Cars - Subaru

Road tests and reviews of the latest Subaru models available in South Africa

2016 Subaru Forester

Press release edited by Franky Johnson

The highly acclaimed, and now classic Subaru, the Subaru Forester has been upgraded for the 2016 model year, enhancing the rock solid foundation on which the Forester has built its reputation. Arguably the genesis of the SUV, the new Forester has raised its game. It’s upped the ante on emotional appeal, refinement, functionality and dynamic ability. The great all-rounder is now even greater. Key upgrades and enhancements include:

  • Redesigned grille and headlight design for a more expressive stance.
  • New 17-inch and 18-inch Alloy Wheels.
  • Updated cabin appointments including redesigned seats, high gloss black and chrome accents and detailing, improved graphics and visual ornamentation of the multi-function display.
  • 8-speaker Harmon Kardon system standard on premium models
  • Reduced NVH levels.
  • Improved dynamic ability and ride refinement.
  • Class-leading Safety credentials heightened with new Steering Responsive Headlamps.


The new Forester’s presence and emotional appeal has been emboldened with its smartly redesigned grille, bumper and headlights. The bumper has been widened and the fog lamp housing sports a new L-shaped chrome detail giving the car a robust yet sophisticated look. The hexagonal grille in a new chrome frame has reworked mesh design flanked by tweaked LED headlamps with the signature C-shaped daytime running lights continuing the ‘Hawk-Eye’ look for which a few of Subaru’s products are known.

Complementing the front headlamp revisions, the rear taillights also benefit from the use of LED’s in the fog lamps and stop lamps. Shaped in a similar C-motif as the front, the car casts an impressive stance.

The Forester also sports new 17-inch and 18-inch alloy wheels. The 17-inch six-spoke wheels are designed with contrasting silver and black detailing. The range-topping, turbocharged 2.0XT Lineartronic™ CVT sports new ten-spoke 18-inchers, designed in a robust yet sporty black and silver contrast.

Subaru has also added a new Sepia Bronze Metallic colour to the exterior colour palette.


Where the brief for the exterior was to emphasize the Forester’s bold nature, the interior has been reworked to be classier and more functional. Step into the driver’s seat and you’ll immediately notice a new steering wheel design with silver applications on the three spokes of the multi-function wheel.

The colour TFT LCD instrument binnacle has had a makeover too with new graphics, new backlit colours, smoked glass in the middle display binnacle and reworked tachometer and speedometer needles.

Elsewhere in the cabin, particular attention has been paid to the areas that are most touched by customers, such as the door handles, centre stack grips and handbrake. All these areas have been upholstered with a more tactile material. On all models, the Multi-Mode trip computer is also upholstered in new material and surrounded with new silver stitching, complementing the new high gloss black and chrome panels found on the dashboard. This touch has also been applied to the front and rear cup holders.

The seats have been improved on all new Forester models with better leg bolstering than before. The fabric seats also benefit from a makeover with a new contrasting silver and black 3-D design. To improve convenience and functionality, the new Forester now features driver’s seat position memory, which stores the lateral position, backrest angle, and seat height settings for up to two individuals. There’s more convenience for passengers too as the Forester now adds Automatic open/close functionality to the front passenger power windows as well as illuminated vanity mirrors.

The Forester can now be ordered with either Black or Black and Grey interior leather seat appointments. (on leather inclusive models only.)

The result is a cabin that feels and looks better, but still retains a comfortable ambience with the impeccable all-round visibility and functionality that is synonymous with Forester.


Also awaiting Subaru Forester drivers is revised Information, Entertainment & Communication interface. Offered as standard on the new Forester as is the case on all new Subaru products is Siri Eyes-Free. This technology that works in conjunction with the already standard voice recognition system links a compatible Siri device and allows the driver to make use of Siri at the touch of a button located on the steering wheel. It’s a convenient and easy way to make use of your device without having to take your hands off the wheel. For those drivers without Siri-enabled devices, the Forester still allows hands-free interaction using the normal voice recognition to control the telephone, audio and climate control systems.


New to premium models, is the addition of an eight-speaker Harman Kardon sound system comprising four 80mm mid-range (two in the front dashboard and two in the rear doors),two 6x9 woofers (in the front doors) and two 160 mm midwoofers (in the reardoors). Together with the 8-channel, 440-watt DSP amplifier from Harman Kardon, this setup is unique for the Subaru Forester. Powerful basses, crystal-clear highs and a mighty mid-range sound are the instruments needed in making the Harman Kardon sound system in the Subaru Forester an experience like no other.


There can be no argument about the safety credentials of the Forester, let alone all Subaru vehicles. The Forester has been awarded a number of safety accolades from the Japanese JNCAP, European NCAP, American ANCAP as well as the IIHS Top Safety Pick. The Forester retains its arsenal of active and passive safety features including Subaru’s Ring-Shaped Reinforcement technology, seven airbags, ISOFIX child seat anchors and the full Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) suite which includes ABS; EBD with Brake Assist; ESC; and TCS. But these safety ratings haven’t stopped Subaru from pursuing even more ways to improve the safety of Subaru drivers and passengers.

New on the MY 2016 Subaru Forester is the Steering Responsive Headlamp that shifts the headlight illumination in the direction of the curve. SRH is effective in both low-beam and high-beam modes and this is made possible because of the development of a new single unit bi-function projector headlight. Previously, high-beam and low-beam illumination came from separate parts of the light. This technology creates greater visibility at night and therefore, a safer driving experience.


In a bid to improve ride comfort, a lot of work has been done on reducing cabin noise and vibrations. In key areas around the windows, more insulation has been applied and the window glass itself is now 0.5mm thicker. Noise-absorbing material has also been added to the floor, the rear apron, the trunk floor and the foot wells.

Front and rear suspension has also been optimized through tweaks of the damping force on the front and rear shock absorbers and the cross member stiffness. The steering wheel gear ratio has also been increased for a more responsive feel. Details follow below.

Whilst these changes may be subtle and under the flesh, the driving experience and overall stability won’t go unnoticed from behind the wheel.

What makes a great all-rounder is the sum of its parts – its impressive ability no matter what challenge is thrown at it. The Subaru Forester is exactly this. The vehicle retains the core DNA of Subaru. It is ‘Confidence in Motion’ personified. All new Foresters retain our latest Boxer® engine technology coupled to our Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. They all retain their 220mm minimum ground clearance, impressive critical angles and raised driving position synonymous with SUV’s. Dynamically, the Forester has impeccable abilities on or off road. With features like X-Mode, the Forester is an unbeatable companion when things get slippery and uncontrollable. The Forester’s abilities need to be seen to be believed. No matter what the road surface or challenge, the Forester is the best car to take the road less travelled.


The Forester is still available in five model variants in South Africa. First in line is the 2.0X 6-speed manual powered by a normally-aspirated 2.0-litre four-cylinder Boxer® petrol engine, producing 110 kW at 6 200 rpm and 198 Nm at 4 200 rpm. On this model, carbon emissions are 168 g/km, and it boasts a combined average fuel economy of 7.2-litres per 100 km as well as Automatic Start Stop technology.

Benefitting from a larger engine – a normally-aspirated 2.5-litre four-cylinder Boxer® petrol unit which produces 126 kW at 5 800 rpm and 235 Nm at 4 100 rpm – the following three models, which are spread over X, XS and XS Premium trim levels, add further bolstering to the new Forester range with added value and specification. All 2.5-litre models also feature Lineartronic™ CVT transmissions, resulting in the addition of X-Mode and two-mode SI-Drive to the list of standard features of the XS and XS Premium. Combined average fuel economy is 8.1-litres per 100 km, with carbon emissions of 187 g/km.

The new Forester 2.5 XS Premium Lineartronic™ gains luxurious extras including a double-volume sunroof and leather upholstery, along with automatic lights and wipers, keyless entry and starting and a one-touch now-illuminated powered tailgate with remote control and an adjustable height setting.

Topping the new Forester chart is the all-new Forester 2.0 XT Lineartronic™. Powered by a 177 kW (at 5 600 rpm) and 350 Nm (between 2 400 and 3 600 rpm) direct injection turbocharged four-cylinder Boxer® petrol engine, the 2.0 XT Lineartronic™ brings exceptional and typically Subaru performance to the Forester range. The 0-100 km/h dash is completed in just 7.5 seconds and top speed is seen at 210 km/h. Despite the extra performance, fuel economy remains impressive at just 8.5-litres per 100 km on the combined average cycle, with carbon emissions of 197 g/km. The 2.0 XT Lineartronic™ stands out from the rest of the range not just by its enhanced specification, but with the new 18-inch dual-tone alloy wheels mentioned above, a more aggressive and sporty front bumper and three modes for SI-DRIVE.


The new 2016 Forester range is now available in South Africa. All models are sold with a

3-year/ 75 000 km full Maintenance plan, a 3-year/ 100 000 km warranty and Subaru Assist. Various maintenance plan extension packages are optionally available at an extra cost.

Subaru Forester 2.0X 6MT R376 000
Subaru Forester 2.5X Lineartronic™ CVT R427 000
Subaru Forester 2.5XS Lineartronic™ CVT R459 000
Subaru Forester 2.5XS Premium Lineartronic™ CVT R509 000
Subaru Forester 2.0XT Lineartronic™ CVT R579 000

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