Subaru has decided to give their Forester a complete makeover for 2009 in hopes that it will bring in a positive reaction from consumers and will be the ultimate SUV. The Forester has always been viewed on as a good SUV – but when it came to style and the way it looks it has always fallen flat. The new SUV will be given a wheelbase that is three inches longer and a more manly look to it.
What won’t change is its tall wagon, raised-suspension program, but the ’09 model’s off-roading capability should be heightened—literally—thanks to no less than 8.9 inches of ground clearance. Helping on-road demeanor is its stiffer, all-new platform, which utilizes a new double-wishbone rear suspension for improved cornering prowess.
As with the current model, the ’09 Forester will be powered by a choice of four-cylinder boxer motors, each displacing 2.5 liters and available in both naturally aspirated and turbocharged forms (the latter requiring a gaping hood scoop). Better news still is that it will continue to be offered with a manual transmission, now with “Incline Start Assist”. Oh, and of course, being a Subaru, the Forester will never send its power anywhere if not to all four wheels.
The Forester will be available in a variety of models, from the base Forester X to the quietly quick XT to the range-topping L.L. Bean Edition. Each will benefit from a more spacious cabin rendered in higher quality materials and styled, for better or worse, much like the interior of the new Impreza. New interior features and options include double-stitched seat fabrics, advanced audio systems, and—finally—a navigation system. The little crossover’s safety résumé also grows to include standard stability control, in addition to surround-sound air bags with a rollover sensor. Subaru is planning on releasing the new Forester in January at the North American International Auto Show.
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