The Subaru Forester was once an underdog in the Philippines’ compact crossover segment, but upon the release of this generation’s Forester, it easily climbed up the ladder, becoming one of, if not, the country’s best selling compact SUVs. It’s not hard to see why everyone loves the Forester. With standard Symmetrical AWD across the line-up, and Subaru’s trademark horizontally opposed Boxer engine, the Forester combines comfort, practicality, sportiness, and even off-road prowess in one sensible package.
The Forester’s face has been revised, now incorporating Subaru’s design language. It is now equipped with LED headlights across the line-up, and the front end has been revised as well, now having a sportier front bumper design. Exclusive to the Forester 2.0 XT are steerable LED headlamps that move as your turn the wheels at night. The rear lights are now finished in LED strips, and the new two-tone alloy wheels designs finish off the Forester’s revised exterior.
Inside, the changes are less dramatic, but upon closer inspection, the materials have been updated. The car feels more premium overall, and I especially love the feel of the new climate control knobs. Across the line-up, there is now a touch screen infotainment system, while the Forester 2.0 XT’s screen is bigger, and the buttons have been replaced by capacitive touch points, similar to Honda’s Display Audio system.
Engine and transmission combination is unchanged from the past variants. Still powered by the FB20 2.0 liter boxer engine, producing 150 hp and 198 Nm of torque, while the 2.0 XT is equipped with the FA20 2.0 liter DIT (direct-injection turbo) boxer engine, producing a whopping 241 hp and 350 Nm of torque. This is exclusively mated to a CVT, which has been revised to eliminate the CVT’s buzzy noise under hard acceleration, and simulates a “kick-down” when digging your foot down the throttle, all for the name of refinement and sportiness.
The Subaru Forester has a P50,000 price increase, but those who reserved the car at Manila International Auto Show has a P30,000 discount coupon, which can be used for the car, or for maintenance and accessories.
2.0 i-L: P1,448,000
2.0 i-P: P1,648,000
2.0 XT: P1,918,000