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New Forester Expands Audience

March 12th, 2008
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Subaru has launched its new generation Forester offering economy, safety, style and All-Wheel Drive fun in a more spacious, high value package.

The best-selling vehicle in Subaru’s range is expanding its appeal with a striking new look, clever cabin refinements, enhanced efficiency and comfort.

It is significantly stronger, yet more frugal, offering fuel consumption improvements of up to 7.8 per cent.

In line with the entire Subaru range, Forester achieves a maximum five-star rating for occupant protection in independent crashworthiness testing by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP). It has also gained a three-star pedestrian rating.

Subaru’s safety commitment is again highlighted by the introduction of standard Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) across the Forester range.

The Forester’s All-Wheel Drive recreational credentials are underlined by a 20 mm increase in ground clearance, to 220 mm on Forester X and XS, and 225 mm on turbocharged XT.

Forester X pricing starts from $30,490 recommended retail price.

Forester’s interior space is greater, with rear occupant access and the cargo area notably enhanced.

SPORTSHIFT transmissions are standard in all automatic naturally aspirated Foresters.

The Single Overhead Camshaft (SOHC) four-cylinder 2.5 litre naturally aspirated horizontally opposed boxer engine in Forester X and XS offers a 4.1 per cent power hike and a 1.3 per cent improvement in torque.

In the Double Overhead Camshaft (DOHC) four-cylinder 2.5 litre turbocharged XT, torque kicks in 800 revs lower in the range at 2800 rpm.

Every Forester engine meets strict European STEP4 emission standards.

Newly developed double wishbone rear suspension optimizes Forester’s renowned constant AWD handling, while reducing cargo area intrusion, to produce a wider load carrying space with easier access.

Among new generation Forester highlights:

  • Stylish new design with easier occupant and cargo area access
  • Vehicle Dynamics Control – five-star ANCAP rating
  • Naturally aspirated engines with 4.1 per cent more power, 1.3 per cent more torque
  • Turbo engine torque kicks in 800 rpm earlier for enhanced drivability
  • All engines more fuel efficient – up to 7.8 per cent on manual XT
  • SPORTSHIFT transmissions for all automatic Foresters
  • Active Valve Lift System – naturally aspirated engines; XT with Active Valve Control System
  • Euro STEP4 emission compliant
  • Newly developed double wishbone rear suspension for optimum ride and handling
  • Ground clearance improved to 220 mm - 225 mm on XT
  • Framed doors for enhanced safety and NVH
  • Larger cabin – enhanced comfort – 29 mm more front legroom, 109 mm rear
  • Wider cargo area
  • Significant improvements in NVH
  • Height and telescopic adjustable steering in all Foresters
  • Hill Start Assist (manual variants) – forward and reverse
  • Rear seat recline
  • Innovative centre console with multiple storage configurations
  • Shorter rear overhang
  • Subaru Dynamic Chassis Concept – ride comfort, safety and NVH benefits

In line with new generation Subarus, framed doors have further refined Forester’s solidity and ride comfort, and contribute to major reductions in NVH.

Key Subaru priorities of drivability and safety are enhanced by the stiffer chassis.

Engineers from Subaru Australia and manufacturer Fuji Heavy Industries conducted extensive testing of Forester in local conditions to ensure the car’s suitability.

Forester’s 90 mm longer wheelbase contributes to both its excellent dynamics and spacious cabin.

Cabin dimensions are increased in the key areas of head, leg and shoulder room.

Ergonomic advances mean all key controls are within easy reach of the driver.

Every Forester has steering-wheel audio and cruise control buttons.

Access to Forester is easier, with wider opening doors, while front and rear seats are redesigned for better support.

Further improving Forester’s safety, engines sit 10 mm lower in the chassis – despite increased ground clearance - reducing the centre of gravity, benefiting road holding and reducing the risk of vehicle roll-over.

Nick Senior, Managing Director, Subaru Australia, said: “Forester is the recreational vehicle for those with active lifestyles and in many ways it really is the new style of family car.

“It appeals to existing customers who still want a vehicle that complements their recreational lifestyle.

“It is more fuel efficient, offers exceptional safety levels and has a very comfortable yet highly practical cabin that offers a flexible choice of seating and cargo configurations to suit family life.

“Over the years Forester has become one of Australia’s most awarded cars and with sales of more than 105,000 since 1997, we can only see it growing further – it’s the All-Wheel Drive for the active family life.”

He added: “Forester has proved itself over 10 years as a rock-solid investment when it comes to reliability, resale value and whole-of-life costs.

“We anticipate sales of around 1100 per month, about a 10 per cent increase on present.”

Forester is an all-new design featuring an elegant, yet functional look that offers improved practicality, including passenger and cargo access.

The body is 75 mm longer than the superseded car while the wheelbase has increased by 90 mm. It is also 110 mm taller, including roof rails. Width is increased by 60 mm to 1795 mm and the rear overhang is shortened.

Forester has a wide grille with chrome-style highlights, while clear lens “hawk eye” headlights underline the confident new look, which extends to the rear with the integrated taillights, with metallic highlights.

A character line runs between the front and rear doors.

Forester XT adds auto-levelling Xenon (low beam) HID headlights with pop-up washers and is also distinguished by the air intake integrated with the bonnet, for aerodynamic and cooling efficiency benefits.

Front and rear bumpers feature a grey-finish lower area, highlighting the Compact Sports Utility Vehicle status.

Forester XS and XT add front fog lights with a chrome surround.

Fin-type windscreen wiper blades improve efficiency when driving at high speeds, while also reducing noise.

All Foresters have new design multi-dispersing washer nozzles, to optimize glass cleaning. They are positioned below the bonnet line to reduce wind resistance.

Wing mirrors are more compact, while also reducing wind noise. Although body width has increased, mirror-to-mirror distance has reduced from 2016 to 2008 mm.

Door handles on XS and XT have a matt alloy finish.

Framed doors benefit NVH and include double layer seals that also aid air conditioning efficiency.

Front door opening angle has increased from 63 degrees to 68 degrees, helping cabin access.

Rear door opening angle is up from 68 degrees to 75 degrees and also aids child seat fitment.

Forester XS and XT feature new design five-spoke alloy wheels – 16-inch for XS and 17-inch for XT.

Roof rails have been aerodynamically tested to ensure less wind resistance and noise at high speeds.

XT has a rear spoiler integrated into the roof design to optimize the coefficient of drag.

Cargo area width and height is enlarged for improved access, while the rear tailgate handle is operated by a solenoid switch for easy opening.

Forester maintains the model’s long-established standard enabling a one metre tall object positioned one metre from the rear bumper, to be seen by the driver through the rear screen when reversing.

Radio reception is enhanced by the use of a rear roof-mounted aerial to minimize interference.

All variants:
  • Satin white pearl
  • Spark silver metallic
  • Steel silver metallic
  • Dark grey metallic
  • Obsidian black pearl
  • Newport blue pearl
  • Camellia red pearl

X and XS only:

  • Topaz gold metallic
  • Sage green metallic
Subaru 2009 Forester

New Forester’s spacious and stylish cabin features a sweeping dual cockpit type design.

Rear legroom is improved by 109 mm to 965 mm and front legroom by 29 mm, to 1095 mm.

Significant improvements to cabin comfort, noise, vibration and harshness have been achieved, while instrumentation has taken on a sporty new appearance.

On ignition, a sweep function has been added to the instruments.

The instrument cluster features three, three-dimensional-type dials with blue highlights and metallic surrounds, while blue illumination lights the storage space beneath the centre control unit, when headlights are switched on. This space is capable of holding eight compact discs.

Interior ergonomics were a design priority and frequently used controls are grouped together and easily reachable by the driver, including steering wheel cruise control and audio buttons.

An information display in the dashboard centre is visible to all occupants. It displays external temperature, average fuel consumption, time and front seatbelt warning lights.

The steering column now includes both telescopic and tilt functions. The telescopic function allows 40 mm of adjustment.

Attention to detail includes a damper in the glove box lid. The glove box can hold up to 12 CDs.

Forester features newly developed seats to maximize comfort and leg room, with lower back support a priority in the design process. Each section of the 60/40 split rear seat back can be reclined, while there is a retractable centre armrest.

The multi-function centre console in SPORTSHIFT automatic Foresters and XT variants offers multiple storage combinations suiting a wide variety of sizes from mobile phones to hand bags. It includes an open front face that enables larger objects to be housed beneath the armrest, the equivalent size of 11 CDs. The console includes an AUX input and 12 volt power outlet. The armrest slides to suit individual drivers.

A new Forester feature is a retractable rear tray with dual cup holders. It folds into the centre seat cushion on XS and XT when not in use.

The door arm rests feature cloth inserts that match the seat trim.

Large drink holders are integrated in front and rear door pockets, which are also large enough for a small tissue box.

Alloy-style door and dashboard highlights underline the sophisticated look.

Interiors are available in grey or black.

If reverse is engaged while the rear wiper is on intermittent, the wiper changes automatically to continuous mode.

Air conditioning is refined to reduce engine load, with the lightweight compressor increasing fuel efficiency.

A sub-cooled compressor is also added, reducing the quantity of refrigerant, while an oil separator reduces oil circulation rate in the system and enhances cooling performance.

Rear heat ducts and dust-proof filters are added on all models.

Double-layered door seals and weather strips improve window sealing and temperature insulation, for better air conditioning performance and noise reduction.

Manual air conditioning is standard on Forester X, while XS and XT add automatic air conditioning with climate control.

The flat cargo area can accommodate four golf bags or four large suitcases.

A variety of cargo area hooks are fitted, to secure luggage.

All Foresters have a retractable cargo area security screen.

Forester adopts the Subaru Dynamic Chassis Control Concept introduced on Impreza, producing benefits to steering response, stability, comfort and NVH.

The new chassis also enables introduction of double wishbone rear suspension, minimizing cargo area intrusion, leaving space for rear seat recline and maximizing cargo floor space.

Subaru 2009 Forester

All Forester engines are refined for greater fuel efficiency, reduced emissions and improved performance.

Transmissions are also revised to match the increase in low to mid-range torque, with efficiency, emission and noise benefits.

The result is smooth, linear acceleration and reduced fuel consumption.

Forester MY09 Fuel consumption Litres/100km


Forester MY09

Forester MY08

Per cent improvement

X, XS manual




X, XS auto




XT manual




XT auto




Both naturally aspirated and turbocharged engines meet strict European STEP4 emission standards.

Engines are mounted 10 mm lower, and the transmission lowered 22 mm at the front, optimizing centre of gravity and reducing noise, while the propeller-shaft angle is reduced to lessen friction with the drivetrain, also improving noise levels.

The Single Overhead Camshaft naturally aspirated 2.5 litre four cylinder horizontally opposed boxer engine adopts Subaru’s Active Valve Lift System (AVLS) resulting in improvements in low to mid-range torque.

The NA engine produces 126 kW of power at 6000 rpm and 229 Nm of torque at 4400 rpm - a 4.1 per cent improvement in power and 1.3 per cent in torque over the superseded engine.

Both NA and turbocharged engines share some common enhancements.

The cylinder block journal features an iron alloy cast to control heat expansion, allowing reduced crankshaft journal clearance after warm-up and less vibration.

A newly designed cylinder head intake port improves intake gas flow for better combustion, with low-to-mid range torque benefits.

Oil pump rotor diameter is decreased, lessening friction and improving fuel efficiency.

Torque is also enhanced by changes to the exhaust cam, while changes to intake cam lift have optimized gas flow and combustion through better mixing in the cylinder.

In the exhaust, rear catalyst length is changed from 7.62 cm to 11.43 cm for improved gas cleaning efficiency.

Use of twin exhausts reduces airflow restrictions, for better performance.

In the Double Overhead Camshaft turbocharged engine, high ignition long reach spark plugs are used, aiding fuel efficiency.

The four-cylinder 2.5 litre turbocharged engine produces power of 169 kW/5200 rpm and torque of 320 Nm/2800 rpm. Torque kicks in 800 rpm lower in the range at 2800 rpm.

A larger Tumble Generator Valve also reduces pumping loss. The operating range is refined, with fuel efficiency particularly benefiting in the 30-40 km/h range.

A new intercooler is adopted with a core capacity of 3.8 litres, compared to 3.2 in the superseded model, and a cooling capacity of 12.1 kW versus 11.9 previously.

Turbocharger turbine wheel and compressor impellor shape is changed for improved low-mid range torque.

Secondary air pump flow is designed for faster activation of the catalytic converter on cold start-up.

Hydraulic engine mounts are used in XT for improved NVH and weight saving.

Gas bonnet struts mean that when it is open between 30 and 50 cm, the struts take over to complete a smooth operation. No prop is needed to hold the bonnet.

All Foresters have Electronic Throttle Control (ETC).

The electronically controlled four-speed SPORTSHIFT automatic transmission option offers improved fuel efficiency through changes including more accurate line pressure control and optimization of the engine mounting angle.

Lead-free chromed parts, metal bushes and solder are used for environmental reasons in both manual and automatic transmissions.

A roller bearing is added to the lever system, enhancing shift feel and reducing effort.

Every automatic Forester features active torque split. An onboard LAN system constantly monitors speed information from each wheel, and engine output, to accurately calculate changes in road conditions and steering in real time.

The information is used to distribute torque to the wheels, to suit driving conditions and style, allowing immediate control and optimum power.

The five speed manual transmission is refined to aid fuel efficiency through a variety of measures including reduction in the TRF gear bearing pre-load, reducing friction in the transmission case.

Improved shift feel is achieved through use of a ball-type key in the first and second gears, while a key groove within the third and fourth gear sleeves reduces the two-stage feel when shifting.

Forester adopts Subaru’s new Dynamic Chassis Control Concept, introduced in new generation Impreza.

The chassis aids steering response, comfort and cargo area space, due to the use of rear double wishbone suspension, which minimizes cabin intrusion while optimizing grip.

Rigidity and tread of the front suspension have increased to improve stability.

The new chassis also aids collision performance and overall body strength.

High tensile steel is used at key structural points on Forester’s body to enhance rigidity, safety and ride comfort.

Design of body joints has been reviewed to optimize strength, while use of high tensile steel plate avoids excessive increase in rigidity.

All Foresters have a maximum five-star crashworthiness rating for occupant safety from the independent Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) and feature standard dual front, side and curtain airbags and Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC).

Forester also achieves a three-star pedestrian safety rating.

New Forester maintains the rear vision standard of previous generations of the vehicle, meaning a one metre tall object positioned one metre away from the rear bumper can be seen by the driver when reversing.

The combination of new suspension geometry, improved tyre grip and braking performance has resulted in major gains in stopping distance.

Deceleration distance from 100 km/h on dry roads is reduced from 48 to 41 metres and on wet roads from 52.3 to 43.5 metres.

Forester uses the latest generation of Subaru’s ring shaped reinforcement system that cocoons the passenger cabin with a series of steel rings. This adds strength and absorbs energy in the event of a collision, reducing the risk of occupant injury.

New Forester’s frame structure negates the need for a subframe, better absorbing energy in collisions.

High tensile materials are used around the cabin for added strength, yet better pedestrian protection during a front end collision.

The layout of the rear frame is set to the height of standard car bumpers, transmitting energy effectively to the frame during a rear end collision. The frame is designed to compress gradually, which is important in cars with a short overhang.

Forester’s steel bonnet frame pattern is revised for better pedestrian protection and energy absorption.

The front bulkhead also features an energy absorbing design while the rear of the bonnet can easily compress to reduce injury.

Safety pedals reduce injury to the driver’s lower legs in a heavy frontal collision. They are designed to retract and move down.

Foresters have active head restraints, which help reduce neck injury in collisions.

The two-pot brakes have been optimized to improve stopping distance over the superseded models. All brakes feature ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Brake Assist – all linked to the VDC system.

All manual transmission Foresters have Hill Start Assist, which prevents the car rolling backwards on a hill while first gear is engaged and the clutch depressed, or forwards when reverse is engaged and the clutch depressed.

As with all Subarus, the flat horizontally opposed boxer engines are designed to go under, rather than into, the cabin in the event of a heavy frontal collision, again minimizing occupant injury.

Bonnet shape and pillars are designed to reduce blind spots and enhance driver visibility.

Every Forester is equipped with the latest advanced engine immobilisers and DataDot theft protection.

All Foresters have remote tailgate unlocking too.

Entry level Forester has a high quality sound system featuring four speakers with AM/FM/CD tuner and MP3/WMA compatibility.

Forester XS and XT feature a six-speaker six-stack in-dash AM/FM/CD tuner with subwoofer, that adds tweeter speakers installed in each door gusset. It also includes MP3/WMA compatibility, plus SRS circle surround audio.

An auxiliary terminal is installed in the centre console.

Steering wheel audio controls are standard on all Foresters.

The standard navigation system in Forester XT Premium features an intuitive seven-inch touch screen display within easy reach of the driver.

It includes:

  • DVD/CD player
  • AV and RCA jacks
  • WMA/MP3 compatibility
  • VGA screen for in-car entertainment
  • Audyssey Multi EQ audio
  • Bluetooth compatibility*

*Depending upon the software in individual mobile telephones.

New Forester model specifications at a glance:

Forester X:

  • ABS anti-lock brakes with four-wheel discs (ventilated front, solid rear), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist
  • Active headrests
  • Automatic transmission lock-out - need foot on brake, key in ignition “on” position, to release lever
  • Child seat anchor points including ISO FIX
  • Constant All-Wheel Drive
  • Curtain airbags – full length (front and rear)
  • Dual front airbags
  • Dual range on X and XS manual
  • Dual side airbags
  • Front seatbelts with pretensioners and load limiters
  • Double pretensioners on driver’s seatbelt
  • Front adjustable seatbelt anchorage
  • Height adjustable seatbelt anchors
  • Hill Start Assist (manual models)
  • Rear door child lock
  • Safety pedals - shock absorbing brake and clutch pedals
  • Seatbelt indicator lights – front seats
  • Side intrusion bars
  • Three-point A/ELR rear centre seatbelt
  • Vehicle Dynamics Control
Subaru 2009 Forester

  • AM/FM radio, single in-dash CD, MP3/WMA compatible, four speakers – steering wheel controls
  • Bottle holders in each door + two cup holders in auto centre consoles – one in manual
  • Cargo area light
  • Cargo hooks (four)
  • Cargo security blind
  • Central locking - remote
  • Cruise control – steering wheel buttons
  • Driver’s footrest
  • Height and reach adjustable steering column
  • Height adjustable driver’s seat
  • Immobiliser security system
  • Luggage hooks (four)
  • Luminescent gauges with blue highlights
  • Manual air conditioning with anti-dust filters
  • Map lights (2)
  • Overhead console
  • Multi-information dashboard display
  • Power steering, mirrors and windows
  • Rear seat centre armrest
  • Rear seat recline
  • Remote fuel lid release – tethered fuel cap
  • Seatback pocket (passenger side)
  • Security blind
  • SPORTSHIFT four-speed automatic transmission option
  • Two remote central locking keys
  • Vanity mirror
  • 60/40 split/fold rear seat
  • 12V/120W power jacks (three)
  • 16-inch steel wheels – full size spare
  • Chrome-highlight grille
  • Rear roof mounted radio antenna
  • Rear wiper
  • Roof rails
Other features
  • Auto hatch unlock on key
  • DataDot security technology
  • Electronic Throttle Control (ETC)
  • Three-year unlimited kilometre warranty
  • 2.5 litre SOHC horizontally opposed boxer engine. 126 kW/6000 rpm, 229 Nm/3200 rpm

Forester XS adds:

  • Alloy matt finish door handles
  • Climate control air conditioning with anti-dust filters
  • Colour-coded door mirrors
  • Front fog lights
  • Privacy glass – rear, rear quarter, tailgate
  • Rear seat retractable tray with cup holders
  • Self-levelling rear suspension
  • Six-stack CD with seven speakers (including subwoofer)
  • Woodgrain-type centre console surround
  • 16-inch alloy wheels- full size steel spare

Forester XS Premium adds:

  • Eight-way adjustable power driver’s seat
  • Leather trim, including steering wheel and gearshift
  • Sunroof

Forester XT adds (to XS specification – does not include eight-way adjustable power driver’s seat, sunroof or woodgrain-type centre console surround):

  • Alloy pedals
  • Engine cover
  • Rear roof spoiler with LED brake light
  • Xenon headlights (low beam) – self levelling with pop-up washers
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • 2.5 litre DOHC horizontally opposed turbocharged boxer engine. 169 kw/5200 rpm, 320 Nm/2800 rpm.

Forester XT Premium adds (to XT specification):

  • Eight-way adjustable power driver’s seat
  • Leather trim
  • DVD Satellite navigation with WMA/MP3/Bluetooth compatibility*
  • Sunroof


Satellite navigation (XS Premium).

*Depending upon the software in individual mobile telephones.

Forester MY09 pricing

These are recommended retail prices and do not include dealer and statutory charges.

Forester X manual $30,490
Forester X SPORTSHIFT auto $32,490
Forester XS manual $33,990
Forester XS SPORTSHIFT auto $35,990
Forester XS Premium manual $37,490
Forester XS Premium SPORTSHIFT auto $39,490
Forester XT manual $38,990
Forester XT SPORTSHIFT auto $40,990
Forester XT Premium manual $44,990
Forester XT Premium SPORTSHIFT auto $46,990


Satellite navigation (XS Premium) $2990

MY09 Forester highlights


  • Comprehensive specification
  • Striking new design with easier occupant and cargo area access
  • Ground clearance improved to 220 mm - 225 mm on XT
  • Shorter rear overhang
  • Larger cabin with innovative features for greater practicality and comfort
  • Height and telescopic adjustable steering in all Foresters
  • Wider cargo area
  • Significant improvements in NVH
  • Premium plastics and cloth trim
  • Rear seat recline
  • Innovative centre console with multiple storage configurations


  • Naturally aspirated engines with 4.1 per cent more power, 1.3 per cent more torque
  • Turbo engine torque kicks in 800 rpm earlier for enhanced drivability
  • All engines more fuel efficient – up to 7.8 per cent on manual XT
  • Active Valve Lift System (AVLS), ensures optimum power and torque output
  • All engines meet strict Euro STEP4 emission standard
  • SPORTSHIFT automatic four-speed transmission
  • Newly developed double wishbone rear suspension ensures optimum drivability
  • Framed doors for enhanced safety and NVH
  • Subaru Dynamic Chassis Concept – ride comfort, safety and NVH benefits


  • Vehicle Dynamics Control across the range
  • ANCAP five-star crashworthiness rating for occupant safety; three-star pedestrian rating
  • Constant All-Wheel Drive
  • Active head restraints
  • Dual front, side and curtain airbags
  • Ring-shaped reinforcements around the cabin
  • Hill Start Assist (manual variants) – forward and reverse

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