Subaru Australia has launched the 2013 Subaru Forester XT with just two trim levels and a downsized 2.0-litre engine.
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The all-new range-topping Subaru Forester 2.0 XT and 2.0 XT Premium models will take the number of fourth-generation Forester variants to 10 when they go on sale from February.

The 2013 Subaru Forester 2.0 XT introduces the combination of direct injection and turbocharging to the model range for the first time, as well as a new sports suspension set-up for the performance-skewed medium SUV.

Both Forester XT variants will be available exclusively with Subaru’s new Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) with paddle shifters.

The $43,490 Forester 2.0 XT gets a host of features including X-Mode, reversing camera, electric sunroof, dual climate control air-conditioning, Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-Drive), 18-inch alloy wheels, silver roof rails and sports pedals.

The top-spec $50,490 Forester 2.0 XT Premium adds Subaru’s EyeSight driver assist system, an eight-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, push-button start, leather trim, electrically operated tailgate, automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers and satellite navigation.

The 2013 Subaru Forester 2.0 XT gets a five per cent boost in power and nine per cent increase in torque over the outgoing model, despite downsizing engine displacement from 2.5 litres to 2.0. Power goes from 169kW to 177kW at 5600rpm and torque from 320Nm to 350Nm between 2400-3600rpm.

Fuel consumption from the new Euro 5-compliant engine falls from 10.5 litres per 100km to 8.5L/100km when filled with premium unleaded.

Forester XT’s braked towing capacity also increases by 200kg to 1800kg along with the addition of an air-cooled oil cooler.

Forester 2.0 XT variants feature stronger suspension systems with new friction-control oil seals, guide bushings and hydraulic fluid, allowing the dampers more range to deal with minor strokes.

It’s also tuned specifically for Australian roads and conditions for improved ride quality and handling.

Sporting the new-generation Subaru Forester face, the Forester XT is further distinguished by a mesh grille treatment unique to the turbocharged variants.

Technical features aboard the Forester 2.0 XT include Subaru’s new X-Mode, which centralises control of the engine, all-wheel drive, brakes and other active safety features for safer driving settings on poor surfaces, with the flick of a switch.

SI-Drive is another feature in all new Forester XTs and makes it possible for drivers to select a range of engine and transmission settings in three modes: Sport sharp, for quicker throttle response and more powerful acceleration using an eight-speed gear pattern; Sport, for linear acceleration for everyday driving and extended travel; and Intelligent, for more gradual engine output for a smoother and more eco-friendly drive, particularly on slippery surfaces.

Subaru’s EyeSight driver assist system also debuts on Forester 2.0 XT Premium. The technology uses stereo cameras with 3D image processing to assess and reduce the potential of frontal collisions, lane drifting and low-speed impacts. The system is able to recognise pedestrians, motorcycles and cyclists in its field of view and can use pre-crash braking to reduce impact and damage.

The new Forester 2.0 XT also gets a brake upgrade with front and rear ventilated discs and a stiffer, more responsive system for greater stopping power.

2013 Subaru Forester manufacturer's list prices:

  • Forester 2.0i manual - $30,990
  • Forester 2.5i auto - $32,990
  • Forester 2.0i-L manual - $33,490
  • Forester 2.5i auto - $35,990
  • Forester 2.5i-S manual - $43,990
  • Forester 2.0D manual - $35,490
  • Forester 2.0D-L manual - $37,490
  • Forester 2.0D-S manual - $43,990
  • Forester 2.0XT auto - $43,990
  • Forester 2.0XT Premium auto - $50,490