While there’s a long list of small upgrades to the 2011 Subaru Forester, no change is as important as what’s under the hood. For the first time in decades the Japanese automaker has introduced an all new version of its boxer 4-cylinder engine that will soon make its way into the rest of the Suby lineup.
While completely re-engineered, the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder doesn’t deviate much from the current setup in terms of overall output. Power is kept the same at 170-hp but at a slightly lower rpm for better usability. Torque is up just a touch from 170 ft-lbs to 174 ft-lbs and at 300 lower rpm as well. Unfortunately, Subaru hasn’t decided to match this engine with a 5-speed automatic (the 4-speed slushbox remains), regardless, fuel economy is improved from 20/27-mpg (city/highway) for the manual and 20/26-mpg for the automatic to 21/27-mpg for either transmission on the new 2011 model.
Forester 2.5XT models retain the turbocharged 2.5-liter – for now.
Numerous additions and changes find their way into each trim package with all but the base model now featuring Bluetooth and a one-touch up/down driver’s window. The 2.5X Premium and 2.5XT Premium models now also get a new audio system with six-speakers, USB and Aux. inputs, as well as iPod and Satellite radio capability.
Subaru has also changed up its trim level naming with the top level Limited now wearing the Touring badge, which gains HID headlights, dual-zone climate control and a backup camera.