Car reviews - Subaru - Forester - 5-dr wagon
16 Jul 2010
AUSTRALIA’S top-selling compact SUV, Subaru Forester, gets cream for its slice of sales pie this month with the arrival of a diesel variant, the Forester 2.0D.
Forester diesel joins its Subaru Outback diesel stablemate at the forefront of compact SUV fuel efficiency, boasting an official combined fuel rating of 6.4 litres per 100km.
Subaru predicts about 100 diesel Forester sales a month, but is buoyed by the response to Outback diesel, which it envisaged would sell 100 a month but has instead averaged 150 since launch late last year.
Petrol Foresters are averaging about 1200 sales a month this year.
The Forester 2.0D will be offered in two specification levels – 2.0D and 2.0D Premium – matching the XS and XS Premium trim levels in the petrol range.
Subaru’s new Euro 5-compliant diesel, shared with Outback 2.0D, is a horizontally opposed common-rail turbo-charged four-cylinder producing 108kW of power at 3600rpm and 340Nm of torque between 1800rpm and 2400rpm.
The double-overhead-camshaft engine has a closed-loop particulate filter to reduce exhaust soot, which is carcinogenic.
Along with the claimed combined fuel consumption figure of 6.4L/100km, the Forester 2.0D boasts low CO2 emissions of 168g/km (2.0 petrol: 8.4L/100km and 198g/km).
The fuel economy figure betters diesel rivals such as the Nissan X-Trail (7.5L/100km), Suzuki Grand Vitara (7.1), Kia Sportage (7.1), VW Tiguan (7.4), Skoda Octavia Scout (6.6), Mazda CX-7 (7.6) and Hyundai ix35 (7.5).
With a 64-litre fuel tank – four litres bigger than the petrol version – the diesel Forester has a theoretical fuel range of 1000km.
In European tests, Subaru claims the Forester 2.0D accelerated to 100km/h in 10.4 seconds and achieved a top speed of 186km/h. The petrol manual Forester does the zero-to-100km/h sprint in the same time and has a slightly slower maximum velocity, 184km/h.
No automatic transmission is offered with diesel Forester, only a unique six-speed manual gearbox (petrol models have a five-speeder).
Subaru claims the six-speed helps fuel efficiency, drivability and a quieter cruising due to its wider ratio coverage than the five-speed gearbox.
The six-speed manual transaxle is the same length as the petrol’s compact five-speed automatic transmission.
The 2.0D weighs 45kg more than the petrol XS manual, while the 2.0D Premium spec adds 90kg over the XS Premium manual.
The diesel variants have the same tow capacity as the XT turbo model – 750kg unbraked and 1600kg braked, with a maximum allowable towball download of 160kg.
The Forester 2.0D has hill start assist, which applies the brake when first gear is engaged and the clutch depressed, or when reverse is engaged and the clutch depressed – and releases the brake as the clutch is released.
Better lubrication improves the gearbox’s efficiency, while a cable-actuated gearshift provides better isolation from powertrain vibration.
Subaru says constant-mesh synchromesh improves gearshift feel and cuts noise when selecting reverse gear.
Forester 2.0D has an AM/FM/CD radio with four speakers and MP3/WMA/iPod compatibility.
Forester 2.0D Premium gets an AM/FM/six-stack in-dash CD tuner with subwoofer, six-speakers and tweeters in each door. It also has MP3/WMA compatibility.
Both models have steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and an auxiliary jack on the centre console.
On the safety front, the Forester 2.0D, like the petrol models, achieves a five-star ANCAP result and is fitted with ABS brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, stability control, active headrests, front, front side and side curtain airbags, front passenger seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters, and double pretensioners for the driver’s seatbelt.
Both diesel variants have self-levelling rear suspension, front fog lights, front adjustable upper seatbelt anchorages, roof rails, cargo blind, remote central locking, climate control air conditioning with anti-dust filters, cruise control, rake and reach adjustable steering column, height adjustable driver’s seat, immobiliser, DataDot security marking, multi-information dashboard display, power mirrors and windows and rear seat auto fold levers.
The 2.0D has 16-inch alloy wheels 215/65/R16 Bridgestone tyres, while the 2.0D Premium has 17-inch alloys with 225/55/R17 Yokohama tyres and both have a full-size steel spare wheel.
The Forester 2.0D Premium also has privacy glass for rear, rear quarter and tailgate glass, seat-back pockets on both driver’s and passenger’s side, power driver’s seat and leather seats, steering wheel and gearshift.
The diesel models are available in the same colours at the petrol variants – Satin White Pearl, Steel Silver, Spark Silver, Camellia Red, Sage Green, Newport Blue, Obsidian Black, Dark Grey and Sunlight Gold.
The Road to Recovery podcast series
Did you know?Subaru's Forester is built on the compact platform that also spawned the Impreza?
All car reviews
Click to share