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A safer, reliable, more convenient SUV
Published on Car Bikes Trucks / NST

The Forester may not look very sporty, but it is a very capable SUV. It is powered by 2.0 litre FB20 engine producing 150hp.

THE Subaru Forester 2.0i-P may not be the most sporty-looking, sleekest or even most luxurious sports utility vehicle (SUV), but in terms of safety, reliability and comfort, it is one of the best that we have-ever experienced.

We recently took a Forester 2.0i-P for a spin. It is an all-wheel drive with X-mode SUV, powered by a 2.0 litre FB20 series naturally a spirated four cylinder boxer engine, which is attached to a six-speed Lineartronic Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT) automatic transmission with paddle shifts.

The engine produces 150hp at 6,200rpm and 198Nm of torque at 4,200rpm. The Forester is about 1,795mm in width and 4,595mm long. It has 221mm of ground clearance, more than a Honda CRV by 48mm and 5mm more than a Mazda CX-5.

The exterior of the Subaru Forester 2.0i-P boasts LED headlamps, day running lights, 17-inch wheels wrapped with 225/60R17 tyres, automatic headlamps with auto leveler, rain-sensing wipers, keyless entry with push-start button, front and rear fog lamps, power folding door mirrors with built in LED turn signals, roof rails, power rear tailgate and a steering responsive headlight.

The interior gets dual-zone air-conditioning, aluminium pedals, two USB ports, multifunction display, automatic air-conditioning, retractable cargo cover, information metre panel, Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI Drive), electric front seats with memory function for the driver, multifunction steering wheel with cruise control, paddle shifters and a seven-inch touchscreen headunit with six speakers.

For safety the SUV comes with Motorimage Metasat Connected Car, pin code access, seven airbags, Vehicle Dynamics Control system (VDC), four-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), brake assist, iso-fix for child seat, Hill Descent Control (HDC), rear view camera and side door reinforcement beams.

Subaru claims that the Forester 20i-P can sprint from zero to 100kph in 11.8 seconds with a top speed of about 192kph. It has an average combined fuel consumption of 7.2 litres per 100km.

It also comes with a 60:40 split folding rear seats, with a trunk space of 422 litres.

The SUV weighs 1,528kg with a fuel tank capacity of 60 litres.

The Forester 2.0i-P is priced at RM154,488 inclusive of six per cent Goods and Services Tax, excluding insurance. It comes with a five-year/100,000km warranty, three-year/60,000km free labour and parts service and one-year free Motorimage Metasat Connected Car.



The Subaru 2.0i-P offers excellent visibility in all directions thanks to its tall cabin design, which provides lots of head and legroom. We were impressed with its combination of suspension and tyres, which made the ride extremely comfortable when driving over potholes, bumps and rough surface road tracks.

We managed to clock about 350km in the Forester 2.0i-P, driving through highways, city and urban roads. It is a very comfortable vehicle. We barely felt anything when driving over potholes and rough surface road tracks.

It has loads of grip even at high speed. The gear changes were smooth. At high speed, there was no intrusive engine, wind and tyre noise. We had no issues with the SUV even when reaching its top speed, although its pick up could be improved.

Another satisfying aspect is the Motorimage Metasat Connected Car service. It is exclusive for the Forester in Malaysia. Besides its security features, the Metasat has safety and smart lifestyle features that help the driver. It is free for the first year, with renewal option the following years. The system annual fee is RM510, while the compensation guarantee premium is RM160 annually.

Metasat comes with an Automatic Crash Alert and Response feature where it will alert the CSE Secure Operating Centre (SOC) in an event of crash. The SOC personnel will immediately call the owner and if there is no response, it will contact the Malaysian Emergency Response Service and direct emergency medical workers and police to the exact vehicle location.

The system also has eCall which allows the driver to contact the SOC for any emergency services such as the police, ambulance or fire brigade, or any roadside assistance. With just a press of a button, SOC will receive an alert and immediately contact the owner to check the type of service he needs.

It also comes with a stolen vehicle recovery system. The Theft Alert feature offers peace of mind for owners in the event of theft. Once the alert has been triggered, SOC will alert local authorities for vehicle recovery as soon as possible. Additionally, this system offers an exclusive compensation payment to cover the related costs associated with car theft.

Metasat also comes with a mobile application which sends alerts and keeps track of the vehicle. It not only tells the vehicle's owner where the vehicle is or where it has it been, but it also has features such as speed limit alerts and information on the condition of the battery.

Metasat also has a maintenance service reminder that alerts the owner when it is almost due for service.

The driver can also set or unset point of interest or geofence an area. It will alert the driver once the SUV is approaching or leaving the area that he set.

The system also comes with Driving Score. This feature monitors how you drive and is calculated based on how you brake, take corners and accelerate, speed, driver fatigue and others. The driving data can be reviewed and analysed on the mobile app.

The Subaru's safety system is extended to its entertainment system. One can enjoy DVD movies from the seven-inch touchscreen head-unit, but only when the hand brake is engaged. This ensures the driver is not distracted while driving.

We recorded about 7.6 litres per 100km while cruising on the highway at speeds between 80kph to 110kph. On average, driving around the city and the highway, we clocked in 8.6 to 9.3 litres per 100km. When driven spiritedly, it consumes about 11.3 litres per 100km.

We liked the door mirrors with built in LED turn signal features. It looks cool at the background of the side mirror with an LED signal when the indicator is turned on.

While the Subaru 2.0i-P overall is close to perfect, it has a few areas that can be improved. The plastic panel on the top of the door panels should be made with better materials.

The SUV should at least come with an automatic door locking function, and adding a blind spot indicator system might be a good idea, too.