We have been seeing some spy and leaked photos of the third generation 2009 Subaru Forester from Japan for the last few weeks. Though they were always of the home market Japanese version. The U.S. version has finally been unveiled at NAIAS.
For the U.S. customers will have a choice between a naturally aspirated or turbocharged 2.5 liter boxer 4 cylinder. Horsepower and low end torque have been reworked for 2009 and come in at 170hp/170 ft-lbs and 224hp/226 ft-lbs respectively.
New for 2009 features include satellite navigation, Vehicle Dynamics Control(standard), traction control and incline start(manual trans).
The styling is fresh and is a nice break from the tired, boxy look of the second generation Forester. The wheelbase has been lengthened 3.6 inches for improved interior space and ride quality. The completely revamped platform now features a new double wishbone rear suspension, and improved crashworthiness.
The 2009 Forester features two different versions of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, both of which power all four wheels all the time and can transfer more power to the wheels with the best grip. Models equipped with the 5-speed manual transmission utilize a viscous-coupling locking center differential that distributes power 50:50, transferring more power to the wheels with the best traction should slippage occur.
Availability will begin in the spring, and pricing should be announced in the next few months.