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2009 Subaru Forester 2.5X Premium – Click above for high-res image gallery

The current Subaru Forester started life with a Motor Trend SUV of the Year award, followed by strong sales that helped Subaru succeed in a down auto market. The story gets a bit better for the 2011 model year with a new 2.5-liter boxer engine and a host of added features.

The new engine retains the same displacement as the outgoing mill and achieves the same 170-horsepower, but it's now packing a chain driven double overhead cam versus the belt driven single overhead cam before. The result is maximum horsepower available at a lower RPM and an additional four pound-feet of torque (to 174 lb-ft). The new 2.5-liter helps the Forester post 21 miles-per-gallon in the city and 27 mpg on the highway whether you're sporting the manual or automatic transmission. That's up one mpg versus the outgoing model.

Other changes include a new model; the Subaru 2.5XT Touring, which slots above the Limited model. Among the standard features on the Touring model are HID headlamps, backup camera and dual-zone climate control. Subaru is also adding a 2.5XT Premium model (old model was 2.5X Premium), which includes a 10-way power driver's seat, an upgraded stereo with six speakers, Bluetooth and a USB port for your iPod. Also available is a removable 4.3-inch TomTom Navigation System for directions on the cheap. Hit the jump to read over the Subaru presser if you're interested in all the details.

[Source: Subaru]
Show full PR text
• All-new engine for Forester 2.5X models (turbocharged 2.5XT retains current engine); new
bore/stroke dimensions with slightly longer stroke; displacement slightly larger (2,498 cc vs.
2,457 cc); chain driven double overhead cam vs. belt driven single overhead cam before; 170
horsepower is same as before, at slightly lower rpm; torque is up to 174 lb.-ft. at 4,100 rpm
(vs. 170 @ 4,400 rpm); fuel economy is improved: 2011 manual and automatic transmissions
-- 21 mpg city / 27 mpg highway vs. 2010 20/27 for manual and 20/26 for automatic.
• New 2.5X Touring positioned above Limited: features HID headlights (low beam) with
automatic height adjustment; display audio system with backup camera; dual zone automatic
climate control; silver finish roof rails; electroluminescent gauges, and side mirrors with
integrated turn signals.
• 2.5XT models now include 2.5XT Premium and 2.5XT Touring, the latter replacing 2.5XT
Limited as top Forester model.
• 2.5XT Premium gets new 10-way power driver's seat.
• Bluetooth® standard on all but base model.
• Backup camera standard on 2.5X Touring and 2.5XT Touring as part of new audio system.
• New standard audio system for 2.5X Premium and 2.5XT Premium: AM/FM stereo with single-
disc CD player and six speakers; 3.5mm auxiliary input jack; Bluetooth® hands free calling and
audio streaming; iPod control capability; USB port and Sirius Satellite Radio capability.
• New optional TomTom Navigation System for 2.5X Premium includes removable 4.3-inch
touch-screen portable navigation device; AM/FM stereo with single-disc CD/DVD player and
six speakers; 3.5mm auxiliary input jack; Bluetooth hands free calling; iPod control capability
and USB port. Also, a backup camera is available as an accessory with this system.
• New audio system with rear camera for 2.5X Limited and Touring and 2.5XT Touring models:
AM/FM stereo with single-disc CD/DVD player and six speakers; 4.3-inch display screen,
Radio Broadcast Data System; 3.5mm auxiliary input jack; Bluetooth hands free calling and
audio streaming; iPod control capability; USB port and Sirius Satellite Radio capability. (The
backup camera is standard on 2.5X Touring and 2.5XT Touring and available as an accessory
for 2.5X Limited.)

• Driver's auto up/down window with pinch protection (except base model).
• New 17-inch alloy wheel design for 2.5X Premium.
• New body-color roof spoiler on 2.5XT models

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well, speaking of fog lights: The current (2009-10) Forester doesn't offer fog lights on the two commonest versions, the 2.5X and 2.5X Premium, except as an individually purchased option costing hundreds of dollars (nothing in the press release indicates otherwise for the 2011 cars), although they're standard on the pricier 2.5X Limited and on the XT (turbo) models. Every single 1997-2008 Forester, even the black-bumpered 1997-2005 base models, had fog lights as standard equipment, whereas nearly every current Forester I see has those godawful blanks.

      We have found the fog lights that came with the Special Edition package on our '03 Legacy 5-speed wagon to be very valuable when needed, and a similar package allowed a friend buying her first new car to get them on her 2010 Impreza 2.5i Premium 5-door. No such package including fog lights is offered on the Forester, even though it shares many Impreza parts (even the dashboard!) and is made in the same factory in Japan.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Forester would have better mileage if it had the boxer diesel in it. A growing population of fans on Facebook [Bring Subaru Diesel to the US!] are clamoring for the diesel to be offered for sale. More torque for pulling when needed, better mileage for long trips and commutes.
      • 4 Years Ago
      AWD makes any and all Subarus big sellers in the Northeastern states but it also puts a serious drag on the now all-important MPG figures. Add a base FWD and two more gears and this thing can start to compete in the sun belt and West Coast.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Did you read the part about variable valve timing?
        No, neither did I.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I scanned the story looking for the words "5-speed automatic" and didn't see them. Sorry Subaru, its not 1990 anymore. The ancient 4-speed is killing many potential sales.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The 2011 Forester is a short model run. We won't see the vehicle until closer to Sept/Oct, and the 2012 model is due in the spring of 2011. The 2011 apparently has some minor front/rear cosmetic tweaks, along with the engine. We're being told the 2012 will be a much more thorough re-design and both it and the 2012 Impreza lineup will have the CVT as their auto trans. option. We're also told the manuals in both will be 6 speeds, like the new Leg/Otbk products.

      The current Forester/Impreza platform simply won't accommodate the CVT. A complete re-design of the front subframe is needed for this, hence the wait till 2012.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Agreed on the transmission comments. Is it too much to ask for them to toss atl east a 5 speed automatic in the thing. Maybe go crazy and make it a 6?

      • 4 Years Ago
      As if AWD isn't wasteful enough for the 95% of people who buy it and don't need it, putting a 4-spd automatic just makes it worse. People used to criticize GM for putting 4-spd autos five years ago and somehow people still "love" their Subarus. There are a lot of other AWD wagons out there that aren't boxy and tall like Subarus, and they get much better fuel economy relative to the power they offer.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Which ones?

        There are a lot of other AWD wagons out there that aren't boxy and tall like Subarus, and they get much better fuel economy relative to the power they offer.
        • 4 Years Ago
        How many non-luxury AWD wagons are there in the US market?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I was thinking Saab, Audi, BMW but those are entry lux and at a bit higher price point so maybe you guys are right. But, one could buy a one year old Saab or Audi for less money than a new Subaru and still have just as much B-to-B warranty on the car.

        I have a Saab 9-3 wagon with FWD and it's great. I passed on the AWD even though I live in MInnesota. Stability control and snow tires do the job. Like I said, most people don't need AWD anyway.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Who cares about how many gears are in the transmissions, the CR-v accomplishes 21/27 mpg with its 5 speed and a part-time AWD system, which is the same mileage as the Subaru's 21/27 with a full-time AWD system and one less gear.
        • 4 Years Ago
        This asinine distinction of 'part-time' & 'full-time' is non-sense.
        You either have a mechanical center differential or you don't.

        Subaru used to have their very unique double planetary center differential in certain 4 speed automatics (the old turbo Forester automatic, WRX), now they don't.
        Look at how the mechanism works: small spring preload + piston which applies clamp load via transmission oil pressure.

        Subaru is turning into Honda.
        • 4 Years Ago
        My brother drives a GC Impreza with the 4AT... ugh. Awful, awful wide gearing, plops into high gear at about 15 mph and then doggedly refuses to downshift--except when it decides to pulls a two-downer and give you whiplash.

        I've only driven a couple of new 4AT Subarus in the last couple of years, but that was enough to convince me they haven't changed much.

        At this point, they ought to skip the 5/6AT and go straight to CVT, it'll help offset the MPG losses of the standard all-wheel-drive. Moreover, CVT is something of a familial Subaru tech feature, too--the late-'80s Justy was one of the first cars (maybe *the* first) on the American market to offer one.
        • 4 Years Ago
        As the owner of a Subaru with a 4 speed auto, I can tell you that it desperately needs another gear or two. It hits 4th somewhere around 35mph...and then that's all there is.
        • 4 Years Ago
        There is definitely more to driving a car than the mileage it gets... especially a turbocharged Subaru. And the turbo isn't returning 21/27 with the 4AT, it's the DOHC normally-aspirated engine. The 2010 XT gets 19/24 with the 4AT, and it's not as fun to drive as the older XTs with a 5-speed manual, nor is it as pleasant as a Legacy with the 2.5T and the 5EAT.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Only the stick has a center differential [full-time]
        The automatic has a clutch pack [part-time]

        Needs a 7 speed automatic.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I too almost looked into getting a Forester, but the 4 speed kept me from even going to the lot.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wonder how hard it would be to 'port the CVT from the Outback to the Forrester. Not an engineer but I got the impression that the drive train and suspension for the Forrester, Legacy, Outback and Impreza were pretty similar. I suspect I am wrong though.
      • 4 Years Ago
      For a 'new' engine, how about a small boxing 6?
      Subaru has a 1.5 liter boxing 4, scale that up by 50%.
      77.7 mm bore x 77.3 mm stroke 2.2 liters. 175hp 165ft-lbs.

      Then a dual scroll mono-turbo 275hp
      Then twin turbo 375hp
      (both 2 liter versions, shorten stroke by 7 mm)
      • 4 Years Ago
      On the transmission comments:
      Take your cars to the Subaru dealer and get the free software upgrade, and drive it in Sport mode. Problem solved.
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