The MY15 Subaru Forester.
The MY15 Subaru Forester.

Subaru adds automatic diesel to MY15 Forester line-up

No longer content to watch from the sidelines as competitors sup on the auto diesel pie, Subaru has added a new Forester to its line-up, one that boasts a continuously variable transmission and is laden with value-adding extras. 

The 2.0D-L (from $35,490) and the 2.0D-S (from $42,490) will add impetus to a revitalised Forester range which has been nipped, tucked and polished. Prices across the range have fallen by as much as $3500 despite the inclusion of new feature-packed infotainment systems, revised interior trim and improved overall quality.

Both the 2.0D-L and 2.0D-S CVT produces 108kW of power at 3600rpm and 350Nm of torque from 1600-2400rpm with drivability and economy enhanced by its ability to switch between continuously variable shifting and step shifting in response to how much the accelerator is depressed.

The 2.0D-L offers such niceties as dual-zone climate control, touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity, steering wheel controls, 17-inch alloys, reverse camera and five-star ANCAP rating.

The 2.0D-S adds, amongst others, automatic cargo door, sat-nav, electric sunroof, heated front seats and door mirrors, leather trim, auto headlights and wipers, push-button start and keyless entry.

It is little wonder that Subaru has brought a diesel CVT to the Australian market. More than 54,000  auto diesel SUVs have been sold in the last four years with 20% of new car buyers seeing the appeal last year.

"We know through our dealer network that there is significant pent-up demand for Forester auto diesels, not least in regional and rural areas, where the benefits of fuel efficiency in long-range driving really come to the fore," said Nick Senior, the managing director of Subaru Australia.

"Factor in the major infotainment changes and cabin refinements across the range and you have a formidable Forester package underpinned by the renowned Subaru traits of symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, five-star occupant safety, durability, rock-solid engineering and great retained value."

The Forester, said Mr Senior, retains the quality and usability which has seen it win a swag of awards since it was released here in 1997. Some 200,000 units later, it is still an ideal vehicle for the Monday to Friday grind but transforms easily into the perfect companion for lifestyle pursuits on the weekend.

The fact that it is now also available in a diesel CVT with a highway capacity of almost 1000km per tank is expected to merely enhance its reputation.

Across the range, it is the interior of the Forester which has gained most from this mini makeover. Functional components have a higher quality feel with the contrasting silver and piano black colour scheme adding an element of on-trend styling.

The 17.7cm touch-screen infotainment system, present in the new Liberty and Outback, is a vast improvement on its predecessor - intuitive, easy to navigate and featuring Pandora connectivity and with the same flick, pinch and double tap operation used in smartphones.

Subaru is looking to sell close to 200 Foresters a month, 40% diesel, as it pushes for a year-end total of 1400 vehicles.

Forester pricing:
Forester 2.0i-L manual - $29,990 (-$2500)
Forester 2.5i-L auto - $32,990 (-$2000)
Forester 2.5i-S auto - $39,490 (-$3000)

Forester 2.0D-L manual - $33,490 (-$3000)
Forester 2.0D-L auto - $35,490
Forester 2.0D-S manual  - $39,490 (-$3500)
Forester 2.0D-S auto - $42,490
Forester 2.0XT auto - $40,990 (-$1500)
Forester 2.0XT Premium auto $47,990 (-$1500)