SUBARU – FORESTER
The Subaru name has held onto its reputation during its years of slowly evolving from station wagon to mid-sized SUV. While the popular Forester looks remarkably different today, it retains its ability to swing between a rugged, country, off-road vehicle and a sensible every day car for around town. The 2016 range continues to have a reasonable pricing spread with some of the best information and support in servicing that is available.
If you’re selling a Subaru Forester, it’s important that you know the ins and outs of these cars and its various models so you know how your particular Forester compares and how the nuances may affect how much you can sell for. The same goes for buying. One of the most important things to do is simply get under the car and have a look at any damage. Foresters are known for their ground clearance that enables drivers to go off road. While this means that there is more room to spare down there, it also means the car is more likely to have faced some tougher terrain.
Make sure the clutch is still in good condition. The turbocharged models tend to be fitted with a sacrificial clutch so that it can be replaced instead of more valuable transmission parts. Also, of course, make sure the engine is still in good nic as used Forester’s tend to rack up thousands of kilometres with their keen owners more likely to take long road trips and cross-country drives.
Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, let’s have a detailed look at the 2016 Forester to get a benchmark for buying and selling this popular car.
If you’re buying a Subaru Forester, keep some of these other models in mind as you’re perusing your options. These tend to fall into similar price brackets and have similar features.
If you’re buying or selling a Forester it’s important to remember that within this specific model there are several different variations depending on engine and transmission. We’ll list all of the as new prices for the 2016 range below with a rough estimate of current for-sale price in brackets. Keep in mind, when the 2016 family launched, Subaru kept prices the same!
Entry level 2.0i-L manual still starts at $29,990 ($23-28,000)
The 2.5i-L auto costs $32,990 ($24-32,000)
The 2.5i-S auto costs $39,490 ($26-43,000)
The 2.0D-L manual costs $33,490 ($26-38,000)
The 2.0D-L auto goes for $35,490 ($26-38,000)
The 2.0D-S manual costs $39,490 ($32-45,000)
The 2.0D-S auto costs $41,490 ($32-45,000)
The higher range 2.0XT auto costs $40,990 ($33-39,000)
THe top-of-the-line 2.0XT Premium auto caps out at $47,990 ($36-44,000)
Keep in mind that all new prices listed do not include on-road costs, and used prices listed are all inclusive and represent cars in good conditions that are listed for private sale.
As you can see from the price spread, there are at least nine possible options when it comes to choosing a Forester, and this doesn’t include any limited edition offers. While it’s not necessary to go into the precise differences between each and every version (most of that lies in the Engine and Transmission section below), it’s important to know what you can expect at least from the base model, plus a few notable extras.
To start with, what has changed from the equally-priced predecessors of the Forester? Not much at first glance, but there are definitely improvements. For starters, you’ll now have 18-inch alloy wheels and the front grille is entirely new. You’ll also notice a modified suspension and a thicker stabiliser bar with a steering ratio down to 14:1 from 15.5:1. Some models also feature steering responsive headlights and daytime running lights, and all models have thicker window glass to cut down on road noise.
While the interior is certainly not as flash as competitors, it appeals to the more functional owner who enjoys the combo of city and off-road experience rather than luxurious infotainment and expensive looking upholstery. Basically, it impresses more in its capabilities than its design finesse.
The Forester has definitely grown and the dimensions defend its place in the medium-sized SUV category. Boot capacity goes from 422L with seats up to 1481L with rear seats folded. The back seats are roomy enough for adults to ride comfortably and there is plenty of room for child seats.
From the outside, the Forester runs 4,610 mm lengthwise and 1,795 in width. The 1.735mm in height represent both its spaciousness as well as it’s off-ground clearance. Reports say that the floor is still low enough for your dog to easily hop in.
Lane departure alerts, forward collision warning and isofix attachment for child seats.
Lacking lane change assist, blind-spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert. Subaru’s other models like the Outback and the Liberty do include these updated safety features so you might consider looking at these if safety is your first priority when buying a Subaru.
Engine and Transmission
The CVT (continuously variable transmission) fitted to the entire Forester range signifies Subaru’s values to provide a car balanced in both performance and consumption standards. While it’s not terrible, it definitely makes for a noisy and slightly bumpier ride. It’s not a deal-breaker but it definitely makes you glad for the thicker window update in the 2016 range.
Consumption and Emissions
Below we’ve listed models from lowest consumption to highest:
2.0D-L, 2.0D-S manual both have a combined rating of 5.9L per 100km.
2.0D-L automatic has a combined rating of 6.3L/100km.
2.0D-S automatic has a combined rating of 6.4L/100km.
2.0i-L manual has a combined rating of 7.2L/100km.
2.5i-L, 2.5i-S auto has a combined rating of 8.1L per 100km.
The XT, XT Premium has a combined rating of 8.5L/100km.
Emissions range from 148 to 197g/km starting with the manual 2.0D and finishing with the XT turbo.
Basic warranty of 3 years or 36,000 miles. This includes 24-hour roadside assistance and they are also extremely transparent when it comes to servicing costs and informing the owner before work is done.
What our experts say:
Pros: Good consumption rating, spacious, happy balance between off-road and city car.
Cons: Noticeably lacking in pulling power, especially up hills or with a full car.