Subaru's distributor in Asia, Motor Image, has just held the regional launch of the all-new Subaru Forester in Taichung, Taiwan; the latest generation of what is undoubtedly one of the brand's best selling models in the region.
“We are thrilled to launch the new fifth generation Forester and are confident that the model will excite drivers and create amazing experiences with their loved ones,” said Mr. Glenn Tan, the Managing Director of Tan Chong International Ltd., the parent company of Motor Image.
Subaru Corporation redesigned the Forester and gave it a new look compared to its predecessor, all while staying true to the design language of the brand. The new Forester also features many enhancements like a newly-designed interior, an improved rear power tailgate, and even sub-divided seatback pockets to hold smartphones and the like.
Subaru highlighted the improvements made to certain dimensions for improved usability for customers. Overall length is increased by 15mm, though the wheelbase has been lengthened by 30mm. The longer dimensions have also resulted in an extra 33mm of space for the rear occupants. Subaru was also able to engineer an extra 20mm of space between the driver and front passenger. The biggest improvement is the rear cargo space; the loading area has grown by 134mm, bringing the total width of the opening to 1300mm. That's enough to be able to load up a golf set without having to tilt the bag.
The major changes that Subaru made to the Forester go right to the frame, as the new generation model is built on the new Subaru Global Platform (SGP) which was developed with improved handling performance, overall safety, and riding comfort and refinement.
The powertrain is comprised of a horizontally-opposed engine, a Lineartronic CVT, and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. Subaru says a turbo XT version will not be offered; all models will have the 2.0-liter direct injected, naturally aspirated boxer motor with 156 PS and 196 Nm of torque.
New for the Subaru Forester is the availability of a new, more capable multi-mode Special X-Mode drive system (for the 2.0i-S) for improved traction in any condition. The 2.0i-L versions will have standard X-Mode.
Subaru have also made the EyeSight system available in the 2019 Forester (2.0i-S variants). The suite of EyeSight Driver Assist Technologies (DAT) is a leap ahead in active vehicle safety, enabling the vehicle to prevent collisions using dual cameras that constantly monitor road, driving and traffic conditions. If need be, EyeSight can intervene and activate the brakes and/or retard power if it senses a crash is imminent.
The region will have a total of four variants: the 2.0i-L, the 2.0i-L EyeSight, the 2.0i-S, and the 2.0i-S EyeSight. The Philippine market will have two variants: the 2.0i-L, and the 2.0i-S EyeSight. Again, there will be no more turbocharged versions.
Understandably, Subaru Philippines is eager to get their hands on the new Forester, though their General Manager, Mr. Gerry Hernandez, says they will have to wait a little longer; they are planning to launch the new model in January of 2019.
Subaru has not yet disclosed the official pricing of the Forester for the Philippine market.