Monday, March 21, 2016
8 Changes with the 2016 Subaru Forester (And 3 That Haven't) w/ Brochure, Specs
Subaru just let us drive the 2016 Forester. And before waiting for our first impressions on their substantially updated compact crossover, here’s a rundown on some details on what’s new and what’s not.
What Has Changed
1. Refreshed Design
Keeping itself competitive with its sleeker competition, the boxy Forester gets some detail changes for 2016. The most noticeable part is the front end with the new grille, headlights, and bumpers. In addition, the mid-range 2.0i-Premium now gets the same sporty bumpers as the 2.0XT. At each corner, the Forester gets revised alloy wheels across the line though the measurements remain the same with either 17- or 18-inches depending on the model grade. At the back, new LED taillights with the same “hawk-eye” signature lighting complete the difference.
2. Plusher Interior
Like the exterior, the 2016 Forester gets a heavy revamp with the interior. The low-rent silver trim is gone and in its place: high-gloss piano black inserts. This is a finished echoed in the power window bezel and the center console too. The steering wheel, shared with the Legacy and Outback, is new. It’s a quieter place with thicker glass all around and more sound deadening. And together with the quieter interior, a better audio system with touch screen controls on all variants with the 2.0XT getting an 8-speaker Harman/Kardon system and Siri Hands-Free. All but the 2.0i-L gets a full-color LCD multi-information display sandwiched between the speedo and tach as well as a high-grade information display on the center console.
3. LED Steering Responsive Headlights
Apart from integrating Subaru’s trademark “hawk-eye” daytime running lights, the Forester gets LED lighting elements for the headlights with auto on/off capability. Setting the 2.0i-Premium and 2.0XT apart is the Steering Responsive Headlights or SRH. This allows the headlights to move left or right according to steering wheel movement ensuring better night-time visibility.
4. PIN Code Access
Knowing a typical Subaru owner’s penchant for “dirty” lifestyle activities, the 2016 Forester gets the added convenience of a PIN Code Access system. This allows owners to lock and unlock their car using a programmable five-digit pin code. This means the key fob can actually be left in the car without worrying it’ll get lost in the bike trail, get drenched in sweat while running a marathon, or get wet when swimming.
5. Power Seats with Memory
Further increasing the differentiation between the base 2.0i-L model and the rest of the line-up, the higher grades of the 2016 Forester now gets power seats for both the driver and front passenger. In fact, the driver gets the convenience of a two-setting memory adjustment too.
6. More Airbags
The Forester is the only one in its class to get a standard set of six airbags (dual front, side, and curtains). This year that count increases to seven with the driver getting a knee airbag. This is further proof of the brand’s commitment to deliver first-class safety as proven by its numerous accolades and recognitions globally.
7. Tougher Chassis
Together with more airbags, the 2016 Forester features a modified chassis that not only contributes to better safety, but improves handling and ride as well. This starts with a stiffer front cross member that reduces chassis flex, especially during cornering or off-roading. Together with the stiffer front cross member, the coil springs and dampers have been tweaked for a more comfortable ride.
8. New Campaign
The previous Forester was marketed under the campaign of “Enjoy More of Everything”. The 2016 model now goes with the campaign of “Is There Anything You Can’t Do”. This switch in marketing communication under the leadership of Mr. Glenn Tan, Tan Chong International Ltd.’s Executive Director (parent company of Motor Image – Subaru) reminds people that they can achieve anything they have set their eyes on and that the Forester will accompany them throughout their adventure.
What Hasn’t Changed
1. Engines and Transmissions
All models of the Forester get carried over engines and transmissions. The normally-aspirated models use the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder FB20 with 150 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 198 Nm of torque at 4,200 rpm while the XT uses the turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder FA20DIT with 241 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 350 Nm of torque at 2,400 to 3,600 rpm. Of course, the increased glass thickness, sound deadening, and larger front cross member did contribute to a slightly heavier curb weight with the 2.0i-L and 2.0i-Premium gaining 11 kilograms (1,518 versus 1,507) while the 2.0XT gaining a whopping 28 kilograms (1,641 versus 1,613). Acceleration times remain the same though with the FB20-equipped models doing the century mark in 11.8 seconds while the turbocharged XT dispatching it in 7.5 seconds. Interestingly, the XT gets a revised transmission logic that allows the CVT to mimic gear changes when the throttle is engaged above 35 percent.
Subaru’s trick X-MODE, a system that made its debut on the Forester in 2013, continues on in the 2016 model. This one-button system integrates a host of functions that give the Forester surprisingly good off-road capability. This includes modifications to the car’s throttle response, stability control behavior, and so much more. It also modifies the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive’s torque split, allowing it to lock at a 50/50 much earlier than with it off. Best of all, it automatically disengages at speeds above 40 km/h, so there’s no worry about leaving it on accidentally when hitting the pavement.
Available for bookings at all Subaru dealerships nationwide starting April 7, the 2016 Forester will hold its Philippine launch at the Manila International Auto Show. As early as now though, would-be Forester owners should know that there won’t be any price increase despite the substantial uptick in technology. The 2.0i-L enters in at P 1,398,000 with the 2.0i-Premium going for P 1,598,000 and the 2.0XT topping out at P 1,868,000.