2018 is the last year of the turbocharged Subaru Forester

Cherish it while it lasts
by Andrew Guerrero | Jan 22, 2018

While the next-generation Subaru Forester is already in the works, word is it won't come with a turbocharger. Sad.

With this in mind, the current Subaru Forester is still one of the most popular models in its segment. It's a compact SUV with a vibe more akin to the Subaru rally cars of old than the 'practical' weekend haulers dominating the segment today. Oh, and it still packs a turbocharger.

Looking back at its history though, it wasn't always a popular choice. The earlier model's low beltline, upright greenhouse, and frameless windows made it stand out, but people seemed more interested in something in the traditional SUV mold. This was addressed with the slightly larger, more conventionally styled third-generation model. The current fourth-gen Forester built upon its immediate predecessor, but this time Subaru injected a bit more style and refinement. It was also noticeably sportier and more premium looking.

Features abound in this compact SUV. These include dual airbags, side and curtain airbags, knee airbags, ABS, EBD, electronic stability control, Isofix child seat anchors, rear-view camera, auto headlights, rain-sensing wipers, infotainment touchscreen and a Bluetooth hands-free system. The range-topping model gets a power sunroof and premium Harman Kardon speakers.

Two flat-four gasoline boxer engines are offered in our market: a naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter mill which churns out 148hp and a decent 198Nm, and a turbocharged 2.0-liter unit that pumps out a healthier 237hp and 350Nm. Both powerplants are mated to a lineartronic continuously variable transmission. Subaru's trademark Symmetrical All-wheel drive system is standard on all variants; this makes it a true all-around, all-season vehicle. Its engine's unconventional configuration gives it a low center of gravity, helping in stability and handling. It also gives it that distinct boxer exhaust sound.

Subaru's entire range gets a price increase because of the TRAIN Law: P1,548,000 for the 2.0i-L, P1,768,000 for the 2.0i-P, and P2,048,000 for the turbocharged XT-—a solid P100k increase for the latter.

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Is it still worth it? If having a diesel engine or third row seating is not a requirement, then the answer is yes. In its current form it's still a versatile compact SUV with the added confidence of standard AWD and numerous safety features. Our wish list (of course there's a wish list) includes standard paddle shifters across the board (just like its smaller XV sibling), a diesel option, and brighter metallic paint choices. These are minor details that could nudge it closer to a perfect package. 

Does the current Forester still appeal to you?

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PHOTO: Mark Jesalva
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