dates : 7th August 2005
13th August 2005
Subaru Forrester is known as the MY-06 model, standing
for model-year 2006. Subaru has brought the car out
early in synch with American-market model year timing.
The brand became a strong seller in America long
before it arrived in South Africa. But this past year
has seen Subaru sales increase by some 46 per cent,
with the Forrester its best-selling model.
Updates to the new version are detail rather than
radical, but the appearance has changed notably from
New colour schemes are on offer and detail colour
changes have also made for a fresher appearance.
The different colour body cladding along the lower
flanks is history, giving way to straight body colour.
And the B pillar has been painted black to impart a
Newly styled alloy wheels are a major distinguishing
factor on the model.
The new contrasted upholstery scheme serves to
highlight the ever-improving quality levels of the
Forrester interior. Textured black dash and door
cappings add an aura of classiness to what remains a
rather basic, no-frills design.
The rear seat back and base are very
straight-up-and-down affairs with not much in the way
of lateral support. But this layout makes it a genuine
new fold-down arm console-cum-armrest replaces the
duel armrests in the previous model, and there’s a
plethora of cup-holders in the new model – which
should please Hendrik, our resident cup-holder
The neat instrumentation binnacle houses water
temperature, fuel gauge, speedo and rev counter, with
the speedo marked to 240 kilometres-per-hour.
Incidentally, the Forrester’s top speed is
electronically limited to two-hundred and ten
kilometers per hour. The silver finish on the console
is the only slightly tacky note to an otherwise
The Forrester is available in a couple of versions.
This is the top-of the range XT Turbo fitted with a
four-speed automatic transmission.
The other models are badged as Xs and XSs and run
non-turbo boxer four-cylinder engines producing 121
kiloWatts. These are available in manual and auto
versions, as is the top XT model.
The engines on the new Forrester have been upgraded
for MY06. Power on the XT has risen from 155 kiloWatts
to a 169 kiloWatts, thanks to new airflow sensors and
inlet manifolding. And a new exhaust gas recirculating
system has been fitted which recycles gas from the
exhaust ports, reducing hydrocarbons when cold.
The automatic transmission remains a four-speeder
which may seem a bit archaic in this era of six and
even seven-speed autos. But the box complements the
turbo engine beautifully.
Development on the auto ’box has seen the
incorporation of new clutch plates to limit shift
shock, and the kick-down mechanism has been sharpened
The performance, especially for an MPV, is stunning,
with a 0-100 time in the six second bracket for a
manual model. The auto does it in about seven seconds.
Overtaking acceleration on this turbo model is
particularly impressive at Reef altitude.
The Subaru Forrester an unusual animal, in that it’s
a true MPV but without the elevated bodywork and
vantage point of typical on-off-roaders.
But ground clearance of 200 millimetres makes it a
very effective device on poor-quality dirt roads, as
does the famed symmetrical all-wheel-drive system.
The Subaru success story keeps rolling along. The
impressive aspect of the Forrester is that it looks so
ordinary to a person not privy to all the mechanical
ingenuity beneath the sheetmetal.
And yet, so successful has been Subaru’s marketing
campaign pivoting on its World Rally programme, that
it has become one of THE cult cars to own.
R347 000 is a lot of money to shell out for a
boxy-looking station wagon. Once you’ve driven it,
though, the price doesn’t seem that steep.
Subaru Forrester 2,5 XT
Four-cylinder turbocharged petrol, 2 457 cc
- Power: 169
kW @ 5 600 pm
- Torque: 320
Nm @ 3 600 rpm
Four-speed automatic, four-wheel-drive
- 0-100 km/h:
6,0 seconds (claimed)
- Top speed:
210 km/h (limited)
consumption: 11,5 litres/100 km (claimed)
- Price: R347
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