Johannesburg - Subaru Southern Africa has announced local pricing for its all-new Forester SUV ahead of it going on sale on December 11.

Three grades are offered, with the Base spec 2.0i kicking off at R429 000, the mid-spec 2.0i-L ES retailing at R469 000 and the high-spec 2.0i-S ES topping the range at R499 000.

As with the latest Impreza, the Forester is based around Subaru’s Global Platform, and promises decent improvements in safety, handling, ride and overall comfort. Longer and slightly lower than its predecessor, the newcomer’s extended wheelbase also provides for an additional 35mm of rear legroom. Boot volume is now 520 litres with the rear seats in place.

All three models are powered by a new 2-litre normally aspirated direct injection petrol engine, rated at 115kW and 196Nm and mated to a CVT continuously variable transmission and Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system.

Also standard across the board is the X-Mode system with hill descent control, but the range-topping 2.0i-S ES gets a more advanced version that features Mud, Sand, Snow and Dirt modes. On the subject of rough terrain, the Forester has a class-leading ground clearance of 220mm.

A feature new to the Forester is Subaru’s EyeSight driver assist system, which is standard on both ES derivatives. It uses cameras and various electronics to warn drivers of surrounding dangers and can autobrake if necessary. EyeSight also includes an adaptive cruise control system that can operate at speeds of up to 180km/h.

Though you won’t find EyeSight in the base model, this grade still comes with safety and comfort features aplenty, including seven airbags, a high-res touchscreen infotainment system (15.2cm in base model and 20.3cm in ES) with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, voice command, multi-function steering wheel, electric parking brake, remote keyless entry and electric front seats.

The 2.0i-L ES adds leather seats, powered tailgate, dual-zone climate control and a digital speedometer. For the 2.0i-S ES, you can add Blind Spot Monitoring with Lane Change Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Side View Monitor and a Harmon Kardon premium sound system.

Aftersales coverage consists of a five-year/150 000km warranty and three-year/75 000km maintenance plan.

PRICES

2.0i CVT - R429 000
2.0i-L ES CVT - R469 000
2.0i-S ES CVT -  R499 000

IOL Motoring