2009 Subaru Forester
By Subiesport Magazine, http://www.subiesport.com
2007 has been a year of big announcements at Subaru. First there was the revision of the Tribeca, and while that wasn’t earth shattering, the world waited in rapt excitement for the next one. That would have been the new Impreza WRX. Here was the first step in the hot-saloon cum hot hatch revamp. Then, closely on the heals of this was the relaunch of the STI which made the world stand still. Not ready to throw in the towel, Subaru had just one more revamp up its sleeve. And here it is: the long awaited for… 2009 Subaru Forester.
Not exactly the biggest release from Subaru in the last 5 five years, but still, another all-new model for Subaru fans to either rejoice or lament over. Given Subaru’s track-record over the last year, the faithful are sure to have their beefs with this new car as well.
Gone is the shoe-box styling that made the Forester such a hit. Again, Subaru seems to be taking styling cues from the likes of Toyota as the new Forester looks to be much more Rav 4 and not so much box-back Impreza.
The Forester still shares its platform with the hot saloon Impreza and therefore also shares the all-new, more sophisticated double-wishbone rear-suspension which Subaru claims improves crash protection as well as handling feel. Whereas the senior Forester was much more car-like in stance and ride-height, this generation is taller for a more SUV feel, with up to 8.9-inches of ground clearance. Subaru claims that this Forester also has more cargo room, which comes virtue of better suspension packaging and a longer wheel base, 3.6-inches more than that of the previous car.
The drivetrain is the same as that of the Impreza, with both 2.5-liter N/A and 2.5-liter turbo models available. Both manual and automatic transmission choices are available with VDC traction and stability control being standard along with all-wheel-drive, ABS and 4-wheel disc brakes. Manual transmissions will get Incline Start Assist to prevent roll-back when starting out on a hill.
The new Forester will now offer the same gee-whiz interior goodies of the Impreza with optional navigation, satellite radio and portable media player connectivity. Subaru claims that “…new interior materials, including double-stitched fabrics and high-grade plastics, impart a feeling of higher quality.” The Forester again is offered in several different trim levels with the stripper being the 2.5 X, “offering one of the best values in the crossover SUV segment and the range-topping Forester L.L.Bean Edition, offering more luxury without compromising the vehicle’s sporty nature;” or so says Subaru.
While we take solace in the fact that Subaru has retained the hot XT version, it appears that Subaru has slipped yet another one of its quirky, marque-defining models into the mainstream with the Forester’s new pseudo off-road body-cladding. This may be an attempt to carve the Forester out of the GLBT niche that Subaru so happily made for the car, and try to make it more competitive against the likes of the Rav 4 and CRV, which it closely resembles now.
If this new car is anything like it’s predecessor, it should offer more power, performance and handling than that of either the Honda or the Toyota.
Where this new car will fit in given the history and pedigree of the Forester, what with both the Japanese STI version and previous Sports editions as the benchmark, will be interesting to see. However, given the fact that this car also shares the underpinnings of the Impreza which is no slouch in the handling and power department, we will have to see just how much padding there is between the two cars.
Hopefully, as in past generations, your own home-brewed pseudo-STI version is only a set of springs and a reflash away.
For more pictures, and the original press release, visit http://www.subiesport.com
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