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New Subaru Forester for SA - pics

2002-07-18 09:22

The new Forester - this one the XT. Click here for more pictures

The car UK magazines have described as Subaru's best is launched in South Africa today - a much improved version of the popular Forester.

Our new deputy editor Wilmer Muller is at the launch in Johannesburg today (Thursday) to drive the new car, and will report on it when he returns.

Meanwhile, we have been able to put together some details of the car, which was launched in Britain this week, although it is not yet known if the full range will be imported into South Africa.

The most important aspect of the new Forester is a revamped shape - an obvious evolution of the old, but during that evolution it has gained a lot of character and is now considerably more distinctive, particularly at the rear.

As before, there are two engine options, distinguished by the rather unimaginative model names X and XT.

Increased power

The X uses a 2-litre naturally-aspirated version of Subaru's flat-four engine while the XT gets a turbocharger, though that unit is not as highly tuned as it is in the Impreza WRX.

Power outputs stay the same, but Subaru claims better fuel economy.

The interior has also reportedly been improved somewhat, both in terms of design and equipment, and also in terms of space. The new Forester is 1cm shorter than the old, but the passenger area has been rearranged to give far more room, particularly in the rear.

In fact, the car now has enough space to accommodate four big chaps without the rear seat passengers having their knees against the front backrests.

UK reports say handling of the four-wheel-drive car is also improved, but we'll leave it to Wilmer to tell us about that.

Pricing, too, has to be confirmed, and we expect news on this later today (Thursday). Click here for photo gallery

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