After sampling both the standard and hybridized Subaru Forester abroad, the Japanese automaker's all-new crossover has landed in the Philippines. Introduced in the ASEAN region in mid-2018, Subaru Philippines General Manager, Mr. Gerry Hernandez, told reporters that it will be introduced in January 2019, and has delivered on that front.
For the Philippine market, we will be getting three variants of the all-new Forester, whereas other South East Asian markets get as much as four. The Forester variants locally available are the entry-level 2.0i-L, 2.0i-L EyeSight and 2.0i-S EyeSight.
Visually, the 2.0i-L and 2.0i-L EyeSight get LED headlights and 17-inch alloy wheels while the 2.0i-S gets upsized alloy wheels (18-inches), LED foglights, faux skid plates at the front and rear, plus a sunroof. The bumper corner garnishes for both are also different, and the top of the line model gets brushed chrome side mirror cappings.
The three variants appear to have equal equipment levels. The 2.0i-L EyeSight and 2.0i-S EyeSight each get leather seats with power adjust for both front seats, an 8-inch audio display, auto headlights and wipers, dual-zone climate control, steering responsive headlights, among other things. The non-EyeSight Forester loses out on the power seats and the steering responsive headlights.
On the other hand, the 2.0i-S EyeSight gains niceties such as a power rear tailgate, push-button fold down rear seats, the aforementioned sunroof, and aluminum pedals. As for the EyeSight tech package includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control. Low-speed follow cruise control, lane change assist, and many more.
As the variant names suggest, the all-new Forester is powered by a 2.0-liter engine for both variants. Power is rated at 156 PS with torque at 196 Nm. It sticks to the Lineartronic continuously variable transmission and, being a Subaru, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is standard.
To give it a bit more off-road ability, the all-new Forester would also come with X-Mode, a system that helps the car adapt to varying conditions. Opt for the 2.0i-S EyeSight and it gains Special X-Mode, which is said to boost its off-road ability.
What about the hybrid version? We'll have to wait a little bit longer for the electrically-assisted Forester. Subaru Philippines is aiming to launch it here sometime in 2020. Known as the Forester e-Boxer, it has 145 PS and 188 Nm of torque, and has a pure electric drive mode that can help it run up to 50 kilometers on battery power alone.
Prices for the 2019 Subaru Forester is as follows:
Subaru Forester 2.0i-L: Php 1,598,000
Subaru Forester 2.0i-L EyeSight: Php 1,698,000
Subaru Forester 2.0-S EyeSight: Php 1,798,000