Subaru: 2015 Forester 2.0D SLT review

August 12th, 2015 by Darren Cottingham

A big hat, an immense afro and a Barbie-esque neck. These are the only ways you’re going to feel cramped with the Forester’s headroom. And that’s if you have all three together. It’s like driving along in quiet convertible with low grey cloud. Continue reading “Subaru: 2015 Forester 2.0D SLT review” »

Subaru Forester 2.5i Sport 2013 Review

April 15th, 2013 by darren


Before the words ‘compact SUV’ were ever uttered, Subaru was making all-wheel drive passenger cars and station wagons with better ground clearance. Now the Forester sits in the midst of one of the fastest growing market segments with its Symmetrical All Wheel Drive (which works full-time), SI-Drive, X-Mode for hill climbs and descents and 220mm ride height, but car-like handling.

Subaru-Forester-rqLet’s cut to the chase: the Forester is an extremely competent all-rounder. For light off-roading, towing (up to 1500kg), transporting people, road trips, supermarket runs and the morning commute the Forester isn’t necessarily the best-in-class for each one, but Continue reading “Subaru Forester 2.5i Sport 2013 Review” »

Subaru reveals STI-equipped Forester tS exclusively for Japanese market

October 28th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

It probably won’t ever make it down here to NZ, or any other market outside of Japan, but the new JDM Subaru Forester tS deserves a closer look. Based on the Forester S-Edition, the tS is given the go-faster treatment with a range of upgrades and STi parts including a modified suspension that sits 15 mm lower than usual, 17-inch alloys, a front spoiler and some special tS badging.

In the cabin there are STI sport seats that use a combination of leather and Alcantara as well as a leather-wrapped sports steering wheel and a modified instrument panel.

Motivation comes from a 2.5-litre turbocharged boxer engine matched up with a five-speed automatic transmission.

Japanese customers won’t be limited to just Subaru Blue for colour choice with  four exterior colors offered. It will be an exclusive ride too with Subaru planning on producing just 300 examples. The cost? Well it’s not a cheap steer with the base-model costing 3,450,00 Yen ($56,550 NZ).

Check out the gallery below for more images of the Subaru Forester tS.

Continue reading “Subaru reveals STI-equipped Forester tS exclusively for Japanese market” »

Subaru Forester S-Edition concept unveiled in Sydney

October 18th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

When word came out that a new, more performance focused Subaru Forester vehicle was to be unveiled at the Sydney Motor Show many badge fans were hoping for a Forester STI. While a concept vehicle has been revealed it doesn’t come labeled with a STI badge, instead it’s named the Forester S-Edition concept.

According to Nick Senior, Managing Director of Subaru Australia, the more potent Forester “points towards an exciting development in our Forester range early next year.”

In building the S-Edition concept, Subaru has boosted the Forester turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder boxer engine up to 193Kw of power and 347Nm of torque. These figures account for gains of 32kW and 20 Nm over the standard Forester model.

The upgraded power is put through a five-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shifters (no stick-shift at this stage), and a new variable torque distributing all-wheel-drive system which will keep it nicely on the road. Other enhancements include a reworked sport suspension, 17-inch STI wheels, Alcantara seat trim and special S-Edition badging throughout.

While it’s not badged as a Forester STI it seems almost as good on paper. There’s no word yet on the S-Edition making it to NZ in production form, hopefully Subaru doesn’t make this hot new Forester a JDM-only offering.

Continue reading “Subaru Forester S-Edition concept unveiled in Sydney” »

Subaru Forester STI could be revealed at Sydney Show

October 6th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The Sydney Motor Show is ready to kick into gear next week and much of the rumour and anticipation before the event is being directed at the Subaru stand.

The Aussie motoring press are getting all ‘fair dinkum’ excited about Subaru who may or may not be bringing a new sporty SUV to the show. Many expect that this vehicle will arrive in the form of a Forester STI which is big news for Subaru fans on both sides of the ditch.

The Forester STI should get a significant jump in power over the rather vanilla Forester currently on sale here in NZ with estimates that it could receive as much as 230kW under the bonnet. That’s more than the Kiwi-spec WRX STI.

The Japanese domestic market has seen a Forester STI, but it was based on the previous version of the model, and sold only there. That version of the Forester STI uses the same engine as the Impreza.

Little else is known about the Forester STI, except for Subaru to state that it could be sold in global markets. Check back as we’ll have more details on the mysterious performance version Subaru Forester STI as soon as they become available.

Subaru makes record sales in New Zealand

August 18th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Subaru of America, Inc. posted its best July result in history with 23,983 sales — a 10 per cent increase over July 2009.

Year-to-date sales now total 149,943 compared with 115,145 through the same period last year — marking a 30 per cent increase.

The Subaru Outback continues to be the stellar performer for the company selling 9030 in July — a massive 82 per cent increase over July 2009.

In Canada, Subaru continues to be the fastest growing Japanese brand. Subaru Canada had its best ever July sales of 2336 vehicles, up 28.1 percent over July 2009. Year to date, Subaru’s sales in Canada have increased 31.8 percent this year over 2009.

Across the Tasman Subaru achieved all-time record July sales of 3253 vehicles, according to official VFACTS figures released.¨¨ Subaru sales were up 16 per cent for the month and the innovative Symmetrical All Wheel Drive brand has a 4 per cent share of the market year-to-date (YTD).

New Zealand is having an equally successful year, with sales for the first seven months to the end of July totaling 1251, a 60 percent increase over the 784 sold at the same time last year. This July’s sales were 42 percent in front of 2009, with 149 cars being retailed.

“Subaru’s strong success in New Zealand is due to the dedication and hard work of our dealer network combined with outstanding models such as the Outback and Forester. Our vehicles provide kiwi’s a mix of practicality, versatility and total driving confidence thanks to the invisible advantages of Subaru All Wheel Drive” says Wallis Dumper, Managing Director of Subaru of New Zealand.

Click here to read Car and SUV reviews of the current Subaru model range.

Subaru Forester 2.0D Euro Spec 2010 Review

June 18th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Returning us to high school days, you might recall the first day back at school after the long summer holidays. There was usually some kid who during the break experienced a sudden spurt of maturity and returned much bigger and more grown up than ever before. It’s a similar scenario for the third generation Subaru Forester that now only scantly resembles the boxy first model that’s become a bit of a cult favourite here in NZ. Proof that as Subaru strives to be a more mainstream global brand its products are being designed with a broader, more sensible appeal. The new 2010 Forester is also available with a diesel engine option and although Subaru is a late bloomer into diesel power it’s an impressive motor on paper. Car and SUV spent a week with the oil-burning Forester 2.0D ‘Euro Spec’ to measure its growth and mark its report card.

Let’s duck straight under the Forester’s scooped bonnet where the 2.0-litre 4-cylinder diesel engine provides all-wheel motivation. With this new unit Subaru has continued its commitment to a horizontally opposed boxer configuration albeit in diesel form. Power output is rated at 108kW with a muscular 350Nm of torque available from just 1800rpm. It can lay claim to being the world’s first diesel boxer engine and gives the Forester an intriguing character. Off the mark it’s no rocket ship, but once the revs rise on the turbocharged engine there is generous mid-range torque on offer. Unlike some turbo diesels the Forester needs to be pushed and held higher in the rev range to extract its best performance. If you don’t, it can get bogged down, especially if it falls below turbo-range at around 1500rpm. This requires working the gears which makes for a more involving drive.

Continue reading “Subaru Forester 2.0D Euro Spec 2010 Review” »

Subaru Forester – Not for sale

December 22nd, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
A couple decides to buy the newly-redesigned Forester and make room for it in their lives, and garage. But rather than sell their old Forester, they decide to sell their boat and keep both Foresters

A couple decides to buy the newly-redesigned Forester and make room for it in their lives, and garage. But rather than sell their old Forester, they decide to sell their boat and keep both Foresters

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