After a major mid-cycle revision for the 2011 model year that included an all-new engine and numerous other upgrades, the Subaru Forester enters the 2012 model year with a new optional navigation system featuring enhanced music and connectivity features. In addition, all Forester models for 2012 now feature a standard height-adjustable front passenger seat.
The 2012 Forester line includes naturally aspirated models, designated 2.5X, and the 2.5XT models powered by a 224-hp turbocharged/intercooled Boxer engine. The 2.5X models last year debuted an all-new double-overhead-cam (DOHC) 2.5-liter Boxer engine for increased fuel efficiency. The Forester is Subaru's best-selling vehicle and, like all Subaru models, features Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive as standard equipment. Subaru expects the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) "Top Safety Pick" rating to continue for the 2012 Forester models.
The new optional navigation package available for 2.5X Limited and Touring and 2.5 XT Touring includes a touch-screen navigation system with 6.1-inch display, rear vision camera, AM/FM stereo with HD Radio(TM), single-disc CD player with MP3/WMA file capability, 6 speakers (7 on Touring with subwoofer), voice-activated controls, Bluetooth(R) hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming, iPod(R) control capability, iTunes(R) tagging, USB port, 3.5mm auxiliary input jack, SMS text messaging capability, XMV Satellite Radio (requires subscription)
Six Forester Models
Forester is offered in six models for 2012: naturally aspirated 2.5X in base, Premium, Limited and new Touring trim lines, and turbocharged 2.5XT in Premium and Touring trim lines. The Forester 2.5X is one of the best values in the crossover SUV segment, with standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. In contrast, most competitive vehicles that offer all-wheel drive make it an extra-cost option.
In addition, the Forester 2.5X includes a generous roster of standard equipment that includes outside temperature gauge, adjustable center console armrest lid, cruise control, height-adjustable driver's and front passenger's seats, security system with engine immobilizer, fuel economy gauge, headlights auto-off with ignition switch, interior accent lighting, multi-function display, power mirrors and door locks, rear seat armrest, rear window wiper/washer and remote keyless entry system.
The 2012 Forester 2.5X Premium adds 17-inch alloy wheels and numerous amenities, including a 10-way power driver's seat, tilt and telescope steering column, auto up/down driver's window with pinch protection, panoramic power moonroof, reclining rear seatback, dark tint rear privacy glass, body-color exterior mirrors and chrome exterior door handles. An available All-Weather Package includes heated front seats, heated side mirrors and windshield wiper de-icer.
The 2012 Forester 2.5X and 2.5XT Premium models feature a versatile standard audio system and steering wheel Bluetooth(R) switches. The audio system features an AM/FM stereo with single-disc CD player with MP3 capability, 3.5mm auxiliary input jack, Bluetooth hands free calling and audio streaming, iPod control capability, USB port, SIRIUS Satellite Radio capability and four speakers. All Forester audio systems feature the Radio Broadcast Data System (RBDS), which can display a song's title and artist, plus other data.
The 2.5X Premium offers an optional TomTom(R) navigation system. The package features a removable portable touch-screen navigation device with a 4.3-inch LCD display, along with Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity. In addition, when the TomTom option is ordered, it can be augmented with an accessory rear-vision camera and available Traffic Information (subscription and compatible cell phone required). The audio system packaged with the TomTom Navigation option features a single-disc CD/DVD player, along with all the upgraded features in the 2.5X Premium standard system.
Forester Luxury for 2012
The Limited trim line for the Forester 2.5X and 2.5XT models continues, adding a real touch of luxury to these versatile models. The Limited level includes a standard automatic transmission, perforated leather-trimmed upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter handle, All-Weather Package (heated front seats, heated side mirrors and windshield wiper de-icer), automatic climate control system, fog lights, stainless steel tailpipe tips and other amenities.
The Limited models feature their own display-type audio system that features a 4.3-inch LCD screen and offers an accessory option backup camera. The upgraded audio features a CD player with MP3/WMA capability, six speakers, Bluetooth audio streaming and hands-free phone connectivity, iPod control capability and SIRIUS Satellite Radio capability, plus HD radio with iTunes tagging.
Externally, xenon HID headlights (low beams), side mirrors with integrated turn signals, silver-finish roof rails and a rear roof spoiler distinguish the Forester 2.5X and 2.5XT Touring. Inside, in addition to all Premium and Limited equipment, the Touring features dual zone automatic climate control and electroluminescent instrument gauges. In addition, the Touring models come standard with a rear-vision camera. A one-touch folding rear seatback enables lowering the rear seatbacks from the cargo area using levers on the right and left side interior quarter trim panels.
Engineered for All Roads
The award-winning Forester crossover blends positive SUV attributes, including a high seating point, interior versatility and rugged off-pavement capability, with passenger car comfort, handling and fuel efficiency. Trim exterior packaging makes the Forester easy to maneuver. The Forester's robust body structure uses high-tensile-strength steel at key structural points.
Subaru optimized all elements of the Forester's chassis to deliver an outstanding balance of ride, handling response, quietness and overall traction performance. Heavy-duty raised 4-wheel independent suspension and up to 8.9 inches of ground clearance help to make Forester equally adept at negotiating twisty roads and absorbing ruts and bumps. The double-wishbone rear suspension, mounted to a sub frame, contributes to the smooth ride and agile handling and also allows more interior cargo room than with strut-type suspension systems. The Forester 2.5X base model features 16-inch steel wheels with 215/65R16 tires; all others ride on 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 225/55R17 tires.
Rich Interior Design
The Forester interior emphasizes comfort and spaciousness. Rear seat legroom measures a generous 38.0 inches. Materials, including double-stitched fabrics and high-grade plastics, impart a feeling of high quality. The sweeping twin cockpit design embraces occupants, and brushed aluminum-look insets flow into the center stack. Each door panel houses a molded recess that can accommodate a 24-oz. soft drink bottle, as well as loose items.
Rear passenger comfort is enhanced by a central armrest in all models. All but the 2.5X base model features a reclining rear seatback function and a retractable rear center tray that can securely hold food and drinks. The standard 60/40-split rear seatbacks fold to provide a flat cargo floor. With the rear seatbacks raised, the cargo area is large enough to accommodate four Tour-sized golf bags or four large overnight suitcases.
New-Generation Boxer Engine Improves Performance And Economy
All Forester 2.5X models are powered by a 2.5-liter (2,498cc / 152 cu. in.) Boxer engine that was introduced for the 2011 model year. The engine produces 170 horsepower at 5,800 RPM and 174 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,100 RPM. An emphasis on low- and mid-range torque helps make the 2012 Forester feel highly responsive in everyday driving.
The Subaru horizontally opposed (Boxer) layout yields low vibration for driving comfort and durability. The new-generation engine uses a different bore/stroke dimensions and a double overhead-cam (DOHC) layout, vs. SOHC in the previous 2.5-liter Boxer. The camshafts are chain driven vs. belt-driven before, reducing servicing costs. The new Boxer engine employs dual Active Valve Control System (AVCS) variable valve timing to optimize torque performance and emissions. Cylinder head-mounted multi-spray fuel injectors reduce atomized fuel on cylinder head walls, improving efficiency and reducing emissions. A direct ignition system also contributes to efficiency and low emissions.
Forester 2.5X and 2.5X Premium models offer a choice between a standard 5-speed manual transmission and an electronically controlled 4-speed automatic; all other models come with the automatic, which offers a manual shift mode.
The 2011 Forester 2.5XT models are powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged/intercooled Boxer engine delivering 224 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm and 226 lb.-ft. of peak torque @ 2,800 rpm. The turbo engine is teamed exclusively to an electronically controlled 4-speed automatic transmission that offers manual shifting when desired.
Like all Subaru models, the Forester is built around the company's proven Ring Shaped Reinforcement Frame safety structure. All Forester models for 2012 feature standard side-curtain airbags with a rollover sensor, and the Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) stability and traction control system and Brake Assist safety system are standard on all models. Intelligent dual-stage deployment front air bags use sensors to determine front air bag deployment strength for optimal occupant protection. Active front head restraints can help reduce potential whiplash injury in a rear collision. A rollover sensor is designed to activate the seat belt pre-tensioners and deploy the curtain airbags.
Two Types of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
An All-Wheel Drive pioneer, Subaru is the only brand to equip all of its 2012 models with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive as standard. Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is comprised of the lightweight Boxer engine and the full-time power distribution system, which varies by model and transmission. The aluminum Boxer engine and symmetrical drivetrain layout help to lower the vehicle's center of gravity, which contributes to handling agility. Subaru began offering four-wheel drive passenger cars over 35 years ago and introduced innovative automatic full-time All-Wheel Drive in 1987. In 1997, Subaru became the first brand in the U.S. to make All-Wheel Drive standard on all its models.
The 2011 Forester models offer two versions of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, both of which power all four wheels all the time and can transfer more power to the wheels with the best grip. Models equipped with the 5-speed manual transmission utilize a viscous-coupling locking center differential that distributes power 50:50, transferring more power to the wheels with the best traction should slippage occur.
In all 2012 Forester models with the automatic transmission, the Active Torque Split version of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive uses an electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch to actively manage power distribution based on acceleration, deceleration and available traction. This system automatically transfers more power to the wheels with the best grip should slippage occur. Both versions of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive used in the 2012 Forester integrate the Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) system to further enhance all-weather stability and traction.
About Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 600 dealers across the United States. Subaru boasts the most fuel efficient line-up of all-wheel drive products sold in the market today based on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel economy standards. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. For additional information, visit http://www.subaru.com.