A sophisticated all-wheel drive system coupled with low-friction, long travel four-wheel independent suspension and low-centre of gravity 'boxer' engines have all contributed to the Subaru Forester's reputation for outstanding chassis dynamics - far removed from conventional SUVs.
Now for the new model, Subaru has devised a completely new platform with a 90mm longer wheelbase, tracks widened by 35mm front and 45mm rear and a sophisticated multi-link, double wishbone rear suspension.
In addition, to further improve handling and roadholding, the position of the 'boxer' engine has been dropped by 10mm, lowering the centre of gravity still further.
Other changes include a new fuel-saving electric power steering system with more rigid mounting and new design of MacPherson strut front suspension.
The result is a highly-absorbent ride with precise geometry control for accurate straight-line running over uneven road surfaces backed by extremely responsive steering and handling.
The rear multi-link, double wishbone suspension liberates more luggage space thanks to its compactness compared to the previous rear strut arrangement.
Because it is attached to a sub frame via bushes, with the mounting section moved to under the floor itself, road noise is reduced.
The rear springs and shock-absorbers are mounted behind the centre-line of the rear wheels, with the wheel stroke itself moving rearwards - all helping ride comfort. A rear anti-roll bar is standard.
Like all previous Subaru Foresters, the rear suspension features self-levelling which aids stability when laden and ensures a constant ground clearance - now a substantial 215mm - 10mm greater than before.
At the front, the previous sub frame has been eliminated, saving 20kg in body weight yet a new box-section for the front cross-member provides the same level of rigidity.
The new MacPherson strut and anti-roll bar layout is based on that used by the highly-praised Legacy and new Impreza. It offers high lateral rigidity which improves steering response and cornering stability.
This is further enhanced by an especially rigid mounting for the steering rack and the positioning of the steering gearbox and electric motor below the rack for a more consistent feel. Furthermore, special suspension bushes and attachment points reduce road shock.
The steering gear ratio has been changed for a sportier feel while the rack diameter is increased from 23 to 26 mm. The result is a more linear feel to steering inputs.
The front damping has been firmed up with the steering, to sharpen handling and compensate for the 45kg increase in engine weight.
Wheel and tyre sizes have been optimised for the new Subaru Forester's chassis and anticipated all-terrain use.
The new Forester 2.0 Turbo diesel is fitted with 17” alloy wheels and 225/55R17 tyres.
All models marketed by Subaru Ireland come with the reassurance of a three year or 160,000 kilometres warranty, plus twelve year anti-corrosion cover and three year paintwork warranty.
This is in addition to three year’s membership of Subaru Assist – a comprehensive home and roadside repair and recovery package throughout Ireland and Europe administered by Mapfre AsistenciaPublished 19 November 2008