The Gulf Today - Business - - MOTORING -

The Subaru Forester has been com­pletely re­designed in­side and out for its fifth gen­er­a­tion, bring­ing the best-equipped, roomi­est, most-ca­pa­ble, and most-ver­sa­tile Forester ever built.

Tech­nol­ogy up­grades in­clude the all-new Driver­fo­cus Dis­trac­tion Mit­i­ga­tion sys­tem, for the first time and only on the 2019 Forester.

New fea­tures in­clude Eyesight Driver As­sist Tech­nol­ogy, LED head­lights, auto start/stop, Sidrive En­gine Per­for­mance man­age­ment, Ac­tive Torque Vec­tor­ing, Au­to­matic Cli­mate Con­trol, Elec­tronic Park­ing Brake, Trailer Sta­bil­ity As­sist, and wel­come light­ing.

Eyesight is stan­dard on all ver­sions of Forester, and in­cludes au­to­matic pre-col­li­sion brak­ing, adap­tive cruise con­trol, lane-de­par­ture and sway warn­ings, lane-keep as­sist, pre-col­li­sion throt­tle man­age­ment, and lead-ve­hi­cle start alert.

Pre-col­li­sion brak­ing can ap­ply full brak­ing to com­pletely stop the ve­hi­cle in emer­gency sit­u­a­tions. Pre-col­li­sion throt­tle man­age­ment restricts en­gine out­put if the driver ac­cel­er­ates when Eyesight de­tects an ob­ject in front of the ve­hi­cle. Lead-ve­hi­cle start alert prompts the driver that the ve­hi­cle ahead is mov­ing away af­ter be­ing stopped. Lane-keep as­sist helps avoid lane drift­ing by gen­tly steer­ing the ve­hi­cle back to the proper lane.

Eyesight has been found to re­duce rear-end crashes with in­juries by up to 85 per cent.

Brake as­sist in­creases brak­ing pres­sure in emer­gency brak­ing sit­u­a­tions, while brake over­ride re­duces the like­li­hood of un­in­tended ac­cel­er­a­tion by cut­ting en­gine power if the gas pedal and the brake pedal are pressed at the same time.

Built on the Subaru Global Plat­form ar­chi­tec­ture with ex­ten­sive high-strength steel, Forester offers dura­bil­ity, rigid­ity, and vi­bra­tion re­sis­tance, along with en­hanced crash safety, a qui­eter in­te­rior, bet­ter driv­ing feel, agility, and con­fi­dence for many years.

Forester is avail­able in stan­dard ($24,295), Premium ($26,695), Lim­ited ($30,795), Tour­ing ($34,295), and new Sport ($28,795) trim lev­els, each adding more fea­tures and ameni­ties, while main­tain­ing the ve­hi­cle’s rugged ca­pa­bil­ity.

My 2019 Tour­ing is the most lux­u­ri­ous Forester ever, with new heated rear seats and steer­ing wheel, mem­ory for the ex­te­rior mir­rors and driver’s seat, and down­ward-tilt mir­ror func­tion when re­vers­ing.


Eight ex­te­rior colours are avail­able for Tour­ing, in­clud­ing new Jasper Green Metal­lic (light sage), Crim­son Red Pearl, and Hori­zon Blue Pearl (dark sky, my Tour­ing). Ice Sil­ver (slight blue tint) and Sepia Bronze are also in­ter­est­ing and at­trac­tive. Black leather and Sad­dle Brown leather (mine) in­te­ri­ors are avail­able, depend­ing on the ex­te­rior colour.

Top-of-the-line Tour­ing also de­buts seg­ment-ex­clu­sive Driver­fo­cus safety tech­nol­ogy (work­ing with Eyesight) to alert the driver us­ing au­dio and vis­ual sig­nals when the sys­tem de­tects fa­tigue or dis­trac­tion us­ing fa­cial-recog­ni­tion soft­ware. Driver­fo­cus also rec­og­nizes up to five driv­ers and re­mem­bers their seat, mir­ror and cli­mate set­tings.

A new ver­sion of the 2.5-liter Subaru boxer four-cylin­der en­gine with auto stop/start, along with a stan­dard Lin­eartronic CVT al­lows Forester to achieve a fuel-ef­fi­cient 26 mpg city/33 high­way/29 com­bined. With mostly lo­cal/neigh­bor­hood driv­ing, I achieved 28.5 mpg.

The new en­gine pro­duces 182 horse­power ver­sus the 170 horse­power of the pre­vi­ous en­gine and yields quicker ac­cel­er­a­tion. Sport and Tour­ing trims fea­ture a sev­en­speed man­ual mode, us­ing steer­ing-wheel pad­dle shifters.

Subaru’s leg­endary Sym­met­ri­cal All-wheel Drive is stan­dard on all trims, mon­i­tor­ing ac­cel­er­a­tion/ de­cel­er­a­tion, cor­ner­ing, and trac­tion, de­liv­er­ing op­ti­mal dis­tri­bu­tion of power to the wheels with the best grip for max­i­mum trac­tion, bet­ter han­dling, im­proved ef­fi­ciency and quick re­sponse to road con­di­tions.


Stan­dard driver-se­lectable Sidrive al­lows the driver to tai­lor throt­tle char­ac­ter­is­tics by choos­ing “In­tel­li­gent” or “Sport” mode. In­tel­li­gent smooths ac­cel­er­a­tor in­put for fuel sav­ings, while Sport em­pha­sises per­for­mance.

My Forester Tour­ing had stan­dard LED steer­ing-re­spon­sive head­lights, which tracked the di­rec­tion of the turn for bet­ter vis­i­bil­ity, and high-beam as­sist – work­ing with Eyesight – to switch the head­lights be­tween high and low when an on­com­ing ve­hi­cle was de­tected. Each trim fea­tures its own wheel de­sign and size. My Tour­ing had eye-catch­ing18-inch, five-spoke (wide, flat, with dec­o­ra­tive cutouts at one edge) alu­minum-al­loy wheels, with ma­chine-fin­ished face and black painted pock­ets.

All but the base model have driver-se­lectable X-mode with hillde­s­cent con­trol, which op­ti­mizes con­trol of the en­gine, trans­mis­sion shift pat­terns, ac­tive AWD front/ rear clutch force, and brakes for max­i­mum trac­tion on slip­pery sur­faces and steep in­clines. For 2019, my Tour­ing came with a dual-mode ver­sion with Snow/dirt and Deep Snow/mud modes, in ad­di­tion to Snow and Mud in the ba­sic X-mode sys­tem.

A strong shoul­der line flowed be­neath the pil­lars from front to rear, em­pha­siz­ing Forester’s height and strength, while prom­i­nent wheel arches sug­gested all­wheel drive func­tion­al­ity. Mus­cu­lar creases lifted the edges of the hood. Forester’s new, more rugged style still re­tains a fam­ily re­sem­blance.

The sig­na­ture hexag­o­nal grille, out­lined with chrome with a large chrome strip across the top and fea­tur­ing the blue Subaru badge, had ac­tive grille shut­ters to help re­duce fuel con­sump­tion. Large sil­ver-trimmed 3-D head­light hous­ings with dis­tinct day­time run­ning lights wrapped around the front fas­cia and the front quar­ter, fea­tur­ing Forester brand­ing at the back edges. Fog lights were in­te­grated into mus­cu­lar chrome vent open­ings at the outer bumper.

Lower-body side cladding and stan­dard front, side, and rear un­der guards pro­tected against mud, rocks, and other road de­bris. Sil­ver trim high­lighted the un­der guards, the side cladding, and the black roof rails. Chrome out­lined the side win­dows, and satin chrome capped the side mir­rors.

Large 3-D tail­light hous­ings wrapped around the lift­gate and the rear quar­ter, and a roof spoiler with black edges ex­tend­ing down the lift­gate win­dow em­pha­sised the width of the ve­hi­cle.

Raised roof rails with new in­te­grated tie-down hooks are de­signed for flex­i­bil­ity in haul­ing cargo car­ri­ers, sports equip­ment with avail­able ac­ces­sories, or lash­ing down a Christ­mas tree. With 8.7 inches of ground clear­ance, more than most com­peti­tors, Forester is ready for off-road driv­ing, yet has an easy step-in height.

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