Subaru debuted the all-new version of the Forester in Laguna Seca. The latest Forester builds on the reputation of earlier generations with a bolder SUV design and significant improvements in safety technology, comfort, refinement and driving dynamics over the previous model.
The 2009 Forester arrives in Subaru dealerships this spring. Like every Subaru, the new Forester is equipped with Symmetrical full-time All-Wheel Drive. And like every generation of Forester, the third generation blends positive SUV attributes, including a high seating point and interior versatility, with passenger car comfort, handling and fuel efficiency in an exceptional package that is designed for an active lifestyle.
Using the Subaru Dynamic Chassis Control Concept (Subaru DC3), Subaru optimized all elements of the Forester’s chassis to deliver a better balance of ride, handling response, quietness and overall traction performance.
A longer, more rigid new platform improves ride as well as interior space, especially rear seat legroom. Additional high-tension steel at key structural points increases chassis rigidity for improved crash-worthiness and crisper handling.
A new double-wishbone rear suspension, mounted to a sub frame, replaces the previous strut-type configuration. The enhancement of body rigidity and new suspension help reduce Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH), and the suspension intrudes less into the interior so the cargo area is larger.
All 2009 Foresters are equipped with standard side-curtain airbags with a rollover sensor, and Subaru’s Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) electronic stability and traction control system and Brake Assist are now standard across the range.
Even with its bolder exterior and roomier interior, the new 2009 Forester is only about 75 mm (2.9 inches) longer than its predecessor, so it retains the lean exterior proportions customers appreciate.
The Forester for 2009 was designed to create true SUV capability for active lifestyles, improving ground clearance and drivability while maintaining Forester’s rugged off-road capability.
Owners may choose between the naturally aspirated and turbocharged/intercooled 2.5-litre Boxer engines, both revised to provide better performance. In particular, low- and mid-range torque are improved for both engines for more responsive everyday performance. The robust body structure, heavy-duty raised four-wheel independent suspension and up to 225 mm (8.9 inches) of ground clearance help make Forester equally adept at negotiating twisty roads and absorbing ruts and bumps. The ride quality, acclaimed in the previous model as one of the best in the segment, is now even smoother and quieter.
The Subaru Forester was among the first crossover SUVs to ride on four-wheel independent suspension. The 2009 Forester continues that practice adding a new rear double-wishbone independent suspension and widened tracks, which enhance its exceptional ride quality and handling dynamics. Reduced camber helps keep the tires perpendicular to the road, enhancing grip. To further improve handling in the 2009 Forester, the engine is now placed slightly lower in the chassis, which lowers the centre of gravity. All new Foresters have a quicker steering ratio and a more rigid steering mounting.
The 2009 Forester interior places a new emphasis on comfort and spaciousness. New materials, including double-stitched fabrics and high-grade plastics, impart a feeling of higher quality. Front seatback comfort is enhanced by the use of specially developed seat cushion and seatback spring. The sweeping twin cockpit design embraces occupants, and brushed aluminum-look insets flow into the centre stack. The centre console shape adds to the airiness of the interior, aided by the sculpted door panels and improved headroom. Each door panel houses a molded recess that can accommodate a 750 ml (24 oz.) soft drink bottle, as well as loose items.
Every 2009 Forester is equipped with generous levels of standard equipment, including heated front seats, tinted privacy glass all around, an audio system with steering-wheel controls and speed-sensitive volume, air conditioning, tilting/telescoping steering wheel and much more.
Rear passenger comfort is now enhanced by a centre armrest. A new retractable rear centre tray (standard on 2.5XT Limited, part of the 2.5X Touring and Limited option packages) securely holds food and drinks. The standard 60/40 split rear seatbacks fold to provide a flat cargo floor, which is now 132 mm (5.2 inches) wider between the wheelhouses due mainly to the double-wishbone suspension
The headlights-off with ignition switch is a traditional Subaru convenience that can preserve battery life, and the 2009 Forester offers several important new conveniences, as well. On models with the 5-speed manual transmission, electronic Hill Holder helps prevent the vehicle from rolling backward when being driven away from a stop on an incline.
With the optional automatic transmission, Forester is pre-wired for a remote-starting system. The dual gas-strut hood supports make opening the hood easier and safer than a prop rod.