Subaru Forrester Japanese car auction find, just keep reading below the auction sheet for a full translation of its specs:

2013 Subaru Forester 2.0XT auction sheet

“Grade 5, interior A, first registered June 2013, 12,424KM, 2.0 XT i-Sight model, 2WD, FAT, AAC, service book, original alloy wheels, power steering, power windows, original navigation system, airbag, one owner, digital TV, reversing rearview camera, cruise control, half-leather seats, seat heater, push button starter, smart key, HID, power seat, original 18 inch AWs, 1 x spare smart key, scratches and dents, marks as per map”


Subaru’s Plans for US Growth in 2013 and Beyond

Posted by Stephen On Friday, February 22nd, 2013

For the past five years, Subaru has maintained itself as a classic example of The Little Engine That Could. “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can” perfectly sums up Subaru’s mindset, but it’s not necessarily a bad mindset to have. As one of the smaller Japanese auto makers, Subaru sold just 50K more units in the US during 2012 (336K units) than Toyota sold Corollas. Unlike Toyota, however, Subaru has managed to maintain consistent growth for 5 consecutive years, even through the recession. Not many auto makers – Japanese or otherwise – can make that claim.

For 2013, Subaru is looking to continue pushing its US sales up 8% to 365K. But, now that the recession is receding and other automakers are getting back in the game, how will Subaru continue their growth?

Ward’s Auto had the same question, and they were kind enough to publish an interview with Ken Lin, Subaru’s US Director of Product Management. Apparently, Subaru still has several untapped resources, along with some new offerings, to continue their growth through 2013 and beyond.

First and foremost, Subaru knows that the Forester is a crucial part of their line-up. You don’t have to be a math-whiz to see that with 76K out of 336K units sold during 2012 being Foresters, it’s an important vehicle to get right. The new Forester should continue to be competitive, though, thanks to a completely revamped design for both the interior and the exterior, along with a new 250hp turbocharged engine option for performance oriented buyers. Mr. Lin even believes that surpassing their 2013 goal is possible “if the market is strong and the Forester launches strong”.

As for the rest of their lineup, that’s where things get a little more muddled.

The Subaru BRZ, which was jointly developed with Toyota, seems like the car with the most potential. Even though some sources claim that only one BRZ is manufactured for every nine Scion FR-S (Toyota 86) units, the BRZ is selling at a ratio of about 1:2.5 (Subaru’s sold 4,144 while Toyota/Scion sold 11,417). This is a testament to how well Subaru’s version has been received. Ken Lin comments that “the plan was for Toyota to outsell us… This wasn’t a car that we desperately needed. But it was a great engineering exercise”.

Lin also says that although there are no current plans for further joint-projects with Toyota, it’s not totally out of the picture.

As for the rest of Subaru’s lineup, Lin acknowledges that there are a couple holes that need to be filled. For example, the Tribeca is performing poorly. Sales have continued to dwindle, and the car may get the ax before too long. Lin speculates that the Forester is cannibalizing sales from the Tribeca. The solution, he says, may be to completely overhaul the vehicle and bring it back bigger and more luxurious in order to appeal to a completely different class of buyers.

Subaru also doesn’t have a single entry-level vehicle in their lineup. There’s nothing cheap and appealing to younger buyers. But Lin isn’t so sure that’s where they want to be. “We see a lot of brands that go down-market to the entry buyer, but we’re smaller and have to be very strategic on where we focus our resources. (Entry-level) cars themselves don’t cost that much less to build, but you have to charge thousands less to be competitive so it doesn’t make a lot of sense for us at this point.”

Good thinking, Lin – He makes a sound argument.

All in all, I expect we will see Subaru hitting their sales goals in 2013. They’re definitely not the most popular Japanese car maker, but they know what they’re doing and they know where they need to go. Self-awareness is a powerful tool to have, and it sounds like Subaru has it in spades. I’ll definitely be most excited to see what Subaru does with the BRZ, but the new Forester looks pretty good too.

What do you think? Is Subaru moving in the right direction? Is their marketing strategy sound? Let us know in the comments below:


Subaru Forester Primed for Breakthrough Sales

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

The holidays are traditionally a time for gift giving, and for many auto makers the gift of choice is final specifications and predictions about the next year’s range of automobiles. However, this year customers in Japan have decided to be the generous ones, and Subaru is the benefactor of that generosity. Particularly, the brand-new 2014 Subaru Forester is doing extremely well after only one month of sales.

How well is extremely well? Let’s talk numbers – Subaru initially estimated that they would be able to hit 2,000 units per month as soon as the vehicle officially launched in Japan on November 13. How many have they sold as of December 16? A whopping 8,149 mid-size crossovers sold. That’s over four times their initial sales target! To say that the next-gen Subaru Forester has been a success would be a vast understatement.

2013 SJ5 Subaru Forester

So, what does that have to do with you? Chances are that if the mid-size crossover SUV can do so well in Japan – a market that traditionally shuns larger vehicles – then it is going to see similar success around the world. Especially as review-reliant overseas buyer looking for customer ratings see nothing but radiant satisfaction, there’s no reason to believe this firecracker will be anything but uber-popular outside its native land as well. In fact, if Subaru’s mid-size crossover does as well in the US as it has done in Japan when it finally goes on sale in spring of 2013, you could be looking at the usurper of the Toyota RAV4 or Honda CR-V as the most popular Japanese-made utility vehicle in the States.

The new Forester first debuted to a US audience in late November at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, and we briefly covered it at that time. When we first set our sights on the vehicle we thought that the souped-up direct injection turbocharged engine would be one of the most alluring factors for the next-gen Forester. Initial sales have actually shown just the opposite – 61% of customers choose the naturally aspired engine while only 38% of customers choose the more powerful DIT engine. This is actually great news for Subaru, because it means that the vehicle doesn’t need to rely on superior power to sell; instead it offers superior performance from within the cabin and a sleek exterior to lure in wandering eyes at the dealership.

According to the customer reviews Subaru has so far garnered over the past month, the 2013 Forester has four appealing features that customers are raving over: it’s fun to drive because it is responsive and performs well, it feels secure thanks to EyeSight driver-assist, it’s easy to drive because of its maneuverability and excellent visibility, and it’s extremely versatile with a roomier interior than previous versions.

For those of you looking for a new mid-size crossover for the new year, you may not have been considering Subaru’s underdog, the 2014 Forester. But don’t dismiss it just yet – there is a very good chance that the Subaru Forester is a better buy than its Toyota-, Honda- and Ford-made counterparts. With a more spacious interior, improved performance and more efficient fuel economy, there are many reasons to consider starting the New Year with Subaru’s well-received SUV.

And if you are looking for a real bargain, you’ll soon see very low mileage versions of this latest version of Subaru’s evergreen Forester showing up in Japan’s car auctions. Want to know more? Contact us here.


New 2014 Subaru Forester Sneak Peak

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Subaru has not yet given any indication of when (or where) the new 2014 Forester will debut, but there have been some glimpses of it on the road testing recently. In fact, there are even a few photos available, although for the most part it has only been seen under cover of the usual heavy camouflage. In fact, this model (the fourth generation model now) was seen running with both a Ford Edge and a Honda CR-V. Benchmark competitors, we presume. Whatever else may still be a mystery, it is clear that there are very strong and high expectations for this new crossover.

Forester is Important to Subaru

Subaru has long been known for making wagons, but in recent years the brand seems to have been taking their knocks as more and more manufacturers tried to enter this space. The Forester has long been one of their best selling vehicles; an attempt to update it to remain competitive with other brands is key to their future. It will be interesting to see if Subaru can update such a vehicle while staying true to their core values and attributes. Certainly we have come to expect a number of things from Subaru and do not want them to get away from these. Of course, what we really want them to do is come out fighting and show these new guys a thing or two about how to make a good crossover.

This may be quite a challenge for the company, given the number of competitors who are currently in this field and the fact that Subaru is relatively small as a car maker, despite being a part of the huge Fuji Heavy Industries conglomerate. Rivals will include the Honda’s new CR-V and the Toyota RAV4 to pick two names out of the hat.

What To Expect

While it is still too early to really know for sure, we can make a few educated guesses about how the new Forester is likely to shape up. For example, it is likely to have a platform very similar to the Impreza, possibly with some interesting adaptations. The vehicle may also be a bit wider and longer to keep pace with other models in its class. The framed windows which are on the current Forester model should likely carry through to the 2014. Given the single interior photo that has been obtained by Car and Driver, it looks like there will be a sleek new LCD screen for the infotainment system and the familiar three-knob HVAC controls.

Most likely the powertrain will have the current naturally aspirated 2.5 liter FB-series Flat Four. However, it would be reasonable to expect something along the lines of direct injection. Hopefully, we will see a turbo charged model as well, maybe with a bit smaller displacement. With other manufacturers developing hybrid and EV technologies, it will be interesting to see whether Subaru bring any new ideas to the table when the Forester makes its debut. The transmission options will probably also continue to offer a manual, but the automatic will likely be replaced with something that does not hamper fuel economy quite as much — something along the lines of a CVT.

All in all, the new 2014 Subaru Forester should be an interesting one to wait (and watch) for and it will be a crucial model for Subaru’s success and survival. It should probably sell for $22,000 or so in the US (which is about a thousand more than where the current model starts).