With 2012 already another notch in its string of five consecutive annual sales records, Subaru is preparing for a big 2013 as it launches the all-new 2014 Subaru Forester.
The latest model made its appearance durin the press previews for the Los Angeles Auto Show on its way to a spring arrival in U.S. showrooms.
While perhaps not quite the blockbuster of the original Outback line, the Forester has been a solid and reliable member of the Subaru line-up, sales increasing by 60% even during the deep automotive recession of recent years. Now, with the U.S. auto industry in a spirited recovery, Subaru is hoping to gain even more momentum.
Tom Doll, Subaru’s chief operating officer, said the next generation Forester builds on the qualities that have made it so popular with owners over the years, combining both the all-wheel-drive capability of classic Subaru models with the aggressive spirit of the maker’s WRX.
While the new Forester is equipped with all-wheel-drive, it will still get 32 miles per gallon on the highway with the base 2.5-liter Boxer-four engine – which should gain some traction with green-minded buyers as it will qualify as a partial-zero emission vehicle. City mileage is rated at 24 mpg for the 170-horsepower engine.
A second powertrain will follow, a 250-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter package that also gets Direct Injection. The Forester 2.0 XT will update the symmetrical AWD system for which Subaru has gained strong street cred with what the maker has dubbed X-mode. The more intuitive approach to AWD is said to help safely navigate hilly terrain or slippery road conditions.
The interior of the all new Forester is finished in richer materials than previous models, according to the company’s designers. There is also more room in the back seat.
The list of features on both the 2.5i and 2.0 XT versions includes the “EyeSight,” driver-assist system – which includes Lane Departure Warning — keyless access and start, high-intensity-discharge headlights, power rear gate with automatic close and height memory and rear-vision camera. HD Radio, Itunes, Sirius XM, electroluminescent gauges and 4.3-inch LCD are also available.
(For more on the Subaru EyeSight system, Click Here.)
Subaru also is proud of its record for safety and for 2014 the Forester has added a driver’s side knee airbag and EyeSight, driver assist system to monitor the road ahead and spot potential hazards. It also can help intervene to avoid a possible collision. The system has already gotten excellent reviews by critics, who have tested in both Europe and North America.
The exterior of the new Forester retains the basic shape of the previous generation, with relatively modest refinements. Most of the edges have been rounded off to provide the Forester with sleeker and cleaner appearance while retaining the classic appeal of the Forester