Subaru UK has announced details of the 2015 model-year update to its best-selling Forester SUV, which features a raft of changes to its interior and powertrain and enhances the go-anywhere capabilities of the Forester range.
The upgraded 2015 Subaru Forester will go on sale in the UK on 1 April and continues to offer Subaru’s comprehensive five year, 100,000 mile warranty.
New powertrain option – Lineartronic with Boxer diesel
The most significant change for the latest Subaru Forester is the addition of a diesel-Lineartronic CVT (continuously-variable transmission) powertrain to the UK model line-up, the first Forester to offer such a powertrain.
By pairing the popular 2.0-litre horizontally-opposed ‘Boxer’ diesel engine with Lineartronic, Subaru engineers have endowed the car with a more relaxing drive and, at the same time, boosted its off-road capabilities. Paired with the standard All-Wheel Drive drivetrain, Lineartronic brings with it Subaru’s Hill Descent Control (HDC) and the X-Mode system, which intelligently manages the car’s power and torque, brakes and drivetrain to maintain traction on even the most slippery surfaces.
The Lineartronic transmission fitted to the Forester’s 2.0-litre diesel engine is the same high-capacity CVT found on the powerful 238bhp XT Turbo model, and is engineered to manage the diesel engine’s high 350 Nm torque output. In its latest application in the Forester, the NVH characteristics of the transmission have been improved with additional soundproofing, while a manual mode provides drivers with seven pre-set ‘gears’ for greater control of the engine.
The 146bhp Boxer diesel engine itself has also received a range of modifications designed to reduce noise, vibration and harshness and improve fuel economy. A new common-rail injection system enables more precise combustion control, while new glow plugs speed up engine heating for greater fuel efficiency from a cold start. Other changes include revised turbocharger settings while a new radiator, oil cooler and radiator fans have been adopted for diesel models, aiding engine cooling.
With the new diesel engine and gearbox combination the 2015 Subaru Forester will return 46.3 mpg and 158 g/km CO2 on the combined cycle, and go from zero to 62 mph in 9.6 seconds. Diesel models equipped with the standard six-speed manual return 49.6 mpg and a now lower 148 g/km CO2 on the combined cycle (-2 g/km). Acceleration is also improved slightly, recording zero to 62 mph in 9.8 seconds (down from 10.2 seconds).
Cabin upgrades improve quality and refinement
Subaru engineers have introduced a number of improvements to the interior of the car, designed to raise the quality and ambience of the cabin.
Central to the upgraded interior is a new factory-fit touchscreen infotainment and navigation system which replaces the previous, Pioneer dealer-fit options. The 7.0-inch touchscreen, fitted as standard to all XC, AC Premium and XT models in the UK, allows front seat occupants to control the car’s satellite navigation and audio systems using the same touchscreen functionality as a smartphone, with swiping and pinching-in and -out to zoom in on map displays.
Drivers can control the infotainment and navigation system – as well as the climate control – with Subaru’s latest-generation voice control system, while full Bluetooth functionality enables users to connect their smartphone to the car via StarLink, for weather and traffic reports, wireless audio and news updates.
The upgraded interior also makes use of higher quality materials, in particular a new piano black central fascia, metallic highlights at key locations around the dashboard and new, more tactile heather controls. The car also now receives an extra USB jack allowing occupants to listen to music from a USB-compatible device while charging another at the same time.
The Multi-Function Display (MFD) at the top of the dashboard continues to display useful information to the driver, such as temperature, the status of the standard All-Wheel Drive system and fuel economy data.
NVH throughout the cabin is further improved with the adoption of greater soundproofing material under the bonnet and around the air intake.
The exterior of the car remains largely unchanged, with the exception of a new shark-fin antenna which replaces the pole antenna found on pre-2015 models.