In February this year, Japanese marque Subaru is scheduled to expand its Forester SUV line-up with the addition of more potent 2.5-litre powered variants, following a clarion call from customers for something with more guts than the current 2.0-litre engine.
The added Subaru Forester models, in addition to more power, will also feature more tech and safety systems.
The Forester line-up will consist of the 2.0i-CVT, 2.0i-S ES CVT, 2.5i-S ES CVT and the range-topping 2.5i Sport ES CVT.
The added variants are powered by a new 2.5-litre direct injection Boxer engine plus a Lineartronic CVT transmission. Its power is rated at 136 kW and 239 Nm - an increase of 21 kW and 43 Nm over the 2.0-litre mill - and will return 7.6-litres/100 km on the combined cycle.
The 2021 Forester line-up is equipped with Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system as well as a driver-selectable X-Mode system.
According to Subaru, the added two variants bring a refreshing and sporty design to the model line-up and they have been designed for those seeking a car with practicality and sporty aesthetics. In terms of aesthetics, the range-topping Subaru Forester 2.5i-Sport comes fitted with bespoke elements such as five colour combinations and orange and black trim pieces. The bumper elements grille, side sills, wheel arch surrounds, rear bumpers, as well as the top section of the boot lid, are all finished in black. The elements are further complimented by orange accents. The 2.5i-S ES Forester rides on reworked 18-inch alloy wheels that set it apart from its 2.0i counterpart.
The interior benefits from the external orange accents on the air vents, gear shifter and X-Mode switch as well as on the stitching throughout the car.Exclusive to the Sport model is the new water repellent cloth seats for the first time in Mzansi.
Safety comes courtesy of the brand’s EyeSight Driver Assist System for both the updated models. The system integrates Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Pre-Collision Braking, Lane Departure and Sway Warning and Lane Keep Assist. Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are offered as standard on the ES models. Other safety systems consist of airbags, ABS, EBD, ESP and Torque Vectoring.
The new Forester is slated to launch in Mzansi in February 2021, and pricing will be confirmed closer to that time. TopGear SA, meanwhile, is privileged to have had a pre-launch drive of the vehicle, so look out for a full review here soon.
A standard 3-year/75 000km Maintenance Plan as well as a 5-year/150 000km Warranty are also part of the package.