Subaru introduces more powerful 2.5-litre Forester Sport in South Africa

By Brandstories Time of article published Feb 19, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG - Subaru Southern Africa has launched its 2021 Forester line-up, which offers more power, new derivatives as well as more tech and improved practicality.

Since it was first introduced as one of the pioneers of its segment 24 years ago, the Forester has become the best-selling model in the company’s line-up. The new 2021 range will extend this with the addition of two new flagship variants.

The highlight, of course, is the Subaru Forester 2.5i Sport ES CVT, which brings a sportier aesthetic as well as improved performance to the party.

“The introduction of the 2.5-litre models and the Sport model to the line-up is so important for us as a brand, because it gives our customers more options and a more personalised experience,” says Nteo Nkoli, Marketing Lead for Subaru SA.

“These long-awaited models are what many of our customers have been asking for, models that suit a particular lifestyle.”

More powerful engine option

For the first time since the launch of this fifth generation Forester, Subaru Southern Africa has introduced the new direct injection 2.5-litre Boxer Engine, which is paired with a lightweight Lineartronic CVT transmission with shift paddles behind the steering wheel. The 2.5 engine delivers 136kW of power, an additional 21kW over the 2.0-litre engine. Maximum torque is 239Nm, an increase of 43Nm over the 2.0-litre.

Furthermore, the Forester features Subaru’s Intelligent Drive (SI-Drive) function that allows the driver to select a more efficient driving programme or something a little more sporty. The SI-Drive system will recalibrate the engine mapping to deliver the desired output. In Sport mode, the 2.5 Forester will accelerate from 0 – 100km/h in 9.3-seconds, according to Subaru.

Despite the increase in power and performance, the 2.5-litre remains as efficient as the 2.0-litre model, delivering impressive claimed fuel consumption figures of 7.6l/100km on the combined cycle. CO2 emissions are listed at 193g/km.

As is the case with every Subaru, the renowned Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system is standard. This, along with a Boxer flat-four engine configuration that lowers the centre of gravity, ensures impressive dynamic abilities and overall stability. Providing further confidence is the Vehicle Dynamics Control system that makes use of ABS, EBD, ESP and Torque Vectoring to ensure traction and control is maintained.

The Symmetrical AWD system and class-leading 220mm ground clearance also allows the vehicle to conquer terrain and obstacles generally reserved for more serious off-roaders.

The new Forester is fitted with X-Mode and Hill Descent Control as standard across the range. X Mode is a system that uses gear ratios and torque distribution to deliver power to specific wheels where the most grip is detected. In a nutshell, it gets you up and over, into and out of some tough terrain. The system has two driver-selectable programmes, namely SNOW/DIRT mode for slippery or loose surfaces such as dirt or gravel or snow and D.SNOW/MUD mode for heavier terrain like thick mud and deep, steep ruts. Hill Descent Control works as soon as any of these modes are activated, keeping a smooth reign on downhill speed.

New platform, created with safety and versatility in mind

Now built upon the new Subaru Global platform, the Forester has been engineered to stringent standards of safety and versatility.

The base spec 2.0i-CVT sports 17-inch alloys while the 2.0i-S ES and 2.5i-S ES are shod with 18-inch alloys. The colour range for the non-Sport derivatives is as follows: Jasper Green Metallic, Horizon Blue Pearl, Crystal Black Silica, Crystal White Pearl, Ice Silver Metallic, Dark Grey Metallic, Red Pearl and Serpia Bronze Metallic.

The interior designers have placed a high value on occupant comfort in the design of the seats as well as the cabin architecture and layout. The wide-opening rear doors, for instance, are unlike any other within the segment. Other convenience features include rear seat pockets designed to fit smartphones and tablets alike, a pair of USB ports for rear passengers in addition to the 2 USB ports up front and a new air-conditioning ventilation design for improved air flow to rear passengers.

In similar fashion, the boot features a wide-opening lid and a low sill for ease of loading into the 520-litre, rubberised boot. The boot space can be increased to 1770-litres by flipping the switches either from the side of the boot opening panel or on top of the seatbacks themselves. The motorised tailgate can also be raised and lowered in just over 3-seconds, one of the fastest and therefore most convenient in the segment. Careful consideration has also been given to the materials used in the boot – an easy-to-clean yet aesthetically pleasing texture that is also used on the lower bumpers and wheel well cladding.

The S and ES Forester derivatives are fitted with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system that includes AUX, Bluetooth connectivity as well as the use of Apple CarPlay / Android Auto through the USB-A ports in the front. Also included in ES and Sport models there are electrically-adjustable front seats, automatic climate control, a sunroof and rain-sensing wipers to name just a few of the features. Forester is a full house vehicle.

Forester Sport: what sets it apart

The Subaru Forester 2.5i-Sport is a fresh new model added to the line-up with its own signature aesthetics and features. Featuring 5 exclusive colour combinations, the Sport contrasts the body colour with distinctive orange and black trim pieces. The grille and bumper elements are finished in black as are the side sills, wheel arch surrounds, rear bumpers and the top section of the boot lid. All of these elements are energised by vibrant orange accents that run along the lower half of the Forester Sport as well as on the corners of the roof rails. The 2021 Forester Sport version is also set apart from other derivatives with the use of 18-inch Dark Metallic alloy wheels.

There are five body colours that are available with the Sport models: Crystal White Pearl; Dark Blue Pearl; Magnetite Grey Metallic; Ice Silver Metallic and Crystal Black Silica.

The use of orange accentuates the interior elements too, strongly featured in the cabin surrounding the air vents, gear shifter and X-Mode switch as well as on the stitching throughout the car.

Also exclusively available on the Sport model is the addition of new Water Repellent Seats. This brand new seat material suits the adventurous lifestyles that Subaru owners enjoy. From wet swimming trunks and towels to soggy paws from our furry friends, the Water Repellent cloth seats are offered for the first time in South Africa.

Nteo Nkoli says, “the Forester Sport is a reflection of the adventurous ethos at Subaru and it certainly enhances the line-up with its sporty character and stand out design elements.”

Class-Leading Safety

On the safety front, in addition to a Ring-Shaped Reinforcement Frame that better disperses energy in a collision for reduced risk to passengers, the Forester also features seven airbags: two front airbags, two side airbags, two curtain airbags and one driver’s knee airbag.

What’s more, Subaru’s award-winning EyeSight Driver Assist System is a standard feature on the 2021 Subaru ES line-up including the Subaru Sport model. Featured on the MY2021 line-up in its latest version, EyeSight is a system that makes use of camera-based technology and integrates features or assistance systems from Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Pre-Collision Braking, Lane Departure and Sway Warning and Lane Keep Assist.

For the first time in South Africa, the Forester will take corrective action when you veer out of your line but using braking force on the requisite wheels to straighten the car, all the while flashing a warning in the driver’s multi-function display.

This cutting-edge system works like a second pair of eyes for the road ahead, using a pair of stereo cameras to capture colour images with excellent image recognition—nearly as capable as the human eye. One of the system’s key features is its ability to spot potential danger such as other vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles or motorcycles and warn the driver in due time or even apply emergency braking if needs be to prevent a collision or at worst, reduce the damage of a collision.

Adaptive Cruise Control between 0 and 180km/h is also made possible with EyeSight. Adaptive Cruise Control maintains a set distance from the vehicle ahead by continuously monitoring the distance and speed difference, constantly adjusting the engine, transmission, and brakes where needed.

Lane Sway and Lane Departure alerts the driver with a buzzer and flashing indicator if it detects lane drift or lane changes that are made without signaling. Other EyeSight features include Lead Vehicle Start Alert which warns the driver when traffic up ahead is moving forward and Pre-Collision Throttle Management, a system that warns the driver and cuts power from the throttle in the event of wrong gear selection or accelerating from an intersection too early when a car is still right in front.

Cross Traffic Alert also standard

A Reversing Camera, Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are all standard features on the ES models as well as a smart High Beam Assist which automatically switches the headlights between the high and low beams when needed. This technology is coupled with Steering Responsive Headlights that turn in conjunction with the steering angle for increased vision when navigating around bends at night.

Reverse Automatic Braking is also included on EyeSight-equipped models. When reversing, the RAB system uses sensors to detect objects and can automatically stop the vehicle if the driver does not take action in time. This is the only vehicle in its segment with this technology.

Nteo Nkoli says of the system, “EyeSight is a technology that really takes road safety to the next level and it is a standard feature in all but one of the Forester range, making the Forester a truly exceptional package.”

This Forester has scored five-star safety ratings across all global ratings agencies.

The new Forester is now available from all Southern African dealers and pricing is as follows:


Subaru Forester 2.0i-CVT - R486 000

Subaru Forester 2.0i-S ES CVT - R564 000

Subaru Forester 2.5i Sport ES CVT - R599 000

Subaru Forester 2.5i-S ES CVT - R629 000

All Subaru Forester models are sold with a 3-year/75 000km Maintenance Plan as well as a 5-year/150 000km warranty.

CLICK HERE to read more about the new Forester on the Subaru Southern Africa website.

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