Back in March Subaru launched its 2015MY Forester range, which finally included the ultra-efficient automatic transmission diesel variants. We test the Subaru Forester 2.0D-L version. The inclusion of the automatic diesel variant wasn’t the only good news with price reductions across the range as well.
The Forester has long been a favourite here at OzRoamer with its boxer engines, Symmetrical AWD capability and Subaru quality and innovation. Externally the style could be described as conservative meets practicality. The midsized AWD SUV maintains sleek lines without resorting to the sloped and tiny rear windows. The upright stance provides not only great visibility but load capacity practicality as well.
The front grill with sweep around halogen headlights, lowered fog lights and curved edges balances style and efficiency. Permanent roof rails add storage capability, shark fin antennae and rear spoiler add to the subtlety. Overall I really like the style and design. It just works.
Internally the cabin ambiance has been refined trim has been revised and there is a plethora of improvements as well. Particular emphasis is placed on the appearance of functional components that occupants use most – the centre panel controls, steering wheel and air vent grilles. Along with their shapes, the contrasting silver/piano black colour scheme coordinates effectively, resulting in a more striking and sumptuous appearance.
Previous models had a certain awkwardness about them, no longer with the interior becoming more contemporary, fresh and co-ordinated. This is obvious throughout but no more than the steering wheel controls.
The front seats are cloth covered but comfortable. They do lack a driver’s seat lumbar support though, something that ageing backs really miss. You sit upright more than down like a sedan and the height and reach adjustable steering wheel feels at home in your hands. Heaps of head room though.
The rear seats are better for two than three, are a little flat in the squab but there is adequate leg, knee shoulder and head room for two passengers. The rear seats are electrically activated. To be honest I would have preferred to see electric driver’s seat with lumbar support.
One new feature is the feature-packed infotainment system that includes a wide array of functions, including speech recognition, which takes a little setting up but works a treat. The 7 inch screen is touch sensitive and intuitive to use and Pandora compatible. The 6 speaker stereo with single CD is MP3 etc compatible, with auxiliary jacks and USB inputs along with Bluetooth.
The other key feature for the MY15 2.0D-L Forester is the newly introduced Forester Lineartronic™ Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) . Unlike a lot of CVT systems this doesn’t seem to have the whine associated.
Adding the Lineartronic™ CVT option to the turbocharged Forester 2.0D line-up offers a new level of frugal long-range driving, underpinned by the sure-footed benefits of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and five-star occupant safety.
The horizontally opposed Boxer turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel engine’s lightweight, rigid characteristics benefit from across-the-board improvements starting with the structure.
It complies with the strict EURO6 emission standard while fuel efficiency is improved and vibration reduced, in what is the world’s only horizontally-opposed diesel engine.
It produces 108 Kw of power at 3600 rpm and 350 Nm of torque from 1600-2400 rpm. This makes for relaxed driving and economical cruising. Also thanks to the extra sound deadening there is little cabin noise intrusion. The Forester will tow 1800kg with a tow ball weight of 180kg which is ideal for an active lifestyle.
All Subaru’s come with a 5 star ANCAP safety rating, 3 year unlimited kilometre warranty, 12 months road side assist programme and capped price servicing for 3 years/75,000km as well. Unfortunately the diesel models don’t come with the SI Drive and EYE SIGHT technology that are brilliant. That is the only downside.
Overall the MY15 Subaru Forester 2.0L-D CVT is exactly what it should be. It fits the medium size AWD SUV criteria almost perfectly. I have always been a fan of boxer engines and the clever diesel boxer is unique. Subaru lost their way for while in design and innovation but are back to their best now. The Forester represents excellent value for money, a clever engine transmission combination, plenty of interior space, enough towing for the active lifestyle and as mentioned it all just works.