Currently enjoying some of the best sales figures in its history, Subaru has elected to raise prices for the 2011 Subaru Forester. Riding on the completely new platform that was introduced for the 2010 model year, the 2011 edition of the mid-size crossover vehicle gains some interesting new features that help to justify its somewhat more expensive MSRP.
The biggest change can be found under the hood, where an all-new 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine takes the place of the Forester's previous power plant. The first significant update of Subaru's venerable four-cylinder in close to two decades, the 2.5-liter unit is most notable for the fuel efficiency improvements that it offers Subaru Forester drivers. Compared to the 2010 edition of the automobile, the 2011 Subaru Forester gains one additional mile per gallon for both measures (21-mpg city / 27-mpg highway). These figures are valid for both manual (five-speed) and automatic (continuously-variable) editions of the Forester. Power delivery for the 2.5-liter engine remains at 170 horses, although it is available lower in the rpm range, and torque increases by four lb-ft to 174 lb-ft in total.
The 2011 Subaru Forester has been held to a $200 price increase for the base model. For $20,495, buyers of the Forester 2.5X will enjoy essentially the same standard features as were found in the 2010 edition, including a CD player, keyless entry and the availability of alloy wheels. The 2.5X Premium starts at $23,195 ($400 more than in 2010), and upgrades the crossover with items such as a moonroof and a power driver's seat. The higher price also introduces equipment that was not found on the Forester 2.5X premium the year before: tilt and telescopic steering, an auto-up and down feature for the driver's power window, Bluetooth integration and USB and iPod connections for the vehicle's stereo system. A new TomTom portable navigation system package can also be ordered on the Premium.
The 2011 Subaru Forester 2.5X Limited, formerly the highest-spec version of the SUV, now enjoys second banana status and sees its MSRP increase by $500. Still nicely equipped at $26,495, the vehicle benefits from the addition of Bluetooth connectivity, the same iPod feature found in the 2.5X Premium, and a 4.3-inch LCD display that is paired with a backup camera. As before, leather seats and Subaru's All-Weather Package are included with the crossover, making it a very comfortable version of the family hauler. For drivers who need the absolute last word in Subaru luxury, however, there now exists the new Touring trim level (MSRP $27,995). Like the Limited, the Forester Touring comes exclusively with an automatic transmission, and it improves on the features found in the Limited through the addition of HID headlights, unique exterior trim, fog lights, turn signals that are integrated into the vehicle's side mirrors, and dual automatic climate control.
High performance fans will be happy to note that the Subaru Forester 2.5XT Premium (MSRP $26,495) is still available for the 2011 model year. Although this turbocharged edition of the crossover retains the older 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine design, it more than makes up for it through its 224 horsepower and excellent suspension tuning. The 2.5XT Premium largely matches the 2.5X Premium in terms of content, but also introduces more aggressive exterior and interior trim, including a rear spoiler and a gaping hood scoop. The 2.5XT Premium bears a $500 price increase versus the 2010 edition of the automobile. The turbocharged Forester 2.5XT also receives a Touring trim for 2011 (MSRP $29,995), which, like the XT Premium, is essentially identical in terms of features to the 2.5X Touring.