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Date: 30 Sep 2019 Author Type: Public Review
Author: Julian Lurie edited by Liam Mothilall
Source: Julian Lurie
Subaru fans were in no doubt excited when Subaru South Africa announced last November that the 2019 all-new fifth-generation Forester SUV will be in South African showrooms again before the end of the year. At first glance, the 2019 Subaru Forester doesn’t look a lot different than last year’s model, however The Japan Design Promotion Organization has awarded it the covetous 2018 Good Design Award, remarking that the Forester design has evolved from what was Subaru's weakness (interior quality) to a strong point in the new 2019 model year. The award praises the Forester's quality of materials and also the new larger cabin.

On the inside, the 2019 Subaru Forester has plenty of room to spare. Its exceptionally wide tailgate and doors open to reveal a spacious interior with nice finishes and materials. According to the press release, the all-new Forester SUV offers the most space, off-road capability, advanced safety and features in its 22-year history and was unveiled for the world at the 2018 New York International Auto Show.

For 2019, the premium Forester models come standard with Subaru's award-winning EyeSight Driver Assist Technology. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Forester with the Top Safety Pick award that ran for twelve years (2007-2018) and achieving the highest possible rating of "Superior" for front crash prevention. When equipped with EyeSight, the 2019 Forester builds upon its long history of award-winning safety with a stiffer and stronger chassis and adds Subaru's EyeSight Driver Assist Technology and LED low and high beam headlights, making this the safest Forester to date. The Pre-Collision Braking feature can even apply full braking force, bringing you to a complete stop in emergency situations. With an all-new design and engineering, the 2019 Forester is designed around the Subaru Global Platform and delivers major improvements in safety, ride, handling and occupant comfort. All Forester trim levels come standard with seven airbags, including Subaru Advanced Frontal Airbags, front-seat side pelvis/torso airbags, side curtain airbags, and driver's knee airbag.

Every Forester is equipped standard with Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and Active Torque Vectoring and is powered by a new version of the 2.0-liter Subaru Boxer engine. The new engine boasts 80% redesigned parts and now features direct injection for enhanced responsiveness. All models will be paired with Lineartronic® CVT (continuously variable transmission), producing 115 kW and 196 NM of torque. Adding more flexibility for driving conditions is the driver-selectable Subaru Intelligent Drive. SI-DRIVE is a powertrain performance management system that allows the driver to tailor the vehicle's throttle characteristics by choosing between "Intelligent" and "Sport" modes. "Intelligent" mode helps smooth out accelerator inputs for fuel saving, while "Sport" mode tunes the throttle response to emphasize performance.

The 2019 Subaru Forester will be the first model in the Subaru lineup to receive the new two-mode X-Mode system. X-Mode is a device that automatically adjusts the throttle power in off-road driving, leaving the driver to handle only the steering in difficult driving conditions. The new X-Mode offers two modes; one for driving in snow and deep mud, and the second for driving in sand and snow, and debuts on the premium model. Other Forester models have the standard X-Mode single mode function. Both versions feature Subaru's Hill descent control. I’ve never been a fan of continuously variable transmission (CVT) transmissions, but I believe that the CVT in the new 2019 Forester is a major improvement and makes the most of what power is available. The transmission is tuned to provide snappy acceleration from a stop, which helps the Forester feel more sprightly and does its best to keep its engine revs.

Subaru is well known for safety because they are always working to advance it. The all-new Forester represents the very latest in their safety innovations. For enhanced road visibility, standard LED headlights with available steering responsive functionality help you see better around corners.

The recommended retail selling price for the new 2019 Subaru Forester starts at R438 000 for the 2.0i, R476 000 for the 2.0i-L ES, and R509 000 for the 20i S ES and includes a 3 year / 75 000 km service plan.
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