Now more than ever, it is important that automotive manufacturers ensure their vehicles feature the latest technological advancements, engineering and up-to-the-minute styling. Often a cheap way to do this is to facelift an existing model mid-cycle – a bit of botox to help the ageing looks, some added equipment and features for added freshness, perhaps some subtle engineering updates to help enhance the driving experience, plus a bit of added bling certainly doesn’t hurt.
This is exactly what Subaru has done with the 2016 version of their all-wheel-drive Forester, which is currently one of the more popular mid-sizers on the market. Armed with slightly more angry looking styling, a quieter cabin and upgraded instruments and extra features, Subaru are obviously hoping they’re able to make an already popular SUV even more appealing. More importantly the suspension has also been tweaked, which Subaru says has improved stability, along with helping to reduce noise, vibration and harshness in the cabin. (NVH).
With the 2.0XT and XT Premium models, Subaru has re-programmed the SI-Drive mode for more responsive, sportier driving from the CVT automatic transmission. Put simply, the new system keeps the gearbox in continuously variable at low throttle when driving in the D range, but once you put your foot down a bit harder, it’ll start stepping through ‘gears’ so the engine doesn’t drone at high revs. Subaru hopes this will feel a bit more pleasant for those who hate the sound of a regular CVT when under load. The 2.0XT Premium will also score Subaru’s Active Torque Vectoring system.
As far as engines go, nothing has changed. There’s the same old 2.0L and 2.5L petrol engines, a 2.0L turbo diesel and also a 2.0L turbo petrol – all making exactly the same power as they did previously. Subaru’s EyeSight active safety feature remains limited to the higher-grade S and XT premium models, while a manual gearbox is also available on the entry-level Forester and the diesel – although lack of demand means we might not see it offered for much longer.
Visually, the revised Forester line-up presents with an updated front grille and new headlights, a new front bumper design and LED tail-lights. New features on the pricier Forester 2.5i-S and 2.0XT variant are steering responsive LED headlights, which illuminate the path through corners, greatly improving visibility at night, and daytime running lights. There’s also new 17″ and 18″ alloy wheel designs on offer.