Subaru Forester
2010 Subaru Forester 2.5X Limited 6 -- 10-02-2009.jpg
Manufacturer Subaru
Parent company Fuji Heavy Industries
Production 1997–present
Assembly Ōta, Gunma, Japan
Class Wagon
Body style(s) 5-door car
Layout F4 layout

The Subaru Forester is an all-wheel drive station wagon, now crossover, manufactured since 1997 by Subaru. Originally introduced to the United States in 1998, the Forester shared its platform with the Impreza up to the third generation and now features a hybrid platform of the Japanese Impreza wagon and the rear platform of the U.S.-spec Impreza sedan.[1] The Forester was designed and built with four-wheel drive (AWD) as standard equipment.

First generation (SF, 1997–2002)[edit | edit source]

This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the Japanese Wikipedia.
First generation
2000-2002 Subaru Forester Limited wagon (2010-06-10).jpg
Also called Chevrolet Forester (India)[2][3][4]
Production 1997–2002
Layout F4 layout
Engine(s) 2.0 L DOHC H4 (Japan)
2.0 L DOHC H4 turbo (Japan)
2.5 L DOHC 165 hp (123 kW) H4 (1998)
2.5 L SOHC 165 hp (123 kW) H4 (1999-2002)
Transmission(s) 4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,525 mm (99.4 in)
Length 1998–2000: 4,450 mm (175.2 in)
2001–2002: 4,460 mm (175.6 in)
Width 1,735 mm (68.3 in)
Height 1,650 mm (65.0 in)
Curb weight 1,430 kg (3,152.6 lb)
Related Subaru Impreza
Subaru Impreza WRX
Subaru Impreza WRX STi
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The Forester was introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show November 1995 as the "Sutoriga" (Stalker) concept, and made available for sale February 1997 in Japan, and to the US market in 1998 using the Impreza platform but with the larger 2.5 liter DOHC EJ25D four-cylinder boxer engine from the Outback, making 165 hp (123 kW) at 5600 rpm and 162 lb·ft (220 N·m) of torque at 4000 rpm. In Japan, the Forester replaced the Subaru Impreza Gravel Express, known in the USA as the Subaru Outback Sport. The Forester appeared after the introduction of the Nissan Rasheen in Japan with a similar appearance, and the Forester's Japanese competitors include the Toyota RAV4, the Honda CR-V, and the Suzuki Grand Vitara. The name "forester" is meant to imply the vehicle is "of the forest". Due to the Forester's low center of gravity, it meets the United States federal safety standards for Passenger Vehicles, and does not require a risk of rollover warning label on the driver's visor. Size and price wise it fits between the shared Impreza platform, and the larger Legacy.

As with all Subaru models marketed in the United States and other international markets since the early 1990s, the Forester is equipped with an all-wheel drive drivetrain. Subaru advertising employed the slogan "SUV tough, Car Easy" to appeal to the SUV-oriented market; and to this end, the Forester from its inception had features associated with SUVs such as a large, space-efficient cargo area, higher h-point seating and more ground clearance while based on unibody rather than body-on-frame construction. In some sense, the Forester met the criteria of the term crossover before the term appeared. However, the Forester is still referred to as a station wagon.

The Forester, up until the end of the GM partnership, was sold in India as a Chevrolet alongside other unique Chevrolet models sold there. However since General Motors no longer holds an ownership stake in Subaru's parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries, sales in India of the Chevrolet-badged Forester have ended. The Forester is produced at the Gunma Yajima Factory in Japan.

The automatic transmissions used on AWD equipped vehicles will normally send 90% of the engines torque to the front wheels and 10% to the rear wheels, using a computer controlled, continuously variable, multi-plate transfer clutch. When the transmission detects a speed difference of greater than 20% between the front and rear axle sets, the transmission progressively sends power to the rear wheels. Under slip conditions it can achieve an equal split in front and rear axle speeds.[5] When accelerating or driving uphill, the vehicles weight shifts rearward, reducing front wheel traction, causing the transmission to automatically send torque to the rear wheels to compensate. When braking or driving downhill, the vehicle's weight shifts towards the front, reducing rear wheel traction. The transmission again compensates by sending torque to the front wheels for better steering control and braking performance. If the automatic is placed in reverse or first gear, the transmission divides the torque 50-50 to both front and rear wheels., and it constantly varying the ratio depending on driving and road conditions. The manual transmission cars are setup with a near 50/50 torque split as a base setting, and it varied from there. Essentially, the manual cars are set up with more bias towards the rear than the automatic cars.

The trim levels were the basic model, followed by the "L" and the fully equipped "S" for the USA versions.

Forester L comes with a high level of standard equipment, including ABS, air conditioning, power windows, power locks, cruise control, digital temp gauge, multi-reflector halogen headlights, fog lights, roof rack, rear window defogger, trailer harness connector, reclining front bucket seats with adjustable lumbar support, tilt steering, tinted glass, AM/FM/cassette stereo with its antenna laminated in the left-rear quarter window, and last but not least, 24-hour roadside assistance. Notably new in 2001 are the three-point seatbelts for all five seating positions, including force limiters in front and height-adjustable shoulder belt anchors for front and rear outboard positions, plus rear seat headrests for all three seating positions.

Forester S adds a viscous limited-slip differential, rear disc brakes, 16 x 6.5-inch alloy wheels with 215/60R16 tires (the L uses 15 x 6-inch steel wheels), upgraded moquette upholstery, heated front seats with net storage pockets in back, dual vanity mirrors, heated sideview mirrors and keyless entry. New equipment for 2001 includes Titanium pearl paint for the bumpers and cladding; 6-disc in-dash CD sound system; leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob and handbrake handle; variable intermittent wipers with de-icers and driver’s side fin; and the five-spoke alloy wheels. Some models were equipped with the $1000 optional premium package on the Forester S, including monotone paint (Sedona Red Pearl), power moonroof, front side-impact airbags, and gold accent wheels. Other options were the $800 automatic transmission, $39 chrome tailpipe cover and $183 auto dimming rearview mirror with compass, bringing the sticker price to $25,412 including $495 delivery (USA dollars quoted).

Australia[edit | edit source]

The Forester had four main models available in Australia:

There was a change in body styling for all 2001/2002 models, and the 2001/2002 GT spec also had a change in engine management and power output was increased from 125 kW (168 hp) to 130 kW (174 hp).

  • GX - naturally-aspirated 2.0 L flat-4, 92 kW (123 hp)
    • Engine Size 1994 cc (2.0)
    • Compression Ratio 9.7:1
    • Dual range gearbox - manual only
    • Acceleration 0–100 km/h 10.7 secs
  • Limited - naturally-aspirated 2.0 L flat-4, 92kW
    • Engine Size 1994 cc (2.0)
    • Compression Ratio 9.7:1
    • Dual range gearbox - manual only
    • Acceleration 0–100 km/h 10.7 secs
  • Special Edition - naturally-aspirated 2.0 L flat-4, 92 kW (123 hp)
    • Engine Size 1994 cc (2.0)
    • Compression Ratio 9.7:1
    • Dual range gearbox - manual only
    • Acceleration 0–100 km/h 10.7 secs
  • GT (1998–2000) - turbocharged 2.0 L flat-4, 125 kW (168 hp)
  • GT (2001–2002) - turbocharged 2.0 L flat-4, 130 kW (174 hp)
    • Engine Size 1994 cc (2.0)
    • Turbo TF035
    • Compression Ratio 8.5:1
    • Acceleration 0–100 km/h 8.4 secs

Second generation (SG, 2003–2008)[edit | edit source]

Second generation
2006-07 Subaru Forester.jpg
Production 2003–2008
Layout F4 layout
Engine(s) 2.0 L 137 hp (186 Nm) H4
2.0 L 219 hp (309 Nm) H4 turbo
2.5 L 173 hp (225 Nm) H4
2.5 L 224 hp (319 Nm) H4 turbo
Wheelbase 2,525 mm (99.4 in)
Length 2003–2005: 4,450 mm (175.2 in)
2006–2008: 4,485 mm (176.6 in)
Width 1,735 mm (68.3 in)
Height 1,650 mm (65.0 in)
Sports 2.5X: 1,590 mm (62.6 in)
Sports 2.5XT: 1,585 mm (62.4 in)
Curb weight 2.0 L: 1,320 kg (2,910.1 lb)
2.0 L turbo: 1,410 kg (3,108.5 lb)
2.5 L: 1,424 kg (3,139.4 lb)
2.5 L turbo: 1,474 kg (3,249.6 lb)
Related Subaru Impreza
Saab 9-2X
Subaru Impreza WRX
Subaru Impreza WRX STi

A second generation was introduced in 2003, based on the new Impreza platform, featuring several fine-tune improvements over the past model. The 2003 Forester features weight-saving refinements such as an aluminum hood, perforated rails, and a hydro-formed front sub-frame. The most noticeable change was the offering of 2.5 L versions (normally aspirated and turbocharged) and in the U.S. the introduction of the turbo charged 2.5L model.

In the U.S., in 2003, a turbocharged Forester, the XT, was released alongside the naturally-aspirated X and XS in the United States as a 2004 model. However, the same model had been available since the late 1990s elsewhere in the world. The X and XS models feature a 2.5 L SOHC engine, while the XT model features a 2.5 L turbocharged DOHC engine. Both engines have timing belt driven camshafts.[6] The XT model uses the same Mitsubishi TD04 turbocharger used in the Subaru Impreza WRX. The engine in the 2004 to 2005 Forester XT is identical to the American market Subaru Impreza WRX STi except for using the smaller TD04 turbocharger from the WRX, a smaller intercooler, different exhaust system, and different engine management programming. Those seeking additional power for their Forester XT can replace the turbocharger and intercooler with used STI components which are readily available. All Forester 2.5 L engines are of the interference engine type.

In 2005, Subaru launched an STI variant of the Forester, the Forester STI for the Japanese Market. It shared the same engine as the 2005 Subaru Impreza WRX STI, but thanks to different tuning generated 320 bhp (240 kW). 2005 also the introduction of Subaru's AVCS system as standard on all engines used in the Forester.

Safety[edit | edit source]

MY03-04 Models has a 4 Star ANCAP safety rating MY05 Forester Model had a mid-life update, the update increased its ANCAP safety rating to 5 Stars.

In 2006, the turbocharged engine (powering the Forester XT) was awarded International Engine of the Year.[7][8] This engine is also used in the Subaru Impreza WRX, as well as the re-badged Saab 9-2X.


All of the 2.5 ltr. 4 cyl. engines have a Timing Belt made of rubber and cord. This Belt must be replaced at 105,000 miles. These engines are zero tolerance engines, meaning if this Belt snaps the pistons will hit the valves resulting in having to rebuild your engine. Also, if you have this Belt replaced around 105,000 miles it is a good idea to change the Water Pump, Thermostat, Belt tensioner and all the Idler pullies for this Belt. The Water pump and Thermostat are behind this Belt. It makes sense to replace them at this time. The 3.0 ltr. 6cyl. engines do not have this Belt. They have a Timing Chain. This does not have to be replaced at 105,000 miles. The 2.5 ltr. 4 cyl. engine in the first gen cars had a problem with head gaskets. After 2003 and later, they fixed this issue.

US[edit | edit source]

The U.S. Market was not offered the car with the 2.0L (aspirated and turbocharged) versions. Only two versions were commercialised:

  • 2.5 X - naturally-aspirated 2.5 L flat-4, 173 hp (129 kW)
  • 2.5 XT Limited - turbocharged 2.5 L flat-4, 224 hp (171 kW)

In 2007, the Forester line was expanded to 5 models:

  • 2.5 X
  • 2.5 X L.L. Bean edition
  • Sports 2.5 X
  • 2.5 XT Limited
  • Sports 2.5 XT

Australia[edit | edit source]

The Forester had three main models available in Australia until July 2005:

  • X - naturally-aspirated 2.5 L flat-4, 112 kW (150 hp)
  • XS - naturally-aspirated 2.5 L flat-4, 112 kW (150 hp)
  • XT - turbocharged 2.5 L flat-4, 155 kW (208 hp)

The Forester has three main models available in Australia from August 2005:

  • X - naturally-aspirated 2.5 L flat-4, 121 kW (162 hp)
  • XS - naturally-aspirated 2.5 L flat-4, 121 kW (162 hp)
  • XT - turbocharged 2.5 L flat-4, 169 kW (226 hp)

The difference between the X and the XS is the styling of the car through its accessories. Both the XS and the XT come with the option of having a "Luxury Pack" fitted - allowing for leather seats and a sunroof. Besides the difference in engine between the X or XS when compared to the XT, there are other minor styling differences like the addition of a Momo steering wheel as standard on the XT model. Only the XT included curtain airbags.

Third generation (SH, 2008–present)[edit | edit source]

Third generation
2009 Subaru Forester -- NHTSA.jpg
Production 2008–
Layout F4 layout
Engine(s) 2.0 L H4 (Japan)
2.0 L H4 turbo(Japan)
2.5 L 170 hp (130 kW) H4
2.5 L 224 hp (167 kW) turbo H4
2.0 L H4 turbodiesel
Transmission(s) 4-speed automatic
5-speed manual (Petrol)
6-speed manual (Diesel)
Wheelbase 103 in (2616.2 mm)
Length 179.5 in (4559.3 mm)
Width 70.1 in (1780.5 mm)
Height 65.9 in (1673.9 mm)
66.9 in (1699.3 mm) with roof rails
Curb weight 3,460 lb (1,570 kg) max
Related Subaru Impreza

2008 Subaru Forester (JDM) with small blindspot mirror on front passenger fender and pop-up headlight washers

The MY2008 Forester was unveiled in Japan on December 25, 2007. The North American version debuted at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The third generation Forester was styled by Subaru Chief Designer Mamoru Ishii.[1] The dimensions derive from engineers using the basic body structure of the Japanese-spec Impreza wagon with the rear platform of the U.S.-spec Impreza sedan.[1] The Forester's wheelbase has increased 3.5 inches (89 mm), with overall increases of 3.0 inches (76 mm) in length, 1.8 inches (46 mm) in width and 4.3 inches (110 mm) in height.[1] Notably, the third generation Forester foregoes the frameless side windows used on Subarus since the early 1970s. The third generation embraces the car based SUV, and leaves behind the older wagon design; it's larger in nearly every dimension, taller, and features a slopping roof line with more cargo space.

The independent double wishbone rear suspension has been redesigned for better handling and a smoother ride over the previous generation. "Sportshift" has been included with the four speed computer controlled automatic transmission. The in-dash, touch-screen satellite navigation system is Bluetooth compatible, and has the premium stereo integrated. Subaru also offers the six speaker premium stereo, with surround sound enhancement, separate from the navigation system.

The new model adds 3.5 inches (89 mm) to the Forester's wheelbase, thereby improving interior space and cargo room (31 cu ft (0.88 m³) expandable to 69 cu ft (2.0 m³)). Ground clearance for the Forester is now 8.9 inches (230 mm).

Europe[edit | edit source]

Subaru Forester 2.0X (Europe)

The Forester is available in Europe with the popular 2.0 liter EJ20 gasoline engine with Active Valve Control System (AVCS) matched to either 5 speed manual or 4 speed automatic gearbox, and the all-new diesel-powered horizontally-opposed (boxer) engine, called the Subaru EE and six-speed manual gearbox, which was introduced at the 2008 Paris Motor Show in October.[9] The diesel engine produces a power output of 147 PS (145 hp / 108 kW).

In the UK, the gasoline-powered Forester is offered in the popular X and XS models, while trim level for the diesel models are X, XC, and XS NavPlus.

Australia[edit | edit source]

2010 Subaru Forester (MY10) XS (Australia)

2010 Subaru Forester (MY10) XS Premium (Australia)

There are seven specifications with various trim and performance levels:[10]

  • X: Base model - naturally-aspirated 2.5 L flat-4, 126 kW (169 hp) 229 Nm (169 ft-lbf)
  • XS: Lower luxury non-turbo model - naturally-aspirated 2.5 L flat-4, 126 kW (169 hp) 229 Nm (169 ft-lbf)
  • XS: Premium luxury non-turbo model - naturally-aspirated 2.5 L flat-4, 126 kW (169 hp) 229 Nm (169 ft-lbf)
  • 2.0 Diesel: turbo-diesel 2.0 L flat-4, 108 kW (145 hp) 350 Nm (258 ft-lbf)
  • 2.0 Diesel: Premium - turbo-diesel 2.0 L flat-4, 108 kW (145 hp) 350 Nm (258 ft-lbf)
  • XT: Lower luxury turbo model - turbocharged 2.5 L flat-4, 169 kW (226 hp) 320 Nm (236 ft-lbf)
  • XT: Premium luxury turbo model - turbocharged 2.5 L flat-4, 169 kW (226 hp) 320 Nm (236 ft-lbf)


Summary of standard trim and equipment over different Australian models.

  • Wheels and tyres. The X model comes with 16" Steel wheels. The 2.0 diesel model comes with 16" Alloy wheels. All other models come with 17" alloy wheels.
  • Suspension. The X Model comes with double wishbone type, independent suspension on the rear of the car. All other models come with Self-levelling double wishbone type, independent suspension on the rear.
  • Miscellaneous. The Premium versions of the 2.0 diesel, XS and XT models come with leather seating and an electric sunroof. These items are not available as options on other models.
  • Transmission. The X manual comes with a dual range, 5-speed manual transmission. The X auto comes with a 4-speed automatic transmission. Both diesel models come with a 6-speed manual transmission only. All other models come with either a single range, 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission.
  • Entertainment. The XT Premium comes with a Multi-information in-dash satellite navigation system and single CD/DVD player (7-inch touch screen). The X and 2.0 diesel come with a AM/FM Radio, CD player (MP3 and WMA compatible), 4 speaker stereo (tweeters and subwoofer optional extra). All other models come with a AM/FM Radio, 6-stack in-dash CD player (MP3 and WMA compatible), 6 speaker SRS stereo system with subwoofer. The system from the XT premium is optional on all other models, but costs AUD$4851.50 (fitted).[12]

North America[edit | edit source]

The Forester trim levels are the 2.5X, the 2.5X Premium, the 2.5X Limited and the 2.5XT and 2.5XT Limited both with turbo. The interior colors are either black or light gray with three upholstery selections, including leather.[13] Nine exterior colors are offered with four colors offered with a pearlescent appearance.

Starting July 2008, Subaru no longer offered a special edition L.L. Bean trim level on the Forester.[14]

The USA 2.5X model has been certified PZEV emissions (Rated 175 hp (130.5 kW) instead 170 hp (126.8 kW)), and a badge has been attached to the rear of the vehicle on the bottom left hand side of the tailgate. All other USA models have been certified LEV2. The PZEV Forester is available for sale in all fifty states, unlike other manufacturers who only sell PZEV certified vehicles in states that have adopted California emission standards. The engine without the turbo runs on unleaded gasoline rated at 87 octane, and the turbo uses premium fuel rated at 91 octane.

Safety equipment includes front airbags with side curtain airbags and front passenger side airbags (for a total of six airbags) and brake assist that detects panic-braking situations and applies maximum braking force more quickly. Problems with the ABS and OEM tires came to light during the 2010-2011 winter driving season in North America. This problem led to drivers overshooting their stopping point when the ABS reduced braking in slippery conditions to a far lower level than would have been possible without the ABS and OEM tires. Typically this problem was fixed by replacing the OEM tires with purpose built winter tires. [15]

The manual transmission is equipped with Incline Start Assist which allows the car to remain stopped on an incline by only depressing the clutch pedal, instead of both the clutch and brake pedal.

Some of the standard equipment found on the 2.5X include Subaru's VDC (Vehicle Dynamics Control), 16 inch alloy wheels, and an auxiliary audio jack for MP3 players. Optional equipment includes 17 inch alloy wheels, panoramic moonroof, heated front seats and heated side-view mirrors. The L.L. Bean edition adds automatic climate control, leather upholstery, an upgraded stereo with six speakers and a six disc in-dash CD changer over the four speaker stereo with single disc CD player, and an in-dash navigation system, as well as L.L. Bean signature floor mats and rear cargo tray.

The 2.5 XT comes with the premium stereo standard, as well as 17 inch alloy wheels, and the panoramic moonroof. The 2.5 XT Limited adds leather upholstery with heated front seats, in-dash navigation, a rear spoiler, and automatic climate control. For 2009, XT models come only with a 4-speed Automatic with Sport Shift.

Forester XTI concept[edit | edit source]

The Forester XTI concept vehicle uses the 2.5 liter intercooled turbo engine from Subaru WRX STI, 6-speed manual transmission, 18 x 8-inch S204 forged alloy wheels with Yokohama Advan Neova 255/40R18 performance tires, adjustable coil-over suspension, Brembo brakes with 4-piston front calipers, 2-piston rear calipers, Super Sport ABS and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), leather and Alcantara sport seats, a special instrument cluster, front dash and center console and leather-wrapped steering wheel. Engine is rated 315 hp (235 kW) and 300 lb·ft (410 N·m) torque.

The vehicle was unveiled in 2008 SEMA show.[16]

Mountain Rescue Vehicle[edit | edit source]

Subaru produced a specialized vehicle for the National Ski Patrol based on 2.5XT turbo.[17] It includes diamond plate floor, rear steel walls, a 9,500-pound winch and a roof-mounted toboggan. The vehicle was unveiled in 2008 SEMA show.[18][19]

2011 Facelift[edit | edit source]

2011 Subaru Forester (US)

For 2011, the Subaru Forester gets a new grill, and the XT receives a new exclusive rear spoiler. The naturally aspirated Foresters adone a new DOHC 2.5l FB25 and 2.0l flat four FB20.

Awards[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses some content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Subaru Forester. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons by Attribution License and/or GNU Free Documentation License. Please check page history for when the original article was copied to Wikia

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "First Drive: 2009 Subaru Forester: Now It's a Crossover, Not a Wagon"., Peter Lyon, January 20, 2008.
  2. "Chevrolet Forester SUV - Chevrolet Forester India - Chevrolet Forester Features & Specifications". Retrieved on 2010-07-29.
  3. "I Chevrolet. I Chevrolet In India". Retrieved on 2010-07-29.
  4. "Chevrolet Forester Review - Chevrolet Forester India, Chevrolet Forester Features & Specifications". Retrieved on 2010-07-29.
  5. "Subaru's All Wheel Driving System".
  6. "Subaru Forester 2003-2008 review". Retrieved on April 3, 2009.
  7. "International Engine of the Year Award - 2.0L to 2.5L category".
  8. "Subaru Australia's announcement of winning the International Engine of the Year award".
  9. "Paris Preview: Subaru debuts boxer diesel Forester and Impreza". Retrieved on 2010-04-03.
  10. Prices as of December 2008
  11. "Subaru Forester - Subaru Australia". (2009-02-09). Retrieved on 2010-12-10.
  12. "Subaru Forester X Wagon - Accessories - Subaru Australia". Retrieved on 2010-12-10.
  13. Subaru of America Forester sales brochure, printed March 2008
  14. "Subaru and L.L.Bean Part Company". Retrieved on 2010-04-03.
  15. "ABS and Snow". Retrieved on 2011-04-15.
  16. Korzeniewski, Jeremy (2008-10-31). "SEMA Preview: Subaru to show off Forester XTI and Mountain Rescue Vehicle". Retrieved on 2010-12-10.
  17. "AfterMarket Mayhem: 2008 SEMA Show Photos & Coverage Part 1". (2007-02-26). Retrieved on 2010-12-10.
  18. Ramsey, Jonathon (2008-11-05). "SEMA: Save us Subaru Mountain Rescue Vehicle!". Retrieved on 2010-12-10.
  19. "Subaru Forester Mountain Rescue Concept Ascending To SEMA". Retrieved on 2010-04-03.
  20. "Winner of Wheels Gold star cars award for best compact SUV 2008". Retrieved on 2010-12-10.
  21. "Subaru Forester Unanimously Voted Motor Trend SUV Of The Year". (2008-10-16). Retrieved on 2010-12-10.

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