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Aesthetically pleasing with high functionality, the fifth-generation Subaru Forester, upgraded for the 2023 model year.
Including new GT models, the line-up is now equipped with Subaru's latest preventive safety system, the EyeSight 4.0 Advanced Driver Assist Technology.
Four new Forester models. 2.0 i-L EyeSight (MYR 173,500), 2.0 i-L EyeSight GT Lite (MYR 179,500), 2.0 i-S EyeSight (MYR 183,500), and 2.0 i-S EyeSight GT Edition (MYR 195,500).
Prices are on-the-road, without insurance, and comes with a five year or 100,000 KM warranty, whichever comes first.
Four continued exterior colours (Crystal White, Ice Silver Metallic, Crystal Black Silica, Horizon Blue), and three new (Cascade Green Silica, Magnetite Gray Metallic, Brilliant Bronze Metallic).
The new Forester stands at 4,640 MM long, 1,815 MM wide, 1,730 MM tall, and with a wheelbase spanning 2,670 MM.
Stocky and rugged overall, the 2.0 i-L EyeSight and 2.0 i-S EyeSight variants exude an elegantly sporty outlook, while the GT variants with a more aerodynamic appeal.
The front end of the 2.0 i-L EyeSight and 2.0 i-S EyeSight feature a rounded and slightly angular framing, with minimal black trim cover on the lower bumper.
Whereas, the GT variants feature GT Lite and GT Edition body kits, adding on among others a front lip extension paired to a thicker black trim lower bumper cover.
Then, the expended hexagonal Subaru grille and other trim elements command the rest of the outlook, completing a strong character.
Boxy and robust, the rear end compliments the front nicely, featuring clean and angular contours for the 2.0 i-L EyeSight and 2.0 i-S EyeSight variants.
Meanwhile, the GT variants ride with a sportier appeal, adding on a rear lip extension and roof spoiler.
Elsewhere, it is clean and simple with the Subaru insignia placed in the middle of the tailgate, along with other trim elements surrounding it.
The headlamps are angular in shape with a very focused look. They are auto LED units for the 2.0 i-L EyeSight and 2.0 i-L EyeSight GT Lite variants.
As for the 2.0 i-S EyeSight and 2.0 i-S EyeSight GT Edition variants, they get auto LED units with auto-leveller and steering responsive functions.
LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) and for convenience, a headlamp washer, are standard fitments on all variants.
Matching the front, it comes in a wraparound inverted-C design, featuring protruding contours towards the outer edges. They are LED combination tail lamps.
The side mirrors are electronically adjusted and folded, with turn- and blind spot-indicators.
The front and rear are fitted with ventilated disc brakes. Also featured is an Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) with Auto Hold system.
Fitted is a set of 17-Inch aluminium-alloy rims, wrapped in 225/60 R17 Bridgestone Dueler tyres for the 2.0 i-L EyeSight and 2.0 i-L EyeSight GT Lite variants.
Next, a set of 18-Inch aluminium-alloy rims wrapped in 225/55 R18 Bridgestone Dueler tyres for the 2.0 i-S EyeSight, and in a GT Edition style for the 2.0 i-S EyeSight GT Edition.
The new Forester sees a smooth and sportily designed dashboard, exuding sleek premium quality.
It is outfitted in all-black leather and hard panels, accentuated by silver trimming and other details.
Overall clean and strategically placed, every accessibility on the dash is ergonomically positioned for the driver.
Comprising two separate setups, the primary unit is a digital-analogue with a 4.2-Inch full-colour LCD metre display.
Meanwhile, the secondary unit is a 6.3-Inch LCD multifunction display, positioned at the top and centre of the dashboard.
Interior of the five-seater comes in black leather upholstery, featuring 8-way power-adjustable front seats, and 60:40 split-folding rear seats with reclining one-touch folding switch.
The GT variants upgrade to GT Edition seats, featuring two-tone diamond-quilted leather with embossed GT logos on the sides (front).
A proper SUV, its athletically stocky silhouette offers uber head, shoulder and legroom, thus front and rear occupants get ample space.
The three-spoke black with silver trimming leather steering wheel gets multi-switches, paddle shifters, tilt and telescopic adjustments, and features Electric Power Steering (EPS).
It has numerous storage areas. E.g., an overhead console box, multiple centre console compartments with a large cavern space, large-sized door pockets, compartmentalised back seat pockets, and a large-sized glove box.
There are four cup holders, two located in the front centre console, two in the rear centre armrest. Also, there are four bottle holders, located at each side door pocket.
Equipped are four USB ports (two-front, two-rear), and three 12-V sockets (two-front, one-boot).
It supports a load capacity of 520-Litres, and features fully reclining back seats to offer up even more loading space.
All variants feature a pin code access as a standard feature, with the 2.0 i-S EyeSight and 2.0 i-S EyeSight GT Edition adding a power rear gate with memory height function.
The new Forester gets the EyeSight 4.0 Advanced Driver Assist Technology. Featured are Autonomous Emergency Steering, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Departure Warning, Lane Departure Prevention, Pre-Collision Braking, Pre-Collision Throttle Management, Subaru Rear Vehicle Detection (SRVD), High Beam Assist (HBA) and Lead Vehicle Start Alert.
Passive safety includes seven SRS airbags (front, front-side, driver-knee, curtain), seat belts (reminders, pre-tensioners, anchors), ISOFIX, 360-degree camera, rear-view camera, parking sensors (front, rear), blind-spot monitor, brake assist system, brake override, Auto Vehicle Hold (AVH), Steering Responsive Headlights (SRH), Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD), Vehicle Dynamics Control System (VDC), and Hill Descent Control (HDC).
All four variants come standard with the SI-Drive mode (Subaru Intelligent Drive), featuring Intelligent and Sport modes.
Variant specific, the 2.0 i-L EyeSight and 2.0 i-L EyeSight GT Lite come with Regular X-Mode, featuring Snow/Dirt mode.
Meanwhile, the 2.0 i-S EyeSight and 2.0 i-S EyeSight GT Edition come with Special X-Mode, featuring D.Snow/Mud mode.
Installed is an 8-inch HD touchscreen setup, supporting Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Navigation, Bluetooth, AUX-in and USB.
The suite of ADAS will make long and short journeys less tiresome, at the same time easing the day-to-day manoeuvrability of the SUV.
The sound system comes with a setup of six speakers.
All four variants of the new Forester harbours the 2.0-Litre naturally aspirated, horizontally opposed four-cylinder, DOHC 16-valve petrol Boxer Engine, producing 154 HP at 6,000 RPM and 196 NM of torque at 4,000 RPM.
Mated to the mill is a Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).
Power is transmitted to all four wheels via Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD), which is complemented by Subaru’s Active Torque Split AWD system.
It can go from 0 to 100 KM/H in 10.3 seconds and hit a top speed of 193 KM/H.
It has a fuel tank capacity of 63-Litres, and a fuel consumption of 7.4L/100 KM.
The new Forester has remote control key system, keyless access (touch-sensor) and push-button start system, dual-zone auto-climate control, multi-function steering wheel, 8-way power-adjustable front seats, full-flat foldable rear seats with one-touch reclining switch, multiple interior storage areas, powered tailgate, cargo cover and hooks, Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) with Auto Hold, individual interior reading lights, rear armrest, 360-degree and reverse camera, parking sensors, automatic wipers and headlamps, one-touch turn signal, and speed sensing door locks.
There are rear air-conditioning vents present in the rear cabin.
Courtesy of the Subaru Global Platform (SGP), it offers a nice solid drive with a grippier and more responsive handling.
Improvements in the chassis have also been made, in terms of rigidity, suspension (four-wheel independent) and stabilisers which efficiently absorb road shocks and hide uneven surfaces.
Overall, it is very spacious and very comfortable as a daily driver. Not to forget, the complementing off-road systems, providing confidence on any terrain.
Good sound insulation with the NVH aspects accounted for. The cabin is well-designed, enhancing the in-car ambience.
Overall, the cabin is able to suppress unwanted noises well and make them barely noticeable, even when cruising through bumpy asphalts or at high speeds.
The new Subaru Forester offers a trinity of performance, space and practicality. It is built for the everyday dual-natured people, the urbanites and the nature lovers.
Commandingly robust and sporty, it exudes an angularly smooth exterior with powerful contours, emphasising its big silhouette and all-terrain prowess.
Quality of the advanced technologies and premium materials fitted inside, is also impressive with the clean and minimalistic detailing.
Performance-wise, it boasts a superb qualification, accounting on the four Subaru Core Technologies (Subaru Global Platform (SGP), Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (SAWD), Boxer Engine, EyeSight 4.0 Advanced Driver Assist Technology).
Overall, the new 2023 Subaru Forester bargains more than just good looks, as it has more inside, waiting to be unleashed.