Wednesday, February 2, 2011

2011 Subaru Foresters S-Edition

Subaru Foresters S-Edition Review

The new flagship “performance” model includes a range of WRX STI components and is the most powerful model in the compact SUV range in Australia.

The Subaru Foresters S-Edition is listed at $50,990, which is $3500 more than the XT model, but it has 24kW more power, 27Nm more torque, leather upholstery and STI 17-inch wheels, turbocharger, intercooler and suspension.

The base model petrol Foresters get the new FB naturally aspirated horizontally opposed boxer engine, replacing the EJ unit introduced in 1989. Only Subaru anoraks will notice the exterior changes. Forester X, XS and XT have black-finish roof rails, while S-Edition gets silver. S-Edition gets some extra badging, black and blue alcantara seats, drilled alloy pedals, luminescent instruments and STI wheels.

With nearly 150,000 Subaru Foresters sold in Australia, the time has come for an ultra-high performance variant. Say hello to the Subaru Forester S-Edition.

Those of you that know your Subarus might be wondering why there is now a Forester XT and an S-Edition in the one model range?

Subaru has built a great deal of its brand heritage on Forester and Impreza models and their performance variants. The Subaru Forester S-Edition uses the same 2.5-litre turbocharged engine from the MY11 Impreza WRX which has a gutsy 193 kW and 347 Nm of torque. More power (24 kW), more torque (27 Nm), a better automatic transmission, 17-inch STI alloy wheels, choice to buy it in world-rally blue (WRX blue), unique seats and a few other things. The only reason to buy an XT now is if you must have a manual, as the S-Edition is only available with the STI five-speed.

To showcase the all-new 2011 Subaru Forester range and allow us some time behind the wheel of the S-Edition, Subaru Australia brought the motoring press to Canberra, where the temperature was 38 degrees but the roads were perfect for our purpose.

If you want the ultimate handling Subaru, you can’t compromise. Around Canberra’s country mountain roads the S-Edition proved itself a neat package capable of excellent handling dynamics for a car its size. If you’re a car enthusiast and want performance but can’t convince the missus that you need Impreza WRX STI or you must have the practicality that the Forester offers, then the S-Edition is the ideal choice. It’s a harder ride than the standard Forester but still very much a family car.

The interior of the "2011 Subaru Forester" has been updated with a darker dashboard and highlights. S-edition (and XT) gain new luminescent instruments and the Japanese company says it has helped reduce cabin noise with better insulation. If you don’t have SatNav you get USB connectivity. The only other worthy criticism is the S-Edition’s brakes. The Forester comes with dual front and side airbags as well as full length curtain airbags for maximum protection.
The Subaru Forester S-Edition is an excellent package and at $50,990 represents a great choice for buyers looking for a performance orientated practical compact SUV.
Also snared from the newly introduced Impreza STI auto, the gearbox features paddle shifts.

Other S-Edition Concept additions include revised ‘sports’ suspension, Subaru’s ‘Variable Torque Distribution’ (VTD) All-Wheel Drive hardware, 17-inch STI alloys, “exclusive styling accents”, Alcantara seat trim, drilled alloy pedals, and unique luminescent instrumentation.

“We’re delighted and honoured that Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) have chosen Sydney for the worldwide unveil of this Forester concept,” he said.

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