NEW FOR 2008:

– 2.5XT models receive new "cross sport" front-end design
– 2.5XT models with automatic transmission now equipped with stability and traction control
– All models receive engine immobilizer
– New Forester 2.5X Anniversary Edition
– Exterior colours: Steel Silver Metallic, Topaz Gold Metallic and World Rally Blue Pearl added; Crystal Grey Metallic and Champagne Gold Opal deleted
– Urban Grey Metallic cladding replaced with Steel Silver Metallic

For 2008, most of the Subaru Forester models receive minor changes; the 2.5XT gets the lion’s share, with a new front-end design, and stability and traction control when ordered with the optional four-speed automatic transmission. The Columbia Edition trim offered in 2007 has been discontinued, replaced with a new 2.5X Anniversary Edition. Base prices are unchanged from 2007.

The Forester, which Subaru calls its crossover vehicle, is available as the 2.5X and 2.5XS, with 2.5-litre horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine, or as the 2.5XT, which adds a turbocharger to its 2.5-litre. All models use a five-speed manual transmission that can be optioned to a four-speed automatic, and all use the company’s symmetrical all-wheel drive (the name refers to the symmetrical configuration of the components, for better balance).

Features on the 2.5X include 16-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, CD stereo, disc and drum brakes with ABS, cruise control, tilt wheel, power windows, heated mirrors, fog lamps, roof rails, variable intermittent wipers, and intermittent rear wiper/washer.

The Anniversary Edition adds 16-inch alloy wheels, heated seats, cargo tray, tonneau cover, power sunroof, and splash guards.

The 2.5XS adds four-wheel disc brakes, limited-slip rear differential, six-CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary jack and SIRIUS Satellite Radio, automatic climate control, body-colour mirrors with integrated turn signals, body-colour door handles, lockable roof rail crossbars, and windshield wiper de-icer (but no power sunroof).

The 2.5XS Premium adds heated leather seats, premium upgraded speakers, rear bumper step pad, and power sunroof.

The 2.5XT adds 17-inch alloy wheels, heated leather seats, stereo subwoofer, Xenon headlamps, and functional hood scoop.

While not an off-road vehicle in the sense of some SUVs, the Forester is a tidy blend of rugged good looks, cargo capacity, Subaru’s proven all-wheel engineering and handling characteristics that make it more of a car than a sport utility vehicle. Plenty of small-item storage, a smoothly-accelerating engine and good visibility make this an excellent choice both for long-distance driving and short hauls in the downtown core.

Connect with