The facelifted Forester is expected to be introduced in Malaysia by mid-April and will arrive in three variants, namely the entry-level 2.0i, mid-range 2.0i-P (both CKD) and the range-topping 2.0 XT (CBU from Japan) - priced on-the-road with GST without insurance at RM144,160, RM153,700 and RM210,940 respectively.
Upon its arrival, five colour options of white, black, silver, bronze and grey will be offered, as well as a discount of RM3,000 for a limited time.
The CKD variants marks the Forester as the second model to be assembled at the Tan Chong Motor Assemblies facility in Segambut and now joins the Subaru XV, which began its assembly in Dec 2012.
With a wheelbase of 2,640mm and 220mm of ground clearance, it measures 4,595mm-long (2.0i is 15mm longer at 4,610mm), 1,795mm-wide and 1,735mm-tall, while rolling on 17-inch wheels with 225/60 series tyres (2.0 XT uses 18-inch wheels and 225/55 tyres) as standard.
Two powerplants will be available, with the first being a 2.0-litre (1,995cc) naturally-aspirated four-cylinder (FB20) boxer engine producing 150PS at 6,200rpm and 198Nm of torque at 4,200rpm for the 2.0i and 2.0i-P (for Premium).
The 2.0 XT gets a 2.0-litre (1,1998cc) turbocharged direct-injected (FA20) boxer engine instead, producing 241PS at 5,600rpm and 350Nm of torque from 2,400 to 3,600rpm.
As standard, both engines are mated to Subaru’s Lineartonic CVT gearbox for the Forester’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (S-AWD) system that comes with X-Mode (includes hill descent control as well as enhanced AWD system and vehicle dynamics control (VDC).
But in terms of overall improvements, the Japanese carmaker has increased the overall thickness of the windows; added sound proofing materials to the base of the chassis; changed the rear suspension’s alignment; stiffened the front cross-member; and improved on the suspension’s coils and dampers.
Aesthetically, the Forester hasn’t deviated much from its predecessor with a newly-designed bumper and grille that’s only fitted on the 2.0i, while the 2.0i-P and 2.0 XT get LED headlamps for upgrades.
The 1,519kg (kerb) 2.0i’s standard kit includes halogen headlamps, rear fog lamps, daytime running lights, roof rails, roof spoiler, power folding wing-mirrors with integrated LED turn signals, leather-clad cabin, new infotainment system and gear selector.
Conveniences include automatic vehicle hold, one-touch turn signal, automatic climate controls, retractable cargo cover and a reverse camera.
In terms of safety, there’s seven airbags, VDC, brake override, four-channel anti-lock braking system with electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, safety pedal system, reinforced beams within the doors and ISOFIX anchor points.
The 1,528kg (kerb) 2.0i-P adds on steering-response automatic-levelling LED headlamps with washers, automatic wipers, SI Drive, powered front seats with driver-side memory function, dual-zone climate control, PIN-code access and keyless entry with push-start button.
Other additionals include centre-mounted multi-info colour display, height-adjustable powered tail-gate, aluminium pedals, steering-wheel cruise control function, paddle-shifters, exhaust muffler, front fog lamps and LED wing mirrors.
Lastly, the more powerful 1,641kg (kerb) 2.0 XT rounds off the list of goodies with a glass sunroof, leather-Alcantara upholstery, Harmann Kardon sound system, Siri eyes free with voice recognition command and twin-tipped exhaust mufflers.
Subaru Forester 2.0i
Subaru Forester 2.0i-P
Subaru Forester 2.0 XT