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by Matt Campbell

The 2015 Subaru Forester has been uncovered, with the Japanese brand’s popular SUV model gaining a revised interior and long-awaited diesel-auto drivetrain option.

As CarAdvice has previously reported, the facelifted Subaru Forester will adopt the same 2.0-litre horizontally-opposed ‘boxer’ diesel engine equipped with the brand’s high-capacity Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) automatic gearbox. It will be sold alongside the existing six-speed manual Forester 2.0D, and will give the brand a diesel-auto competitor to the likes of the Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV4, Mitsubishi Outlander, Honda CR-V, Ford Kuga and Holden Captiva, among others.

The engine produces 110kW of power and 350Nm of torque – as it has in the exiting Forester 2.0D range – but the brand says the engine itself has been tweaked to “reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and improve fuel economy”. The changes include a new common-rail injection system and new glow plugs “for greater fuel efficiency from a cold start”.

Further changes include a revised turbocharger, a new radiator, and new oil cooler and radiator fans.

2015 Subaru Forester_2

The transmission, too, has seen improvements to its NVH, including additional soundproofing, while the CVT’s manual mode features seven pre-set ratios “for greater control of the engine”. The company also claims the auto ‘box enhances the Forester’s off-road capability, as it features a hill descent control system and the brand’s X-Mode off-road traction control system which can “manage the car’s power and torque, brakes and drivetrain to maintain traction on even the most slippery surfaces”.

The company’s UK arm claims fuel consumption of 6.1 litres per 100 kilometres for the CVT variant, while the manual model is said to use 5.7L/100km. The auto can run from 0-100km/h in a claimed 9.6 seconds, 0.2sec quicker than the manual version.

Aside from the new engine, the Forester range is expected to adopt an updated interior with a revised centre stack that is “designed to raise the quality and ambience of the cabin”.

The existing media screen has been done away with, and a new 7.0-inch touchscreen media unit is likely to be made standard across all model ranges sold in Australia. The new unit – as has been seen in the 2015 Subaru Liberty and 2015 Subaru Outback models – is set to act as a display screen for the standard-fit reverse-view camera, while in mid- to high-spec models, it will likely double as a satellite navigation system.

2015 Subaru Forester_3

The new media system features Bluetooth phone and audio streaming as well as smartphone-inspired pinch and swipe menus. A new voice control system also allows control of media, navigation and climate control settings. Two USB inputs are standard, as well.

Other changes include new materials such as piano black on the centre fascia, new metallic trim highlights throughout the cabin, and “new, more tactile heater controls”. The dash-top display remains, showing temperature controls, fuel economy data and drivetrain information, while the XT models will see a turbo boost gauge graphic included.

Subaru says the cabin of the 2015 Forester is now quieter than its predecessor, too, with “the adoption of greater soundproofing material under the bonnet and around the air intake” quieting things down.

From the outside, there’s little to give away the changes to the 2015 Subaru Forester, though a new shark-fin antenna will give it away for the trainspotters.

The 2015 Subaru Forester range is set to go on sale late in March or early in April. CarAdvice will be attending the launch of the updated model in the coming weeks – stay tuned for our review and more news on the new model.




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