AA Driven COTY 2018: Why the Subaru Forester made the top 10
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Subaru promises the latest Forester provides all the practicality of a medium-sized SUV with the performance benefits of an all-wheel drive Subaru.
With updates to Subaru’s crash-avoidance EyeSight system, the company says the Forester has an extra pair of eyes on the road ahead.
While retaining Subaru’s reputation for getting out and active, the conservatively styled Forester brings a new level of technology to the mid-sized SUV sector.
The Driver Monitoring System uses facial recognition to personalise the driving experience and help keep occupants, and those around the car, safe. Fitted to the Sport Plus and Premium Forester, the DMS uses facial recognition software and dash-mounted cameras to monitor the driver’s eyes and head for drowsiness or distraction.
Click here for Driven's full Subaru Forester road test
It works by scanning the driver’s face when they sit in the driver’s seat, before welcoming them to the vehicle and setting the seat, mirrors and air conditioning to the driver’s preferred settings.
The Forester has decent 226mm ground clearance, and expanded cross-country “X-mode” ABS traction-control software improving off-road performance have helped propel the fifth-generation Forester into the finals of the AA/Driven New Zealand Car of the Year Award.
It is powered by a 2.5-litre direct injection petrol engine paired with all-wheel-drive, and for the first time, a seven-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifts.
The Boxer engine provides 136kW of power (up 10kW from the previous model) and 239Nm of torque.
The Forester range starts at $39,990 for the Sport that sits on 17-inch alloy wheels, through the Sports Plus on 18in ($44,990) and the $47,490 Premium model that includes sunroof and leather upholstery as standard.
The success of the Forester is important to Subaru, as it’s the brand’s number one selling model across the world.
The new model cements the brand’s reputation for providing practical and tough vehicles that are ideal for the Kiwi lifestyle.
• As a finalist in the AA Driven New Zealand Car of the Year award, the Subaru Forester is also a contender for the People’s Choice Award. Cast your vote by clicking here.