• 2016 model-year upgrades to Subaru’s popular and capable SUV
  • New technologies aid safety and convenience
  • Choice of manual or Lineartronic transmissions, and three 2.0-litre ‘flat-four’ diesel or petrol Boxer engines
  • Additional soundproofing measures and significantly upgraded cabin
  • High standard equipment levels with connected touchscreen infotainment
  • On sale from £25,495 (OTR)

The Subaru Forester has been upgraded for 2016 with a range of enhancements designed to maintain its status as one of the most capable SUVs available. The 2016 model-year upgrades to the Subaru Forester – the Japanese manufacturer’s bestselling model in the UK – result in improved safety, convenience, comfort and refinement.

The upgraded 2016 Subaru Forester is now on sale and is available with the brand’s comprehensive five year, 100,000 mile warranty.

Since the Forester was introduced in 1997, European sales in the C-SUV segment have increased eightfold. More now than ever, the new Forester has the ease of use and practicality that appeals to customers looking for this type of vehicle.

Shaped around SUV buyers’ top priorities, the upgraded Forester offers more confidence-inspiring handling and improved refinement; generous interior space and cargo capacity; exterior dimensions that are easily steered through city streets; a commanding driving position and ease of entry and exit for adults and children. High ground clearance and All-Wheel Drive enable the all-terrain capabilities that distinguish the Forester from its competitors.

Upgrades to exterior styling and cabin

The exterior of the SUV has been refreshed to give the Forester a more robust and modern appearance, with updates to its front grille, bumper, and headlamps, as well as the rear combination lamps and alloy wheels.

The interior’s design is now more refined, with a silver frame and high-gloss black decorative panel. The leather seating is also improved, and the door grips and central pillars of the instrument panel are now wrapped in new, richly-textured material. Rear-seat heating and a new heated steering wheel have been adopted to make the cabin an even more welcoming place on cold mornings.


Safety improvements with new headlamp technology

The Forester is an exceptionally safe vehicle and has been awarded the full five-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating. For 2016, the Forester adopts new headlamp technologies to further improve forward visibility and safety, including High Beam Assist, Adaptive Driving Beam and steering-responsive headlamps, which illuminate corners as the driver turns the steering wheel.

All safety equipment on offer is fitted as standard to every model in the Forester range, including twin front, side, curtain and knee airbags, Subaru Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC; Subaru’s electronic stability control system) with trailer stability, and Subaru’s hallmark Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive technology.


Greater refinement and more confidence-inspiring handling

The 2016 Subaru Forester features a range of modifications to improve ride quality and agility, and ensure greater refinement for passengers.

Updated suspension settings at the front and rear ensure the car remains comfortable and refined, particularly over broken or choppy surfaces, while the adoption of a new steering gearbox quickens the steering ratio (from 15.5:1 to 14.0:1) to improve reactions to steering inputs.

A series of modifications have been made beneath the surface to greatly improve cabin refinement, with thicker door glass, new, more sound-absorbent seals, and additional soundproofing material at key points throughout the cabin.

The range of engines remains unchanged for the 2016 Forester, with buyers able to choose from three 2.0-litre horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engines – a 150ps naturally-aspirated petrol engine and a 147 ps turbo-diesel unit from Subaru’s FB family of engines, as well as a DIT direct injection turbocharged petrol unit, which produces 241 ps and has been engineered for high power, responsiveness and efficiency.

The 2016 Subaru Forester is available with the choice of either a six-speed manual transmission – available on 2.0i and 2.0D models – or an upgraded version of Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT automatic, available as an option on 2.0i and 2.0D models and standard on vehicles equipped with the 241 ps DIT petrol engine.

Every Forester continues to be equipped with two core Subaru technologies: Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive, affording surefootedness in all conditions; and the latest-generation Boxer engines, contributing to the low centre of gravity beneficial to balance, road holding and handling.

In uneven or slippery road conditions, all-terrain capability is enhanced further with the X-Mode on Lineartronic CVT models, an All-Wheel-Drive control system which includes Hill Descent Control and makes traction even better than the outgoing model’s.

There are five trim levels for buyers to choose from, all with a generous level of standard equipment: XE and XE Premium trim levels are available on all naturally-aspirated petrol models; XC and XC Premium on all diesel models; and XT, the highest specification, is standard on 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol versions of the Forester. See the chapter on ‘Equipment’ for full model walk-up and equipment listing.

Subaru Forester pricing – 2016


Price (OTR)

VED band

CO2 (g/km)

2.0D XC




2.0D XC Lineartronic




2.0D XC Premium




2.0D XC Premium Lineartronic




2.0i XE




2.0i XE Lineartronic




2.0i XE Premium




2.0i XE Premium Lineartronic




2.0 DIT XT Turbo Lineartronic





Design and refinement

The 2016 Subaru Forester features an updated, more modern look compared to earlier versions of the car, with a more robust and contemporary appearance. Inside the cabin, new materials and technologies have been introduced to further modernise the interior and introduce a higher-quality look and feel, while still retaining the functionality for which the Forester is renowned.

Shaped around SUV buyers’ top priorities, the Forester offers a high and commanding driving position; generous interior space and cargo capacity; exterior dimensions that are easily steered through city streets; and ease of entry and exit for adults and children. High ground clearance combined with All-Wheel Drive underpin the all-terrain capabilities that distinguish the Forester from its competitors.


Refreshed exterior design

The Forester’s exterior design has been refreshed for the new model-year edition, expressing the car’s functional and robust SUV nature and modernising the car’s appearance.

At the front of the car, the Forester’s distinctive hexagonal grille has been updated with a new ‘S’-shaped motif, while the front bumper has been reshaped and now features new L-shaped chrome trim, adding greater visual volume to the lower part of the Forester’s ‘face’. The change is designed to emphasise the car’s relatively low centre of gravity, wide stance and innate stability through its appearance.

The 2016 Forester adopts new steering-responsive headlamps, which turn into corners as the driver turns the steering wheel. The wraparound headlamps – retaining Subaru’s signature ‘hawk-eye’ shape – feature a new black base paint finish for a sharper appearance. The 2016 model is also fitted with new LED combination lamps at the rear.

New designs have been introduced for the Forester’s aluminium alloy wheels, with a new three-dimensional, six-spoke 17-inch design and a black and silver diamond-cut finish for the new 10-spoke 18-inch wheels.

The Forester is fitted as standard with silver roof rails. It rides on 17-inch alloy wheels as standard or 18-inch alloys on the range-topping 2.0 DIT XT, finished in high-gloss gunmetal with a sporty silver-and-black colour contrast.

The Forester is available in five paint finishes: Crystal White Pearl, Quartz Blue Pearl, Ice Silver Metallic, Sepia Bronze Metallic and Venetian Red.

Higher-quality cabin materials and two-tone interior option

In developing the 2016 Forester, Subaru has sought to retain the Forester’s practical and functional interior while introducing a higher quality, more refined ambience. The upgraded cabin represents one of the largest and most important changes to the 2016 Subaru Forester.

The cabin is trimmed throughout with a greater proportion of high-grade, soft-touch materials for a more pleasing touch. The door grips, dashboard and steering wheel are now finished with metallic silver high gloss black accents, while air conditioning controls in the centre console are painted silver. The grip button on the handbrake lever is now chrome plated, rather than in a black plastic finish, and XT models get a new chrome finish to the cup holders in the front and rear of the cabin.

The driver’s instrument binnacle sees the introduction of a new, higher-resolution colour LCD display for a more modern, clearer display.

Although the shape and design of the seat remains the same, 2016 models are finished with a new seat fabric.

Ideal for colder mornings, the 2016 Subaru Forester features a new heated steering wheel – activated with a button on the wheel itself – while Subaru has introduced heating for the rear passenger bench, with two heat settings.


New touchscreen infotainment system with Siri® Eyes-Free

An enhanced infotainment, navigation and audio system is now fitted as standard to all Forester models in the UK, giving the cabin a more modern overall appearance. Subaru’s all-new 7.0-inch touchscreen display allows smartphone-style control of the advanced navigation and infotainment features, with a swipe and pinch control function for map displays. The infotainment system houses a standard-fit rear view camera.

Subaru’s new infotainment system houses a range of other functions, which are controlled though the company’s latest-generation voice control facility. This allows the driver to keep their eyes on the road ahead while selecting a favourite radio station or album, setting a new satellite navigation destination or changing the power or temperature of the climate control system.

The system also enables Apple iPhone users to activate Siri® Eyes-Free functionality, providing full voice control of their iOS mobile device when linked with the new infotainment system.

The system’s smartphone functionality extends to a range of apps that can be downloaded onto users’ phones or tablets, which pair-up with the vehicle via Subaru StarLink, making the Forester one of the most connected cars on the road. StarLink enables occupants to find out weather forecasts and traffic reports, access wireless audio, receive the latest news updates and check their calendar while on the move.


Additional soundproofing measures for significantly improved refinement

A series of modifications have been made beneath the surface of the 2016 Forester to greatly improve cabin refinement.

Thicker glass has been applied to every door and the front quarterlights at the base of the A-pillar to reduce the ingress of wind and other noises into the cabin. For the front quarterlights and front doors, glass thickness has increased from 3.5 mm to 4.0 mm, while rear door glass is now 3.5 mm (up from 3.1 mm). The seals around the window frames in the doors use a new, more sound-absorbent material to further reduce noise levels. Additional soundproofing material has been added around the dashboard, particularly where the dashboard meets the base of the windscreen and in the front passenger footwell, minimising noise intrusion from wind rush and the engine, respectively.


Practicality and packaging

Practicality and ease of use are core to the Subaru Forester’s success, a result of intelligent packaging throughout the vehicle.

Unchanged for 2016, the Subaru Forester features a large, practical cabin, with high visibility all-round. Occupant space is among the most generous in class, with the floor structure and long wheelbase allowing generous legroom for all passengers.

Unusually for an All-Wheel Drive vehicle and a direct consequence of the low-mounted Boxer engines, the Forester’s transmission tunnel is situated low enough to allow for a flat floor structure in the rear of the Forester’s cabin.

The high hip point and relatively low instrument panel give driver and passengers a commanding view of the road ahead, while ensuring it remains easy to get in and out of the car. This latter point is aided by wide door openings and a low, flat side sill with an anti-slip surface. When closed, door sills are covered by the doors, preventing dirt building up and getting passengers’ trousers muddy when they enter or exit the car.


High utility for everyday use

As well as featuring a large cabin, the Forester’s cargo capacity is also generous, with 505 litres of boot space. When the rear seats are folded down, boot space increases to 1,592 litres. The load bay is 884 mm high, 942 mm long, and up to 1,166 mm wide, aided by a large boot openings and flat floor for easy loading and unloading of large items. For example, owners can fit a mountain bike in the Forester without having to remove the front wheel.

The Forester has also long been a popular choice for dog owners, and the capacity and shape of the boot – and a range of dealer-fit accessories, such as tailgate sunshades, dog guards and removable boot lining – make it all the more accommodating for family pets.

The tailgate features a hook from which owners can hang items such as sporting or outdoor activity equipment. On each of the side-panels inside the luggage compartment, pull-latches are fitted for quick and easy folding of the rear bench seat while stood at the back of the vehicle.

There are a number of under-floor storage compartments to neatly stow smaller items and stop them from rolling around. One of the compartments has been specifically designed to hold the retractable cargo cover – when it has to be removed to accommodate taller items, it doesn’t need to be left at home or in the garage, but can be stored neatly under the luggage floor.

The Forester was the first car in its class to feature a power tailgate, which opens and closes at the push of a button in the cabin, using the key, or using a switch on the tailgate itself. The power tailgate is a standard feature on XT and XC Premium models. It also features a memory function to allow programming of the final opening height of the tailgate to specific user requirements. For 2016, the power tailgate’s ‘close’ switch now features back lighting, making it easier to find in the dark.


The upgraded 2016 model-year Forester upholds Subaru’s tradition of exceptional safety and stability. The all-steel unitary structure of the Forester is engineered to deliver the highest level of crash safety performance ever seen in a Subaru, while continuing to provide the stable ride, high levels of refinement and sharp handling that Forester customers enjoy.


New headlamp technology

The 2016 Forester adopts new Steering Responsive Headlights, which allow the headlamps to rotate left or right into corners as the driver turns the wheel. By illuminating the road ahead in the direction in which the vehicle is traveling, the Forester’s night visibility is greatly improved, particularly useful in rural, poorly-lit areas.

The new headlamps are twinned with High Beam Assist, which can automatically turn on or dip full-beam headlamps depending on light conditions. Also fitted is Adaptive Driving Beam technology, which detects other vehicles approaching from the opposite direction and adjusts the direction of the headlamps accordingly. The system allows the Forester to remain on full-beam to light up the road ahead, dipping the headlamps automatically to prevent the car from dazzling road users driving in the opposite direction.


Five-star Euro NCAP rating

The Forester has been awarded the full five-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating. Notable scores of 91 per cent for both ‘adult occupant’ and ‘child occupant’ mark the Forester as one of the best cars on sale in the UK for passenger protection.

Euro NCAP awarded the Forester maximum points for side impact protection in the ‘adult occupant’ category, and testing showed that the model offers good protection of the knees and femurs of both front seat passengers in frontal impacts. Judges also praised the Forester’s seat and head restraint design, which provided good protection against whiplash injuries in the event of a rear-end collision.

The front bumper also scored maximum points for the protection it provided to pedestrians’ legs, while most areas on the bonnet which would be struck by the head of an adult or child in the event of a collision provided good protection against serious injury.


Subaru Vehicle Dynamics Control with Trailer Stability Control

A range of active safety measures further contribute to the Forester’s top safety rating.

Subaru’s Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) electronic stability control system works in conjunction with the Forester’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system for superior stability on all surfaces. VDC and All-Wheel Drive are standard on all versions of the Forester.

VDC also features an emergency brake assist system, which assesses the need for braking assistance according to the braking force applied by the driver and the speed at which the brake pedal is depressed. The result is almost identical braking performance on both wet and dry surfaces. A brake override system gives priority to the brake when both accelerator and brake are pressed simultaneously in error, protecting against unintended acceleration.

The Multi-Function Display (MFD) on the dashboard displays the current status of VDC, keeping the driver aware of the system’s operational status at all times.

Trailer Stability Control (or Towing VDC) improves safety during towing, activating braking control and engine torque control to enhance stability if the system detects a change in yaw angle from an attached trailer. This is particularly helpful when avoiding hazards in the road or during high winds.


Passive safety

The Forester has Subaru’s traditional ring-shaped reinforcement frame and, compared to its predecessor, a greater proportion of ultra high-tensile steel. The body is among the strongest, yet lightest, of any similarly-sized SUV.

For maximum occupant protection upon impact, the Forester bodyshell is equipped with a series of circular links. Ring-shaped reinforcement frames join the A-, B-, C- and D-pillars with cross-members at roof and floor levels, and ultra-high-tensile steel is adopted for key sections of the bodyshell to achieve extra rigidity without adding to overall weight or raising the vehicle’s centre of gravity.

The side sill and A-pillar, which represent the main structural parts of the cabin for occupant protection are reinforced with ultra-high-tensile steel. Fore greater side impact protection, the B-pillar is also reinforced, along the roof rail, to improve occupant protection in the event of impact on the roof.

The A-pillars are designed to optimise the driver’s field of vision, while the front quarterlights, which are integrated into the front doors, allow for high forward visibility. In addition, rear-view mirrors are located on the door panels, further minimising the size of blind spots around the A-pillars.

Pedestrian protection is high thanks to the shape of the front grille and bumpers, while the bonnet and front bulkhead have been designed for greater impact absorption. Energy absorbing insulators inside the engine compartment limit potential impact force to pedestrians’ heads.

The Forester features whiplash-reducing seats, with stiff frames and tall backrests, and two ISOFIX anchors are fitted for child safety seats in the rear cabin.

Front, side, curtain and knee airbags are all fitted as standard. Sensors for all airbags are positioned to more rapidly detect a collision. Automatic activation technology ensures the front seat airbag will only activate for an adult, removing the need to turn the airbag on and off for children and infants sitting in the front passenger seat.

Other features enhancing occupant protection include a retractor mechanism for the brake pedal; a collapsible steering column; and a separation mechanism between the bodyshell and tilt bracket of the steering column to minimise the forces generated by the steering wheel pressing against the driver’s torso in a serious collision.


The 2016 model-year Subaru Forester is powered by the latest-generation Subaru Boxer engines. Buyers can choose from three 2.0-litre horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engines: a naturally-aspirated petrol engine and a turbocharged diesel unit from Subaru’s FB family of engines, as well as the FA20DIT direct injection turbocharged petrol unit, engineered for high power, responsiveness and efficiency.

Due to the compact shape of the Boxer layout, all Forester engines can be located deep in the engine bay for a low centre of gravity, a Subaru hallmark which helps minimise body roll and improve road holding.

2.0-litre (150 ps) Boxer Petrol

Key features of the FB 2.0-litre petrol engine are a relatively small cylinder bore and long stroke (84 x 90 mm), which aid efficiency and provide easy access to torque at low engine speeds.

The petrol engine is fitted with Subaru’s intake and exhaust Active Valve Control System (AVCS), which enhances fuel efficiency by varying the timing of the intake valves to provide optimum air flow in and out of the engine. Tumbler Generator Valves (TGV) create vortices within the combustion chamber for efficient combustion. Earlier modifications to the engine – for the 2015 model – sought to reduce mechanical friction to improve fuel efficiency, with new oil seal surface treatment cutting resistance at sliding parts of the crankshaft, and a two-layer coating to piston-guards.

In addition, an even spread of temperature throughout the cylinders allows the engine to operate as smoothly as possible, with water jacket spacers to prevent engine coolant from coming directly into contact with the lower cylinder wall. The engine also sits on fluid-filled mounts, which successfully suppress vibration and contribute to a more comfortable cabin environment.

The engine produces 150 ps at 6,200 rpm has a torque output of 198 Nm at 4,200 rpm, with fuel efficiency remaining at 43.5 mpg (combined). A low CO2 figure of 150g/km is achieved when the engine is mated to the Lineartronic CVT transmission – the same low emissions as the 2.0-litre Boxer Diesel engine.

This petrol engine is mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed Lineartronic.

2.0-litre (147 ps) Boxer Diesel

The 147ps Boxer diesel engine is unchanged for the 2016 model year. It has been designed to reduce noise, vibration, and improve fuel economy. The engine has a common-rail injection system to enable more precise combustion control, and glow plugs to speed up engine heating for greater fuel efficiency from a cold start. Engine cooling for diesel models is aided by an upgraded radiator, oil cooler and radiator fans.

Powered by the 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine, with power fed through Subaru’s Lineartronic transmission, the Subaru Forester will return 46.3 mpg and 158 g/km CO2 on the combined cycle, and go from zero to 62 mph in 9.9 seconds. Diesel models equipped with the standard six-speed manual return 49.6 mpg and 148 g/km CO2 on the combined cycle, and accelerates from zero to 62 mph in 9.9 seconds.


2.0-litre (241 ps) Petrol with Direct Injection Turbo (DIT)

The FA20 DIT engine is based on the naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre FA engine found in the Subaru BRZ sports car. This is a horizontally-opposed four-cylinder unit developed from Subaru’s FB petrol engine for greater mechanical efficiency, fuel economy, power and lower emissions.

Fuel feed by direct injection improves cooling around the cylinder head and provides the best air-fuel mixture for efficient combustion.

The DIT engine has a square bore and stroke (86 x 86 mm) – a thinner bore and longer stroke than in previous turbocharged Forester models – in order to improve fuel efficiency and low-end torque. The pistons have been modified to suit the bore. The piston crown has a shallow concave surface to better control the injected fuel spray, while a two-layer coating applied to the piston skirts keeps friction to a minimum. The shape of the combustion chamber has also been adapted to suit a high compression ratio (10.6:1) and direct injection.

The twin-scroll turbocharger is positioned directly beneath the engine, with an under-body aluminium guard to prevent damage during off-road driving. Subaru engineers have been able to make the exhaust system more compact, cut the engine’s emissions through improved catalyst heating, and improve the engine’s throttle response over earlier turbocharged petrol engines.

The DIT engine features an advanced cooling system. To promote faster engine warming after start-up, a cooling channel rapidly increases the temperature of the engine oil by circulating coolant around a short path passing through the warm air in the engine’s bottom-bypass. This quickly reduces friction between moving parts, improving fuel efficiency. Cooling circuits also optimise the distribution of coolant to the cylinder head and around the spark plugs and fuel injectors.

The 2.0-litre DIT engine produces 241ps at 5,600 rpm, while it can provide its maximum torque output of 350 Nm from just 2,400 rpm. Forester models equipped with this engine can accelerate from zero to 62 mph in just 7.5 seconds, and on to a top speed of 137 mph.

Despite the high level of performance on offer, however, the Forester Turbo returns 33.2 mpg (combined cycle) and emits 22 per cent less CO2 than the previous generation petrol turbo engine at 197 g/km.

The DIT engine is mated to a Lineartronic CVT transmission, developed specifically to support the engine’s high torque output and strong acceleration.


The 2016 model-year Subaru Forester is offered with the choice of either a six-speed manual transmission or an updated version of Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT automatic, depending on model.

The six-speed manual transmission is available as standard on diesel and naturally-aspirated petrol models. The adoption of six forward gears for petrol-engine cars facilitates more decisive acceleration and helps improve fuel consumption across the range. Fuel efficiency is further improved through the adoption of low-friction bearings in the transmission, which make gear changes easier and smoother.


Diesel-Lineartronic powertrain

The Subaru Forester is available with a diesel-Lineartronic CVT (continuously-variable transmission) powertrain, endowing the car with a relaxing drive while, at the same time, adding further depth to its off-road capabilities over vehicles fitted with a manual transmission. Paired with the standard All-Wheel Drive drivetrain, Lineartronic includes Hill Descent Control (HDC) and X-Mode system, which intelligently manages the car’s power and torque, brakes and drivetrain to maintain traction on even the most slippery surfaces.

Subaru’s automatic Lineartronic CVT transmission is available as an option on naturally-aspirated petrol models and is fitted as standard to turbocharged petrol models. Turbo models receive a Lineartronic transmission, which has been upgraded to support the engine’s high torque and deliver impressive acceleration and fuel efficiency.

Lineartronic has been updated for 2016 for all models equipped with the transmission, with a new speed control system. This is designed to keep the engine speed from peaking ‘out of sync’ with the driver accelerating. Previously the CVT allowed the engine speed to rise before the speed of the vehicle increased under acceleration. The new speed control limits this phenomenon, and results in a more connected and consistent feeling of acceleration between the throttle pedal and engine.

Naturally-aspirated petrol-engined cars utilise a lightweight, more compact version of the Lineartronic CVT as fitted to the Subaru XV. The transmission features a torque converter with built-in twin dampers which help to limit vibration resonance and maximise fuel efficiency.

All automatic Lineartronic CVT-equipped cars feature the active torque-split All-Wheel Drive for which Subaru is renowned.

Models with Lineartronic also benefit from a custom driving mode system, Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-Drive). Each SI-Drive mode has been tuned to offer a unique combination of benefits in fuel efficiency, drivability and driving enjoyment.

For naturally-aspirated models, SI-Drive allows drivers to select one of two modes to match current driving conditions: S Mode, which improves throttle response and provides six simulated gears, and Intelligent Mode, ideal for everyday driving situations and improved fuel economy.

The XT model features a third SI-Drive setting to further improve the flexibility of the 2.0-litre turbocharged engine: S# Mode provides eight simulated gears for more immediate acceleration, as well as sharper engine and throttle response, fully exploiting the turbocharged engine’s maximum potential for acceleration and overtaking.

For 2016, S#-Mode has been retuned to offer more urgent ‘in-gear’ acceleration, with shorter ratios programmed in for each of the eight simulated gears, with the final eighth gear tuned specifically for slightly higher economy at cruising speeds.

SI-Drive is controlled by a switch on the steering wheel for all models equipped with the technology. All Lineartronic models are equipped with paddle shift, and, for XT models, the S# Mode switch features a red line for improved recognition of the vehicle’s most performance-oriented engine mode.


To ensure best-in-class off-road capabilities, all Forester models have Subaru’s legendary Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, with the addition of the X-Mode control feature on Lineartronic models.

Models with manual transmission employ a centre differential coupled to a viscous limited-slip differential. Torque split distribution is set at 50/50 per cent front/rear, with the viscous coupling adjusting the distribution whenever a wheel slips to ensure optimised traction.

Lineartronic models are fitted with an electronically controlled Multi-Plate Transfer (MPT) clutch which controls and distributes torque to the rear wheels. The default torque split distribution is 60/40 per cent front/rear, but if slipping is detected at the front wheels, the system is able to apportion more torque to the rear wheels for improved traction.


X-Mode with Hill Descent Control for Lineartronic models

The Forester’s all-terrain performance is improved by the X-Mode system, which is standard on all models with Lineartronic CVT. X-Mode is selected by the driver via a switch on the centre console, to optimise the integrated control of the engine with Lineartronic CVT, All-Wheel Drive and Vehicle Dynamics Control. X-Mode also incorporates Hill Descent Control to ensure the vehicle’s speed remains constant when driving down steep slopes.

When testing X-Mode, Subaru engineers noted that the time taken for a wheel to regain traction on a simulated mud- or snow-covered road was reduced by more than one-third compared to the outgoing model.

The Forester’s off-road capabilities are further enhanced by a high minimum ground clearance of 220 mm and overhangs that allow for steep approach and departure angles.

Chassis and running gear

The Forester’s suspension and body are both stronger than those in the third-generation vehicle, providing benefits to handling performance and stability, with impressive levels of ride comfort.

The front suspension is fully independent with MacPherson struts that have been thickened for greater rigidity, making the steering more responsive and naturally-weighted in feel.

The strut’s top mount has also been strengthened, increasing the damping force and sharpening vehicle response. Grip is improved and body roll decreased by the addition of a rebound spring to the strut, which reduces inside wheel rebound and outside wheel-lift under hard cornering.

The rear suspension is also independent, with a double-wishbone set-up.

High-response valves are fitted to the rear shock absorbers and lateral link front brackets and rear cross-members have been thickened for better rigidity and steering response, while top wishbone mounts are fitted with rebound stoppers to reduce inner wheel lift under cornering.

Ride quality and stability are improved by replacing traditional lateral link bushings with pillow ball bushings, meaning that poor road surfaces are less likely to affect wheel alignment. The suspension is set up with slight negative camber, ensuring maximum tyre contact area is maintained when cornering.

Ventilated disc brakes are fitted to the front of the Forester, ranging in diameter from 294 mm to 316 mm depending on model. Solid disc brakes are fitted to the rear, ranging in diameter from 274 mm to 278 mm depending on model. Brake response is improved over earlier generations by using a shorter brake hose than the previous Forester, coupled with a low-expansion material, which ensures that less pressure is lost under regular heavy braking.

The Forester employs electric, rather than hydraulic, power-assisted steering, reducing fuel consumption by two per cent, while steering feel is enhanced by increasing the rigidity of the steering mount.

For the 2016 model, the Forester’s steering ratio has been reduced by 9% (down from 15.5:1 to 14.1:1) for a more immediate steering response – the Forester now only requires 2.8 turns of the wheel from lock-to-lock. The front cross-member has been stiffened to improve steering stability further, and, combined with the quicker steering rack and upgrades to the suspension, drivers benefit from more linear and direct handling characteristics and greater confidence at the wheel.

Every Subaru Forester is equipped with aluminium alloy wheels, helping to reduce the vehicle’s unsprung weight. These are of either 17 or 18 inches in diameter, depending on trim level, and all models are fitted with relatively low rolling-resistance all-weather tyres, for the optimum combination of fuel economy, traction and all-roads capability.


The Subaru Forester is equipped to provide a comfortable and enjoyable experience for drivers and passengers alike, across six different trim levels: XE and XE Premium available on naturally-aspirated petrol models; XC and XC Premium on all diesel models; and XT, the highest specification, as standard on 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol versions of the Forester. Lineartronic is available on XE and XE Premium models, and is fitted as standard on XT versions.

Fully automatic dual-zone air conditioning, which allows the driver and front-seat passenger to individually select temperature and ventilation settings, is standard on all models.

Every 2016 Subaru Forester features Subaru’s new 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Siri® Eyes-Free as standard, with all models getting standard navigation functionality. The infotainment system also brings with it DAB digital radio support as standard.

All versions of the Forester feature twin high-to-mid-range speakers in the dashboard to create a six-speaker system that delivers a more natural sound with a wider frequency range.

Other standard features on all cars include 17-inch aluminium alloy wheels, front and rear fog lamps, roof rails, luggage hooks and boot lamp, 60/40 split-fold rear seats, heated door mirrors, USB and auxiliary audio input jack, tilt-adjustable and telescopic steering wheel, Subaru’s Vehicle Dynamics Control (with Trailer Stability Control), Hill Start Assist, Bluetooth connectivity and a Multi-Function Display.

All models equipped with Lineartronic are fitted with the X-Mode system, Hill Descent Control and steering wheel paddles to change gear, while all petrol versions of the Forester (except the XT) are fitted with Auto Start Stop.

XE and XE Premium models add automatic on-off headlamps, HID headlamps with auto-levelling control, power-fold door mirrors, power-sliding and tilt-adjustable sunroof, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear stick, eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, one-touch folding and reclining rear seats, automatic rain-sensing windscreen wipers, rear vision camera system and cruise control.

Lineartronic XE and XC models receive two-mode Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-Drive), while XE Premium and XC Premium models also gain leather seats and a Pioneer satellite navigation system as standard.

The top specification XT model also gains 18-inch aluminium alloy wheels, privacy glass, twin exhaust mufflers, Keyless Access and Engine Start button, satellite navigation, three-mode SI-Drive, power tailgate, aluminium pedals and a revised front sports bumper with a different LED daytime running light arrangement to mark it out from the rest of the range.

The arrival of the new infotainment system also brings with it DAB digital radio as standard. All safety equipment is available as standard on every model, including front, side, curtain and knee airbags, whiplash-reducing front seats, Brake Override, ABS with Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Brake Assist, and ISOFIX-adapted child seat anchors.

For Premium and XT models – fitted as standard with leather seats – a new seat position memory function has been added to the driver’s seat, with owners able to save two different seat positions with switches located on the driver door. The seat memory function lets drivers save the position of the seat base, backrest angle, seat height and the angle of the seat base.

Standard specification equipment

The Subaru Forester XE (2.0i) and XC (2.0D) are fitted with the following equipment as standard:


Front fog lamps
Rear fog lamps 
Pop-up headlamp washers
17-inch alloy wheels
Roof spoiler
Black roof rails
Heated door mirrors
Automatic on-off headlamps 
Rear vision camera
Silver roof rails
HID headlamps with auto leveller      
Windshield wiper de-icer
Powered tilt-adjustable sunroof wipers 
Tilt-adjustable telescopic steering wheel
Heated, power-fold door mirrors  


Fabric seats                           
Automatic air conditioning                 
Multi-function display
Tailgate luggage hook            
Boot lamp                               
Heated front-seats
60/40 split-fold rear seats       
Cruise control                        
Leather steering wheel          
Leather gear stick                  
Dual-zone auto air conditioning         
Heated front seats
One-touch folding rear seats             
Eight-way powered driver’s seat       
Paddle shift (Lineartronic) Satellite navigation

Safety and security

Front SRS airbags                 
Front side SRS airbags                      
Curtain SRS airbags
Knee SRS airbags                 
Subaru VDC with OFF switch           
Hill Start Assist          
Trailer Stability Control



Four speakers                        
2-DIN audio system               
Bluetooth connectivity          
One-port CD player               
USB & auxiliary input jack                 
DAB digital radio
7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment High grade multi-function display          
Six speakers

Lineartronic models also gain:

Steering wheel paddles                      
X-Mode with Hill Descent Control     

2.0i Lineartronic models feature:

Two-mode SI-Drive               
Auto Start-Stop with off switch

Premium models also gain:

Leather seats                         
Two-mode seat memory function     
Engine Start button
Keyless access                                  
Powered tailgate

XT models also gain:

18-inch alloy wheels              
Twin exhaust mufflers                       
Privacy glass
Factory fit sat nav system                 
Three-mode SI-Drive (DIT only)       
Sports grille and bumpers
Aluminium pedals and footrest


Technical specifications

Body, chassis and drivetrain

Five-door, five-seater crossover, with all-steel unitary construction bodyshell. Choice of three longitudinally-mounted diesel and petrol Boxer engines driving the front and rear wheels (All-Wheel Drive) via a six-speed manual or six-speed Lineartronic CVT transmission.


2.0-litre / 147ps Diesel (2.0D)

Name                          Boxer Diesel
Type                            DOHC, horizontally opposed ‘flat four’, with VGT
Capacity                      2.0-litres, 1,998 cc
Bore & Stroke                         86.0 x 86.0mm
Compression ratio       15.2:1
Max power                  147ps (108 kW) @ 3,600 rpm
Max torque                  350 Nm (258 lbs/ft) @ 1,600-2,400 rpm
Valves                         16 (4-per-cylinder)
Fuel system                CRDi, common-rail, high pressure, direct injection
Turbo system              Variable geometry turbocharger (VGT)
Construction                Aluminium cylinder block and aluminium heads
Emissions class                      Euro Stage 6


2.0-litre / 150 ps Petrol (2.0i)

Name                          Boxer
Type                            DOHC, horizontally opposed ‘flat four’ with dual AVCS
Capacity                      2.0-litres, 1,995 cc
Bore & Stroke                         84.0 x 90.0mm
Compression ratio       10.5:1
Max power                  150 ps (110 kW) @ 6,200 rpm
Max torque                  198 Nm (146 lbs/ft) @ 4,200 rpm
Valves                         16 (4-per-cylinder)
Fuel system                Multi-point sequential port injection
Construction                Aluminium cylinder block and aluminium heads
Emissions class                      Euro Stage 6

2.0-litre / 241 ps Petrol (2.0XT)

Name                          Boxer Direct Injection Turbo (DIT)
Type                            DOHC, horizontally opposed ‘flat four’ with dual AVCS and
                                    Twin-scroll turbocharger
Capacity                      2.0-litres, 1,998 cc
Bore & Stroke                         86.0 x 86.0mm
Compression ratio       10.6:1
Max power                  241 ps (177 kW) @ 5,600 rpm
Max torque                  350 Nm (258 lbs/ft) @ 2,400-3,600 rpm
Valves                         16 (4-per-cylinder)
Fuel system                Direct injection
Turbo system              Twin-scroll turbocharger
Construction                Aluminium cylinder block and aluminium heads
Emissions class                      Euro Stage 6


  2.0D 2.0i 2.0 DIT
Manual     6-sp  6-sp ---
CVT 7-sp    6-sp 6-Sp/8-Sp


Gear ratios


  2.0D    2.0i
1 3.454   3.818
2 1.888 1.947
3 1.062  1.296
4 0.785 1.029
5 0.634 0.825
6 0.557 0.738
Reverse 3.636 4.072
Final drive 1  4.444 4.444
Low-range ratio 6.201 5.173



  2.0D 2.0i  2.0 DIT  2.0 DITS#*
D range 3.505 – 0.544 3.581 - 0.570 3.505 - 0.544 3.505 - 0.544


Manual shift mode:

1 3.505 3.581 3.505 3.505
2 2.285 2.262 2.238 2.522
3 1.567 1.658 1.641 1.940
4 1.179 1.208 1.194 1.527
5 0.910 0.885 0.880 1.201
6 0.723 0.618 0.611 0.976
7 0.582 --- --- 0.800
8 --- ---   --- 0.664
Reverse 2.345   3.667 2.345 2.345
Final drive 1 4.111   3.900   4.111  4.111
Low-range ratio 6.443 6.282 6.443    6.443

*SI-Drive ‘Sport #’ mode



2.0D MT                      Symmetrical AWD with centre differential coupled to viscous LSD
2.0i MT                                    Symmetrical AWD with centre differential coupled to viscous LSD
2.0D Lineartronic                    Symmetrical AWD with active torque split system
2.0i Lineartronic                      Symmetrical AWD with active torque split system
2.0 DIT Lineartronic    Symmetrical AWD with active torque split system


Suspension and damping

Front                           Fully independent by subframe-mounted MacPherson struts, with coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers. Anti-roll stabiliser bar.

Rear                            Fully independent by subframe-mounted double wishbones, coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers. Anti-roll stabiliser bar.



Type                            Electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion
Gearing / Turns                       14.1:1 / 2.8 lock-to-lock
Turning circle              10.6 metres


Front                            294 / 316 mm ventilated discs
Rear                            274 mm solid discs / 278 mm ventilated discs

2.0D                      2.0i MT                       2.0 DIT

Front                            294 mm                       294 mm                       316 mm
Rear                            274 mm                       274 mm                       278 mm

ABS                             4-channel anti-lock system with EBD
BAS                             Boosts braking power to maximum during emergency stops
EBS                             Emergency Brake Assist


Wheels and tyres

Standard                     Alloy 17-inch x 7.0J    225/60 R17 tyres
2.0XT                          Alloy 18-inch x 7.0J    225/55 R18 tyres
Spare (standard)         Tyre repair kit

Dimensions (mm)


Overall length              4610/4595 (XT)                      
Overall width*             1,795
Overall height              1,715              
Wheelbase                  2,640
Front track                  1,545              
Rear track                   1,555
Ground clearance       220                 
Turning radius             5.3 metres
Approach angle           23degrees      
Departure angle          25 degrees

*excluding door mirrors


Interior (mm)

Cabin length                2,095
Cabin height                1,280
Cabin width                 1,540

Capacities (all models)

Fuel tank                     60 litres

Luggage (VDA)         505 litres behind rear seats (with tyre repair kit)
                                     1,592 litres behind front seats (to roof)


Weights (kg)

  2.0D MT 2.0D CVT 2.0i MT   2.0i CVT 2.0 DIT
Curb weight 1,562 1,625 1,485 1,519 1,624
Gross weight 2,080 2,080 2,015 2,015 2,110




  2.0D MT 2.0D CVT 2.0i MT 2.0i CVT 2.0 DIT
Top speed/mph 118 118 118  119 137
0-to-62 mph/sec 9.9 9.9   10.6 11.8 7.5


Fuel economy (mpg)

  2.0D MT  2.0D CVT 2.0i MT 2.0i CVT  2.0 DIT
Combined cycle  49.6 46.3 40.9  43.5 33.2
Urban cycle 39.8 38.7 33.2 34.9 25.2
Extra-urban cycle 57.6  52.3   47.1 51.4 40.4
CO2 g/km 148 158 160 150 197




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