Motoring News

Subaru boosts power for 2021 Forester AWD range

  • More powerful 2.5-litre Boxer engine added
  • New Sport trim and water-repellent upholstery
  • More options and personalised trim

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Subaru Southern Africa is to launch a Forester SUV version with more power, more tech and advanced safety systems.

The Forester has been around in South Africa for a quarter-century and claims to have opened a chapter in the history of the automobile that, eventually, became the best seller in Subaru showrooms.

The 2021 line-up will be extended with two models – the Forester 2.5i Sport ES, Subaru says, ”will bring a refreshing and sporty design to the range as a car with practicality and sporty aesthetics, power and athleticism”.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is forester-pos-1.jpg
2021 SUBARU FORESTER. Image: Supplied

Subaru SA’s Nteo Nkoli added: “The introduction of the 2.5-litre and Sport models to the line-up is important for us as a brand because it gives our customers more options and a more personalised experience.”

The 2021 Foresters, The Corner was told, will be offered with a new 2.5-litre direct-injection, horizontally opposed (Boxer) engine with a constantly variable gear transmission and a start/stop system. It will be capable of 136kW (21kW more than the two two-litre) and 239Nm – 43Nm up on the two-litre.

Fuel consumption, the automaker says, will not be adversely affected by the extra power with 7.6 litres/100km possible.


The Forester 2.5i-Sport is described as ”a new model with its own signature aesthetics and features”.  Five colour combinations will be available along with orange and black trim. Grille and bumpers, sills, wheel arches, and top section of the tail door will also be black.

The orange accents run along the lower half of the Forester Sport and are apparent on the corners of the roof rails. They also appear in the cabin around the air vents, gear-shifter and X-Mode (4×4) switch, and as upholstery stitching.

New is the choice of water-repellent upholstery.

Nkoli again: “The Forester Sport is a reflection of Subaru’s adventurous ethos – it certainly enhances the line-up with its sporty character.”

The 2021 Forester 2.5i-S ES model will be distinguished with 18” alloy wheel rims while the Forester 2.5i-Sport ES and 2.5i-S ES units will have camera-based driving assistants along with ”following” cruise control, automatic braking, and lane-keeping.


Standard on all ES models will be blind-spot coverage, crossing traffic alert and auto high-beam – this last coupled with headlights that swivel in conjunction with the position of the steering-wheel.

More sensors warn of objects around the vehicle while reversing – a good move if you have pets or small children.

The whole 2021 Subaru Forester range can be delivered with all-wheel drive managed by a a continuously variable transfer clutch that can send more torque to individual wheels according to grip/slip while all-weather, any surface, stability and traction control.


For ”unusually challenging” terrain, Subaru told The Corner, ”Foresters will have driver-selectable X-Mode to enhances off-road capability through electronic management of engine, transmission, AWD, and brakes to keep moving through mud and gravel or over rocky terrain – descent control included. 

”The new Subaru Forester, Nkoli added, ”is the class-defining SUV for all seasons. With its extra power and trim options it’s more exciting than ever – the perfect depiction of Subaru’s innovative engineering, unmatched safety, and legendary reliability.”

South African launch is listed for March 2021 at which event prices will be released. Meanwhile, the 2021 line-up includes:

  • Subaru Forester 2.0i-CVT
  • Subaru Forester 2.0i-S ES CVT
  • Subaru Forester 2.5i-S ES CVT
  • Subaru Forester 2.5i Sport ES CVT

Each Subaru Forester model will be delivered with a three-year or 75 000km* maintenance plan and a five-year or 150 000km* warranty.

*Whichever comes first.

2021 SUBARU FORESTER. Image: Supplied

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