Subaru Forester debuts with hybrid technology and rugged 4x4 capabilities
【Summary】Subaru has unveiled the latest version of its Forester at the LA Auto Show. The fifth-generation model retains its familiar shape but features updated headlights, grille, and tail lamps. It will come with symmetrical all-wheel drive, upgraded with dual-function X-mode and increased ground clearance. The big news is the introduction of the Forester's first full-hybrid model next year, as part of Subaru's move towards electrification.
Subaru unveiled its latest Forester at the LA Auto Show, although it may appear to be a facelift rather than an entirely new car. The new model is expected to make its way to the UK, where the Forester has been a popular choice in Subaru showrooms.
The Forester, now in its fifth generation, has been a successful model for the Japanese 4x4 specialists, with over 2.6 million cars sold in the US alone. The iconic five-door design remains, but with updated head and tail lamps, a more upright grille, and a wider stance.
Underneath the surface, the new Forester continues to feature symmetrical all-wheel drive, now enhanced with dual-function X-mode and 221mm of ground clearance. While US models will come with a 2.5-litre flat-four engine, the UK version will be equipped with a 2.0-litre unit.
However, the major news is the introduction of the Forester's first full-hybrid model next year, marking a move towards electrification. Subaru CEO Atsushi Osaki not only revealed the new Forester but also announced the brand's plans to launch four new full EVs by 2026, followed by another four by 2028. This is in addition to the current Solterra EV, which is being produced alongside the Toyota bZ4X.
The Forester's chassis has been improved, boasting a ten per cent increase in stiffness compared to the previous model. The ride is said to be smoother, and the car is quieter than before.
Inside the cabin, both the quality and infotainment have been upgraded. A notable addition is the 11.6-inch touchscreen in a portrait layout, featuring wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Wireless smartphone charging is also available. Subaru's EyeSight driver assistance system has been enhanced with a wider field of view and improved cyclist and pedestrian detection. Even the tailgate has received a technological makeover, now opening with a wave of a foot under the front bumper.
The new Subaru Forester is expected to arrive in the US market by the middle of next year, with UK availability anticipated in 2024. Prices are likely to increase from the current starting price of just under £38,000 to around £40,000.
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