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Significant improvements in Subaru Forester XT 
Subaru  Forester XT
 2013 model SUV 5 doors
Wide range of new features on 2013 Forester XT Model


Subaru’s new generation All-Wheel Drive Forester 2.0 XT introduces direct injection turbocharging and a sporty suspension set-up taking the SUV performance package to a new level of driving entertainment.




Model Year 2013 Forester 2.0 XT is available exclusively with a paddleshift Lineartronic™ Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that highlights the car’s fun factor.

Forester 2.0 XT includes X-Mode, reversing camera, electric sunroof, dual zone air-conditioning, Multi-Function Display (MFD), SI-Drive, 18-inch alloy wheels and silver roof rails, and is priced from $43,490 Manufacturer’s List Price** (MLP).


Forester 2.0 XT Premium adds a wide variety of features including the EyeSight™ driver assist system, eight-speaker harman kardon® entertainment system, push button start, rain sensing front wipers, leather trim, automatic cargo door and dusk sensing headlights. It is priced from $50,490 MLP. 

There are significant improvements in the key areas of power, torque, fuel efficiency, emissions and towing ability, as the range-topping Foresters take full advantage of new engine and transmission technology from Subaru manufacturer Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI).

Among the major refinements over its predecessor:


  • 20.6 per cent improvement in emissions
  • 19 per cent gain in fuel efficiency in the combined cycle*
  • 12.5 per cent hike in towing ability
  • 11 per cent better aerodynamic efficiency
  • 9.4 per cent torque increase
  • 4.7 per cent power gain

The new CVT is linked to the more powerful direct injection 2.0 litre horizontally opposed Boxer engine that produces 177 Kilowatts of power at 5600 rpm and 350 Newtonmetres of torque at 2400-3600 rpm.

Other turbocharged Forester highlights include:


  • New generation turbo engine –complies with strict EURO5 emission standards
  • Direct Injection Turbocharging (DIT) - significantly improves acceleration, fuel and environmental efficiency while producing a dynamic drive experience
  • Lightweight body and chassis – contributes to the thrilling drive
  • Suspension specifically tuned to match Forester 2.0 XT’s sporty performance -  stronger and more response, producing driving excitement
  • X-Mode – offers confidence and control on difficult terrain
  • EyeSight™ - award-winning driver assist system debuts in Forester 2.0 XT Premium
  • New Lineartronic™ Continuously Variable Transmission – ultra efficient and quiet
  • Multi-Function Display – delivers new level of driver information
  • SI-Drive – matches performance to driving style
  • Powerful, sophisticated appearance with a sleek silhouette
  • Soft-touch high-quality interior trim – new level of refinement
  • New generation Active Torque Split All-Wheel Drive – all auto Foresters
  • Automatic cargo door – new convenience feature in Forester 2.0 XT Premium
  • Increased cabin space – great comfort and convenience 
  • Aerodynamic efficiency – Cd of just 0.33, an 11 per cent per cent improvement
  • Stiffer, more responsive brakes - performance optimized in wet and dry surfaces
  • Emphasis on the established Subaru traits of driving fun, quality, safety, security, durability and reliability, combined with style.


The MFD offers a new level of easily understood information available to drivers.

The car’s impressive towing credentials are enhanced through features including Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) now including Towing Stability Control.


Braked towing capacity increases by 200 kilograms, to 1800 kg. Forester 2.0 XT also has an air-cooled oil cooler, for enhanced towing ability.

Forester 2.0 XT has enhanced All-Wheel Drive plus the EyeSight™ driver assist system on Premium variants, offering practical safety benefits.

Inside, there’s an emphasis on comfort and space.

Subaru Australia Managing Director, Nick Senior, said: “This is a game changer. The Sports Utility Vehicle market is booming and just like the passenger car market before it, there is interest in a sporty model – a halo vehicle in effect.  

“The XT is that sporty alternative, but not at the expense of creature comforts, ride and refinement. Comfortably quick is its catchphrase.

“It is turbine smooth, surprisingly nimble and pampers the driver and passengers. It blends the best of both in a package for its time.”

He added: “Forester 2.0 XT is the ultimate fun package for those that like turbocharged performance in their SUV.

“There’s a heap of new technology plus great advances in cabin trim, suspension, transmission and engine efficiency that make this a powerful package in every sense.

“Factor-in the lower emissions, fuel consumption and increased towing and you’re looking at our best-ever turbo petrol Forester that comes with the peace-of-mind of Subaru durability, five-star safety and our long-established rock-solid resale value.”   



Forester 2.0 XT is distinguished by a mesh grille treatment unique to the turbocharged variant.


Aerodynamic efficiency is improved by 11 per cent, producing a Cd of 0.33, aided by refinements including a turbo guard underneath the engine bay and a rear spoiler.



New Forester offers impressive road presence with its muscular, solid, aerodynamic body design.


The flared lower body promotes Forester’s sense of stability, while the bonnet height is increased and headlights located in line with the classic Subaru hexagonal grille, for a powerful presence.


Forester’s rear is narrower, for improved aerodynamics and fuel efficiency, yet the cabin offers greater volume.   


The aluminium bonnet helps reduce weight and lower the centre of gravity, while rear bumper corners were designed with aerodynamic efficiency in mind, together with the large underbody covers, including mudguards and air flaps.


The push button open/close cargo door on Forester 2.0 XT Premium ensures easy access at all times.  It includes a memory function for use in low clearance situations. It can be operated from the key fob, tailgate or a dashboard button. If the buttons are pressed accidentally, the cargo door will reverse its motion if touching a person or object.  


Forester is 35 mm longer, with a 25 mm increase in wheelbase.


The A-pillar is moved forward, enhancing the sleek look while also aiding the field-of-vision from inside.


The back end of the roof is lowered for aerodynamic performance.


Forester’s windscreen is flush with the surrounding body, producing a cleaner look. 


Forester 2.0 XT Premium variants with keyless entry introduce a touch sensor for locking.


The lower part of the passenger doors is extended and a garnish added, hiding the sill and resisting dirt. This enabled the sill to be moved 30 mm toward the vehicle’s centre, helping occupant exit.


Re-shaped door mirrors are relocated from the A-pillar to the front end of the metal panel, improving aerodynamics, reducing wind noise and benefitting vision.


The centre six-LED high-mount rear brake light is integrated into the rear spoiler for great visibility and improved aerodynamics.   


Electric sunroofs on Forester 2.0 XT are 17 per cent lighter, yet stronger and maintain the same size opening as the superseded model.


All Forester 2.0 XTs feature new-design 18-inch alloy wheels.



  • Burnished bronze metallic
  • Crystal black silica
  • Dark gray metallic
  • Deep cherry pearl
  • Ice silver metallic
  • Jasmine green metallic
  • Marine blue pearl
  • Satin white pearl
  • Venetian red pearl


New Forester’s cabin is wider and offers greater passenger space, while dashboard and door trims feature high-quality soft-touch finishes.

The A-pillar is moved forward 200 mm, taking the windscreen further from front-seat occupants and aiding the air of spaciousness, while reducing the blind spot by one degree. 

The raised seats are specifically designed for Forester, offering an ideal combination of comfort, security and commanding view. The increased hip point combines with the lower top surface of the instrument panel to offer great viewing and peripheral field-of-vision.

This is also helped by the triangular quarter glass integrated in the front doors, rather than the body, reducing blind spots.

Forester’s new front seats include generous shoulder areas for greater support and a spacious hip point. The backrest is 60 mm higher, with additional support from the reconfigured springs, while lumbar support is also enhanced through support materials inside the urethane cushions. Low resistance urethane is used inside the cushions to absorb small vibrations while travelling. Rear seat recline is operated using a simple strap.

The rear seat centre armrest features dual cup-holders.

Child seat tether points are now located on the rear seat backs, meaning no intrusion of the tether straps into the rear cargo area and better visibility. 

The headrest angle can be adjusted in addition to the height.

Forester 2.0 XT Premium also includes heated front seats.

The hip point of the rear seats is moved back 15 mm and raised 36 mm, while the cushion thickness is also increased for better vibration absorption.

The instrument panel is located further away from the front passenger seat occupant, further increasing the cabin’s open feel.

The new two-gauge electroluminescent instrument cluster features a central Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), producing a clean, high-quality layout with information easy to decipher.

Steering wheels across the range are tilt and telescopic adjustable, with the tilt range increased to 42 mm.

All Forester 2.0 XTs include paddleshift, with the system now being more intuitive.

Fully automatic dual-zone air conditioning is standard on Forester 2.0 XT. Helping reduce air-conditioning workload and improve fuel efficiency is engine bay insulation, reducing the amount of heat entering the cabin.

Textured satin finishes around Forester’s cabin complement the quality air, extending to fine detail such as the chrome-plated ring around the gear shifter base.  

Vent ducts and the heater unit are designed to help lower the top surface of the instrument panel between 50-80 mm.

Forester’s wheelbase is 25 mm longer. Together with the reconfigured floor design, this significantly improves rear passenger comfort. The floor tunnel is lower, offering greater back seat space, while there is improved rear legroom.  

Elbow and shoulder room are improved by 15 mm.

The inverse shape of the front seat backs and centre console allow extra rear occupant knee room. The front edge of the rear seats is also straight, to enhance space.

Forester’s cabin produces superb low Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH).

Side sills are lowered by 50 mm while front doors open an extra 135 mm for ease of entry and exit.

Clever attention to detail includes the rear passenger side steps made as wide as possible, with a finish to help prevent slipping, especially for children.  


Forester’s cargo area is wider, making loading and unloading even easier, with the power rear cargo door adding to the convenience on the XT Premium variant.  

While the back end of the roof is lowered for aerodynamic performance, the interior roof construction benefits the larger interior space.

For added practicality, a hook is positioned on the cargo door lower trim, making it possible to hang objects with the door opened, aiding beachgoers and other outdoor recreation.

A grocery bag hook is located on each side of the cargo area, plus four high-strength metal cargo hooks.

Forester 2.0 XTs feature sports pedals.

Other cabin convenience features include:


  • A glove box capable of holding the equivalent of 16 compact discs
  • A centre console box with 20CD capacity, plus AUX terminal, USB port and AC power
  • Dual centre cup holders
  • Centre dashboard tray with 10CD capacity, plus AC power
  • Expanded double-stitched door armrests with soft feel and texture
  • Sun visors with extensions for added sun block  


Forester’s MFD provides vital vehicle information at a glance. It encourages economical driving via the eco-gauge and fuel efficiency evaluation.

EyeSight™ information is also displayed on the MFD, including set speed and a graphic representation of the distance between the Forester and the vehicle ahead. When the Forester driver brakes, the brake lights on the vehicle in the display also light up. 



Introduction of the MFD on Forester 2.0 XT means features such as song lists or radio presets can be displayed simultaneously, with less eye diversion for the driver. It is also easy to make music selections.

All Foresters offer USB, iPod and Bluetooth*** connectivity.

Among the system’s features are:



  • Vocal image control – projects vocals to optimum effect
  • Virtual bass – richer bass tones by adding harmonics
  • Sound restorer – adds to the digital sound sources that get lost in music when compressed for iPod and MP3


Forester 2.0 XT Premium features an eight-speaker harman kardon entertainment system.

Two 6 x 9-inch oval-shaped speakers are located in front doors and two round 160 mm woofer speakers in the rear doors. Two additional 80 mm mid-high range speakers are located in the dashboard and two in the rear door.  

The harman kardon speakers use metal base materials in a cone.

The system produces highly responsive sound with crystal clear high tones and less distortion in bass tones.

The front oval-shaped speakers produce superior dynamic bass tones while the four mid-to-high range speakers produce rich, crisp vocal sound. The two rear woofer speakers focus on low-range and combine with the others for a well balanced music experience.

A power amplifier below the front seats has superior eight-channel 440 Watt output, while minimizing distortion, for clear, powerful sound quality.

Forester 2.0 XT’s audio system features four 160 mm diameter full-range speakers, installed in each door.

All Foresters feature a roof-mounted AM/FM antenna.  


Forester 2.0 XT Premium features factory-fitted satellite navigation as standard. 




Forester 2.0 XT’s new X-Mode feature makes it easier for all drivers to safely navigate bad roads, slippery surfaces and steep hills, with just one switch. X-Mode’s status is indicated visually on the MFD.

When X-Mode is engaged, at 40 km/h or less, status information is displayed on the MFD and instrument cluster, including Hill Descent Control and Vehicle Dynamics Control.

X-Mode centralizes control of the engine, All-Wheel Drive, brakes and other critical components to help ensure safe driving even on poor surfaces.

Hill Descent Control helps maintain a constant speed when the vehicle is travelling down a steep hill.

The X-Mode switch is located in front of the gear shifter.

Key X-Mode Controls:

At 40 km/h or less:

  • Engine Control Unit (ECU) – in low load range, the throttle opens slowly to avoid sudden torque changes and improves drivability
  • Traction Control Unit (TCU) – AWD clutch pressure is increased by around 25 per cent, controlling differential rotation between front and rear wheels, improving traction
  • Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) – Enhances Limited Slip Differential (LSD)  Control. To improve traction on slippery road surfaces, it counteracts differential rotation between left and right wheels by accelerating brake boosting speed and delaying reduction of brake pressure when wheel rotation returns to normal.

At 20 km/h or less:

  • VDC also uses Hill Descent Control (HDC) to control brakes on steep hills, so vehicle speed can be maintained when neither accelerator or brake pedals are pressed. It improves safety by allowing the driver to focus on steering without operating the brakes. HDC is automatically activated if speed is increasing on a descent, resulting in constant speed. Control is based on speed data, not hill angle. Therefore a constant speed can be maintained when the vehicle begins a descent from the flat. HDC brake control allows the driver to focus on safe steering while leaving braking to the vehicle. 

Testing by Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI), the maker of Subaru vehicles, indicates that with X-Mode, when two diagonally-opposed wheels lose traction, the time to restoration of forward travel is cut by approximately half.



The introduction of Direct Injection Turbocharging (DIT) in Forester2.0 XT significantly improves acceleration, fuel and environmental efficiency while producing a dynamic drive experience.

The new generation turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder horizontally opposed Boxer engine produces 177 Kilowatts of power at 5600 rpm and 350 Newtonmetres of torque at 2400-3600 rpm. 

Combined with the ultra-efficient Lineartronic™ CVT, lightweight body and specially-designed chassis, the result is a thrilling drive with seamless acceleration.

Forester 2.0 XT’s new engine complies with strict EURO5 emission standards. The FA engine is based on Subaru’s new FB series of horizontally-opposed Boxer engines, with improved output and economy.

Use of DIT enables a high compression ratio twin scroll configuration. 

Intercooler ducting is now located on the bonnet underside.

The engine uses a range of environmentally-friendly technologies to reduce friction and improve combustion efficiency.

The new engine uses cylinder injection, instead of port injection and a timing chain replaces the timing belt.

The engine’s knock limit and air density are raised and the compression ratio increased for higher output.

Optimal air mixture is achieved for combustion near the plug – even when air-fuel ratio is low. This makes it possible to retard ignition timing and activate the catalyst more quickly during warm-up, effectively reducing exhaust gas.



The special design uses a shorter stroke to support higher rotation speeds. The crankpins are increased in diameter size from 48 mm to 50 mm. A more rigid overall construction helps limit deformation at high speeds.


The turbo engine has diagonally split connecting rods and big end diameter is increased. The stem shape and tapering of the small end has reduced connecting rod weight and also made it possible to strengthen the pistons, while higher-strength material is used for connecting rod bolts. This means higher pressures can be tolerated inside the cylinders. A copper-based alloy is used in the bearings, ensuring reliability during high-cylinder pressure. The shape of lubricated surfaces is also optimized.


Pistons are modified to suit the new 86 mm bore, with high-strength material used as reinforcement. The crown has a unique shape, ideally suited to the direct injection system, while combustion chamber shape is designed to better control injection fuel spray. A hybrid coating on the piston skirts reduces friction resistance.


Combustion chamber shape is modified to suit high compression ratios and direct injection. The piston crown surface has a shallow dish-like cavity, ensuring stable combustion during start-up.


The intake ports have a tumble-promoting shape, while the piston crown is shaped to better maintain tumble flow. Therefore, performance is more uniform under high-load driving, while exhaust and output performance is optimized. A metal partition is added to the intake ports, maximizing tumble generator valve (TGV) effect.


Positioning the turbocharger directly under the engine lowers emissions and offers better throttle response. It also enables a more compact exhaust system.


A dedicated scavenger pump operates independently from the engine lubrication pump, recovering oil collected in the catcher tank.



The exhaust is designed to support both the lower turbocharger position and the mount layout. Both output and emissions benefit from larger catalytic converter volume. New air and oxygen sensors are more accurate in detecting gas concentration. Sheet metal is used in the manifold to reduced weight and heat. Power is improved by hydroforming the branch pipes and increasing diameter.


Overall weight is reduced by use of a plastic intake manifold. Airflow is improved and the system tuned for higher output. Exhaust Gas Regeneration (EGR) piping shape is designed to deliver larger volumes of gas to the EGR system more uniformly for each cylinder.


A special circuit for cooling the EGR gas is added to the EGR system. Enhanced cooling means a large amount of gas can be redirected and fuel injection volume kept low. As combustion temperatures are also reduced, knocking is less likely and injection timing brought forward, limiting the possibility of fluctuation.


TGV improves combustion efficiency by creating vortices in the combustion chambers. Port and valve shapes are designed to enhance output by limiting pressure loss upon valve opening, while increasing swirl level on closure. The overall design is compact and simple, reducing weight.


Use of AVCS with increased intake and exhaust angles makes the engine much more responsive to driving conditions, with output, efficiency and exhaust benefits. Intake AVCS features a mechanical intermediate locking mechanism similar to that in the normally aspirated FB engine, significantly improving emissions on start-up. A spooling valve is integrated into the AVCS. By making it independent of the oil-control solenoid, a simple overall design results.


To help faster engine warming on start-up, a bottom-bypass channel is added. Oil temperature can be rapidly increased by circulating coolant around a short path passing through warm air in the engine’s bottom bypass. Friction between moving parts can be quickly reduced.



New cooling circuits are introduced which focus on the head, rather than the engine block, in which fuel efficiency is improved by reducing coolant flow volume, retaining higher oil temperatures at the walls and lower piston friction. Flow rate is increased at the heads and there is better cooling around spark plugs and injectors, enabling a higher knock limit, improving performance and reliability while balancing high output and fuel efficiency.



Lowering the water jacket in the open structure produces the same levels of block stiffness as a semi-closed structure. This prevents bore shape changes and improves cooling near the deck surface, also raising knock limit.




A direct injection system uses a new high-pressure fuel pump, with high-pressure fuel piping also added downstream.  


The high-pressure pump is driven by the left-hand intake camshaft and pressurizes fuel to 15MPa. Roller lifters are used as contacts between the pump and camshafts, reducing friction when the pump operates. A pulsating damper is integrated in the pump, reducing fuel pressure fluctuations. The structure helps prevent fuel evaporation.


Multiple injection holes form a guide spray-type injection. Together with piston crown shape, this produces an ideal combustion pattern.


A new high precision sensor provides advanced control.


An electrical vacuum pump reduces friction.




Lightweight injection coils are used, weighing 14 grams less than the superseded model.


Spark plugs with a high thermal value equivalent to those used in motorsport support the high compression ratio and output. Energy is boosted by use of iridium at both ends of the electrode.



Friction and efficiency gains result from use of roller rockers.


High-strength chains include strengthened inside plates and joints. The chainplate profile is modified so the area of contact with guides is reduced and friction lowered.


The engine cover was designed in conjunction with DIT development and features a sporty look.


The charging control system comprises a current sensor, a battery temperature sensor and an alternator. When the engine is idling or travelling at a fixed speed, it reduces generator voltage. When decelerating, it increases voltage. This reduces engine load overall. The system is light and compact, integrating temperature and current sensors.


An oil level switch helps prevent the engine being seriously damaged by activating a warning light on the instrument panel when oil drops to a specific level.


Fluid-filled engine mounts suppress vibration and aid ride comfort.


The dual exhaust offers improved corrosion resistance.



The fuel tank canister is located outside the passenger cabin, enabling greater passenger space and removing the need for a canister cover, saving 2 kg in weight.



Forester 2.0 XT’s Lineartronic™ CVT is tuned for the high torque of the new turbocharged engine.

Among the benefits are smoother driving, free of gear-shift shock, with ratios optimized for winding roads, hills and other engaging driving conditions.

Other developments reducing transmission noise include use of a short-pitch chain, improved case rigidity and an enhanced sound insulation cover.

The shorter pitch chain has expanded the transmission’s ratio coverage, while reducing engine speed when Forester is operating in the high-speed range, also lessening noise. The number of rocker pins has increased while contact pressure per pin is reduced.

To help shield the CVT exterior, the oil pan shape and wall thickness are designed to protect from damage on poor road surfaces. 

The turbo engine also features a CVTF warmer, for faster heating and improved fuel efficiency in cold conditions.


Forester 2.0 XT’s paddle shifters make it instantly possible to select the driver’s preferred gear during normal driving, rapid braking, or acceleration.

The addition of a sixth speed has made it possible to increase the gearing ratio steps.

Used in conjunction with SI-Drive, there is an eight-speed manual characteristic when S# mode is selected.

Temporary Manual mode is activated if the paddles are operated with the transmission still in D-range. Once the on-board system detects constant speed, it automatically returns the transmission to D-range.

The engine also supports standing starts in second gear, limiting the likelihood of wheel spin on ice or mud.


A damper is introduced, suitable for the larger lockup range of the Lineartronic™ CVT. This helps fuel efficiency, noise reduction and standing-start performance.

Also, a new twin damper absorbs fluctuations in engine torque for a smoother, quieter ride.


Low friction bearings in rear differentials enhance both efficiency and reliability, which also benefit from a new hydraulic pressure sensor, improving accuracy of differential oil temperature detection.



Forester features new-generation active torque split All-Wheel Drive (AWD) controls, which enhance driver confidence.

The system acquires input signals from the Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) indicating steering wheel angle, yaw rate and transverse acceleration. This is in addition to conventional control information, comprising input torque and differential speed compensation, based on individual wheel speed. The result is improved initial steering behaviour and vehicle control in tight corner braking. Wheel spin is reduced when accelerating on snow-covered or slippery roads. 

The electronically-controlled AWD system integrates a Multi-Plate Transfer (MPT) into the unit used to distribute torque to the rear wheels. The system features default 60:40 front:rear torque distribution. The Transmission Control Unit (TCU) responds to conditions such as acceleration, climbing and turning, adjusting torque distribution in real time. Whenever front wheel slipping is detected, rear wheel torque is increased, ensuring sufficient traction.     



Forester’s steering is linear and gradual, producing a secure, fun driving experience.



FHI engineers aimed to produce a more sporty ride than ever before in turbocharged petrol-engine variants, in keeping with the DIT.

The rear sub-frame is stiffened, with low-friction damper support, improving handling and response.

Higher spring rates control roll and response, while the low-friction dampers control shocks and shakes on uneven roads.


Forester 2.0 XT’s suspension has been extensively tested on a wide variety of Australian roads. It is specifically tuned to match the car’s sporty performance, producing driving excitement.

Forester 2.0 XT features stronger suspension with new friction-control oil seals, guide bushings and hydraulic fluid, allowing the dampers to work even on minor strokes. The result is improved ride quality, by controlling minor body vibrations during initial roll.

A rear support sub-frame has increased sub-frame mounting and tread rigidity of the rear suspension, which feels more solid and the steering more responsive.

Setting of an initial toe-in has made it possible to rapidly generate lateral forces at the wheels, benefitting steering response.

An initial negative camber setting ensures lateral wheel forces are generated more effectively during cornering roll, making rear suspension more stable and boosting hazard avoidance.

Top mounts with rebound stoppers mean inner wheel lifting during cornering is minimized and the grounding load increased.

All Foresters feature stronger independent strut front suspension. Top mount stiffness is increased and highly responsive valves added to the front strut. The result is substantially increased damping force and improved vehicle response.


Rebound springs are also added to front struts to help hazard avoidance. They can reduce rebound inside the wheels and prevent the body from lifting during steering. Rolling is therefore reduced, allowing the tyres to continue gripping the road and stabilizing cornering stance.

The front strut outer cylinder is thicker and the housing bracket enlarged, increasing strut and tread rigidity, producing more responsive and natural steering.

Increasing stabilizer diameter from 21 mm to 24 mm has helped suppress roll and make the vehicle feel more stable. The clamp shape is also designed for larger stabilizers, increasing the amount of stabilizer bushing interference and boosting efficiency.


Stiffness of the front cross-members front arm mounting area is increased to produce linear, reliable response. Inter-rings are added to the front arm bushings and support sections are stiffened.

Independent double-wishbone rear suspension includes introduction of high response valves for the rear shock absorbers, producing better overall response.

Pillow ball bushings replace rubber lateral link bushings.

Toe changes are now less likely to occur on poor road surfaces, meaning significantly improved straight-ahead stability.

Rear grip is boosted by modifying the hardness of the trailing link’s bushing rubber.

To improve rigidity of the link mounting and rear suspension tread rigidity, lateral-link front brackets and rear cross-members from the rear sub-frame are thickened. This produces a more solid rear suspension feel and more responsive steering.


FHI engineers designed Forester’s chassis to produce sporty, responsive driving, in comfort and security, even on rough roads.

One objective was to provide a road-hugging ride without vehicle float, resulting in a good balance between comfort and handling in normal driving. Stiffened suspension has improved handling without compromising ride.

To improve driving on poor road surfaces and reduce noise and vibration, Forester’s body is stiffened around the front bulkhead, front suspension mounting area and pillar. 

At the rear there is extra stiffening around the cargo door opening and suspension mounting area.

Underneath, new structural members improve joint stiffness.



SI-Drive in all Forester 2.0 XTs makes it possible for drivers to select engine and automatic transmission characteristics to suit various driving styles, preferences and conditions.

In XT variants there are three modes:

Sport sharp (S#) – focused on sporty response, uses the engine to maximum potential, with a sensation of powerful acceleration. It uses an eight-speed gear pattern.
Sport (S) – often used in normal everyday driving. The engine accelerates in a linear fashion and long trips are ideal in this mode.
Intelligent (I) – increases engine output more gradually for a smoother eco-friendly drive. Also makes for easier handling on snowy and slippery surfaces. The ECO gauge is particularly useful in this mode, helping promote economical driving. Intelligent mode automatically activates on engine start-up.



All automatic Foresters feature adaptive control, ensuring pulley ratios are optimized for driving preferences and road conditions.



A pinion assist-type electric power steering system features in all new Foresters, equating to a two per cent fuel efficiency boost.

The highly refined motor control ensures an extremely natural, highly-linear steering feel.

Contrasting with hydraulic-type systems, the engine compartment houses no oil pump or tank, meaning space saving and easier maintenance.


Both driving position and steering wheel centre are raised 20 mm.


The spring constant of the mount bushings and improved steering mount rigidity eliminate losses at the beginning of a steering operation. This improves response to delicate steering wheel motion and accentuates sporty feel.


Steering vibration is minimized through use of a rubber-supported floating design for the airbag inflator. This means the steering wheel effectively operates as a dynamic damper.  



All Foresters feature larger tyres to lower rolling resistance.



In line with the entire Subaru range, all new Foresters achieve an independent five-star rating for occupant safety in independent testing conducted by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).

All Foresters feature high-tensile steel plate, reducing weight and adding strength.

980 MPa grade high tensile steel is used for the side sills, front and centre pillar reinforcement, to assist in occupant protection and minimize cabin deformation in the event of a side collision or roll-over.

The new engine bay and front bulkhead area allow greater impact absorption, while energy absorbing insulators in the compartment decrease potential impact to the head.   

Stronger body structure aids not only safety but durability and reliability.

Forester 2.0 XT Premium variants introduce Subaru’s award-winning EyeSight™ driver assist system.

A key priority for Forester’s designers has been maintaining Subaru’s high standards for visibility.



The dimensions and profile of the C-pillar, rear quarter window and D-pillar are optimized for rear visibility, while the A-pillar is moved forward and wing mirrors located on the door panel, improving driver vision and reducing blind spots. The side mirror is expanded by six per cent, for excellent rearward visibility.

The door mirror switch, relocated on the door trim, is also illuminated for ease of use at night.

Forester 2.0 XT features Xenon headlights.  Premium variants add automatic headlights and front wipers.

Light distribution is designed to illuminate areas most relevant to practical driving.

Forester 2.0 XT Premium features headlight washers.

The wiper sweep area is enlarged, together with the windscreen, while the volume of washer spray is increased by eight per cent.

EyeSight™-equipped Foresters feature a third centre nozzle to help keep glass clean directly in front of the system’s stereo cameras, helping its performance in poor conditions.  

Forester has speed-sensing intermittent windscreen wipers. Fluid is sprayed before the wipers move, to help avoid glass scratching. 

When the rear wiper is in intermittent mode and reverse is selected, the wiper moves continuously to ensure a clear field of vision.

Front bumper impact absorption is enhanced.

FHI designed Forester’s body to meet a new overlap crash test being introduced in North America.



The EyeSight™ driver assist system debuts on Forester 2.0 XT Premium.

It uses stereo cameras with 3-D image processing to assess and communicate a wide variety of situations, helping enhance safety. 

The key features are:


  • Pre-Collision Braking – applies the brakes when a vehicle ahead is detected slowing or stopping suddenly (and the driver has failed to apply the brakes).
  • Pre-Collision Brake Assist – if the system determines that a collision is highly likely and the driver applies the brakes, the system can generate additional braking force up to 1G maximum deceleration to help reduce impact or damage.
  • Pre-Collision Throttle Management – if a driver accidentally applies full throttle close to a barrier or large object situated in front of the car (such as a car park wall or vehicle immediately ahead at close range), EyeSightTM inhibits the throttle opening, helping minimize or potentially avoid impact. This will also assist in helping to reduce impacts in situations when ‘Drive’ is accidentally selected instead of ‘Reverse.’ 
  • Adaptive Cruise Control – is designed to maintain a safe distance from the ‘target’ car in front, irrespective of the varying speed of that vehicle.
  • Lane Departure Warning - alerts the driver if the system determines that the car is drifting across clearly marked lanes.
  • Vehicle Sway Warning - alerts the driver if the car starts to sway from one side of the road to another, which may occur with fatigue.
  • Lead Vehicle Start Alert - when the EyeSightTM-equipped vehicle is stopped and the vehicle in front starts to move, the driver receives an audible reminder and information display indicator notifying them that the vehicle in front has moved.


EyeSightTM is designed to actively assist drivers in avoiding frontal collisions, lane drifting and low speed impacts.


It can ‘lock on’ to vehicles directly in front and, when used together with adaptive cruise control, can slow, stop and accelerate to maintain a safe distance.


EyeSightTM can also recognize pedestrians, motorcycles and cyclists within its field of vision.

Depending on conditions, EyeSightTM can use pre-crash braking, helping to minimize any impact and damage. If the speed is less than 30 km/h, the car may be brought to a complete stop prior to impact.


Forester’s MFD makes it easy to understand EyeSight’s™ status, with simple visual display of active functions.    



Seat frame rigidity is increased and designed to firmly support the head immediately after a collision, and prevent it snapping back. While the seats are considerably more comfortable, they are designed to carefully direct the motion of the body to limit torso and neck injury severity.


The torso is supported by a mat inside the seat back. The mat is connected to the seat frame by an S-shaped hook, which in the event of a heavy collision, detaches, allowing the torso to move backwards. This reduces energy transmitted to the torso and results in the headrest moving forward, relative to the occupant’s body.


With child seat tether anchors now located on the back of the rear seats, rather than the roof, there is no effect on the driver’s field-of-vision.


Every Forester features seven airbags – dual front, side, curtain and driver’s knee. 


The front passenger seat airbag has a centre groove that lessens impact force on the neck during deployment, without reducing overall effectiveness to the head. It also weighs around 40 per cent less.

Side airbags also weigh around 50 per cent less.

Curtain airbag inflators are now positioned in the centre pillars, deploying more effectively, with a weight reduction of around 15 per cent.


Forester has a brake pedal retract mechanism, reducing lower limb injury in heavy frontal collisions.


Forester’s steering column features a collapse mechanism between the lower and middle jackets, preventing the steering wheel from being thrust backwards when the engine moves rearwards in heavy frontal collisions.

A detachment mechanism between the vehicle body and tilt bracket minimizes impact between the steering wheel, column and the driver in heavy frontal collisions.  



All Foresters feature VDC, with vehicle behaviour constantly monitored, including the Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), engine and Limited Slip Differential via the Traction Control System (TCS). VDC can use the engine and brakes to prevent side slip and achieve a high degree of stability.
Control logic is added to VDC for use in danger avoidance situations.

“OFF” mode allows VDC engine control and torque reduction to be cancelled when driving on snow and sludgy surfaces.

VDC operation can be monitored on the MFD, informing the driver of its status and helping enhance safety.    


All Forester 2.0 XTs have four-wheel disc brakes, with a stiffer, more responsive system, producing high levels of braking torque.

Both front and rear discs are ventilated. 

Rolling resistance of the tyres is reduced for better fuel efficiency, while braking performance is almost identical on wet and dry surfaces.  


A shorter brake hose combines with low expansion material to produce less pressure loss and a stiffer, more responsive feel.


Brake assist now forms part of the VDC system. It assesses the need for braking based on both the braking force and speed with which the pedal is depressed. This means that even if the pedal is depressed only slightly, brake assist operates based on braking speed, equating to greater safety.


A control is added that gives priority to the brake, should the accelerator and brake be accidentally pressed simultaneously.



Forester features remote-control keys with visual cues from the indicator lights.

For Forester 2.0 XT Premium with keyless entry and push button start, four Electronic Control Units are integrated into one, operating vehicle lock/unlock and push button start while saving weight.





  • ABS anti-lock brakes with four-wheel discs (ventilated), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist
  • Child seat anchor points (three)
  • Curtain airbags – full length (front and rear)
  • Driver’s knee airbag
  • Dual front airbags
  • Dual side airbags
  • Front seatbelts with pretensioners and load limiters
  • Front height adjustable seatbelt anchorage
  • Height and angle adjustable front seat headrests
  • Rear door child lock
  • Reversing camera
  • Safety pedals - shock absorbing brake
  • Seatbelt indicator lights – all seats
  • Side intrusion bars
  • Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
  • Three-point A/ELR rear centre seatbelt
  • Vehicle Dynamics Control
  • X-Mode




  • AM/FM radio, single in-dash CD, MP3/WMA compatible, six speakers – steering wheel controls
  • Bottle holders in each door + two cup holders in centre consoles
  • Cargo area light
  • Cargo hooks (four)
  • Cargo security blind
  • Central locking - remote
  • Cloth trim
  • Cruise control – steering wheel buttons
  • Driver’s footrest
  • Electric sunroof
  • Electroluminescent gauges
  • Fully automatic dual zone climate control air conditioning
  • Height and reach adjustable steering column
  • Height adjustable driver’s seat
  • Immobiliser security system
  • Luggage hooks (four)
  • Map lights (2)
  • Overhead console
  • Multi-Function Display
  • Power steering, mirrors and windows
  • Privacy glass – rear, rear quarter, tailgate
  • Rear seat centre armrest with two cup holders
  • Rear seat recline
  • Remote fuel lid release – tethered fuel cap
  • Seatback pockets
  • SI-Drive – three modes
  • Two remote central locking keys
  • Vanity mirror
  • 60/40 split/fold rear seat
  • 12V/120W power jacks (three)



  • 18-inch alloy wheels – full size spare
  • Chrome-type side skirt garnish
  • Mesh-type grille
  • Rear roof mounted radio antenna
  • Rear wiper
  • Silver roof rails



  • Auto hatch unlock on key
  • DataDot security technology
  • Electronic Throttle Control (ETC)
  • Lineartronic™ Constantly Variable Transmission (CVT)
  • Three-year unlimited kilometre warranty
  • 2.0 litre direct injection turbocharged horizontally opposed Boxer engine produces 177 Kilowatts of power at 5600 rpm and 350 Newtonmetres of torque at 2400-3600 rpm



  • Automatic cargo door
  • Automatic dusk sensing headlights
  • Factory-fitted satellite navigation
  • EyeSight™ driver assist system, with steering wheel controls
  • Front wipers with de-icers
  • harman kardon entertainment system – eight speakers
  • Heated door mirrors
  • Heated front seats
  • Push-button start with smart key entry
  • Rain sensing front wipers
  • Eight-way adjustable power driver’s and front passenger seat 
  • Leather trim



**Prices are Subaru (Aust) Pty Limited’s Manufacturer’s List Prices only and include GST on the list price but exclude dealer delivery charges and all other government and statutory charges. For the actual drive away price of Subaru vehicles consumers should be advised to contact their local authorized Subaru dealer.


VARIANT                                                                               MLP  

Forester 2.0i manual                                                               $30,990
Forester 2.5i auto                                                                    $32,990

Forester 2.0i-L manual                                                            $33,490
Forester 2.5i-L auto                                                                 $35,990

Forester 2.5i-S auto                                                                $43,990

Forester 2.0D manual                                                             $35,490
Forester 2.0D-L manual                                                          $37,490
Forester 2.0D-S manual                                                         $43,990                                  

Forester 2.0XT auto                                                                $43,490
Forester 2.0XT Premium auto                                                $50,490

Option: EyeSight™ on Forester 2.5i-L                                   $1500


***Depending upon the software in individual mobile telephones.


Review by: Editor - CarsofAustralia
date posted: 24/1/13
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