The all-new 5th generation 2023 Subaru Forester is in Malaysia. Launched by TC Subaru Sdn Bhd, the exclusive distributor of Subaru vehicles in Malaysia, recently it is available in 4 new variants i.e. 2.0 i-L EyeSight, 2.0 i-L EyeSight GT Lite, 2.0 i-S EyeSight, and 2.0 i-S EyeSight GT Edition.
As their names reveal, they all come with the EyeSight safety system which has been improved. EyeSight 4.0 Advanced Driver Assist makes use of a pair of new stereo cameras mounted on the rear view mirror module that sees almost double that of the previous version and is also more intuitive, acting as an extra pair of eyes to assist the driver.
EyeSight 4.0 now includes 9 functions, of which 3 are new. The new functions are:
- Autonomous Emergency Steering* – helps steer the Forester away from a vehicle or obstacle in front to avoid an accident (up to 80 km/h).
- Lane Centering Function for the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) system – helps to steer the Forester to stay in the middle of a lane, whether the road is straight or slightly curved. ACC has the added benefit of helping drivers in traffic jams, by keeping them at a safe distance to the car in front, helping to slow down or speed up automatically in these situations.
- Lane Departure Prevention is now included in Lane Departure Warning. This function nudges the steering wheel slightly towards the inside of the Forester’s lane when it detects that the driver is about to cross the line / lane markings while travelling at 60km/h or more.
Other EyeSight functions include:
- Pre-Collision Braking which has been improved. EyeSight 4.0’s Pre-Collision Braking now covers even more traffic scenarios at intersections thanks to its improved stereo cameras with coverage that has almost doubled laterally (from left to right) and vertically. It can now help the driver look left and right to detect obstacles and help prevent potential collisions in its lane and in neighbouring lanes. These include vehicles ahead, oncoming vehicles and pedestrians crossing the road at left- or right-turn junctions.
- Subaru Rear Vehicle Detection (SRVD)* - Radar sensors check for traffic approaching from behind the vehicle to warn the driver during lane changes and while reversing or backing up from a parking lot.
- High Beam Assist (HBA)* - This feature improves visibility especially at night or in dark areas to minimise the risk of potential collisions. Relying on the dual stereo cameras, HBA switches between high and low beams automatically without the driver needing to adjust headlights constantly or worry about blinding other road users. When engaged, the high beams automatically adjust to low beams when the cameras detect sufficient lighting (e.g. streetlamps), preceding vehicles, or oncoming ones in an adjacent lane. It is helpful for drivers travelling in poorly lit areas at night.
- * Only available in Forester 2.0 i-S EyeSight and GT Edition
But do remember that the Subaru EyeSight suite is merely a driver assistance system to assist and support the driver in making decisions for a safer and more comfortable driving experience, and to reduce driver fatigue. Detection by the EyeSight system is limited to objects that are within the range of the stereo cameras’ field of view. And the driver has to maintain control of the vehicle at all times.
The new Forester retains the use of Subaru’s core technologies as well as over 100 safety features. The 4 Subaru Core Technologies are:
- Subaru Global Platform (SGP): Engineered with 3 main objectives i.e. increase straight-line stability, reduce noise and vibration, and boost ride comfort. The rigid framework changes how Subaru cars drive, handle, and feel under all road conditions. The SGP is the underlying platform underpinning the next generation of Subaru vehicles. Enhancing overall safety and performance, it goes beyond better performance to offer a driving feel you can only find in a Subaru, and provide more enjoyment and peace of mind to drivers and passengers.
- Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (SAWD): Distributes power to all 4 wheels for maximum control. SAWD provides double traction and doubles safety as it continually monitors all wheels and adapts to provide maximum road grip and outstanding control on every turn.
- Boxer Engine: The Boxer engine is at the core of Subaru’s performance. The Boxer engine derives its name from the horizontal movement of its pistons, which resembles the quick, jab-like motions of a boxer’s fists. The engine’s flat design delivers more stability and balance, providing passengers with driving enjoyment and peace of mind. In addition, the Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) with 7-speed override automatically optimises power delivery, acceleration, and fuel efficiency.
- EyeSight Advanced Driver Assist Technology: Acts as an intelligent co-driver that helps you see more of your surroundings by scanning for potential dangers ahead. With its new and advanced functions, EyeSight gives more peace of mind on the road.
Further, the new X-MODE Auto Restore (in Forester 2.0 i-L and 2.0 i-S) switches to ‘standby’ when the speed exceeds 40 km/h and subsequently comes back on when the speed drops below 35 km/h. Previously, X-MODE would deactivate at 40 km/h and must be reactivated manually. This improvement is to help reduce distractions for the driver.
New to the Forester are the GT Lite and GT Edition body kits introduced alongside the regular i-L EyeSight and i-S EyeSight models for those who want a sportier look. The body kits also provide better aerodynamic performance, with the front and rear lip extensions, side skirts, and roof spoiler. These 2 new body kits were created in close collaboration with renowned engineering company Giken Co. Ltd and Mr. Masahiko “Jack” Kobayashi. Mr. Kobayashi was part of Subaru’s original team that created the iconic exterior designs for over 12 production models, including the legendary WRX STI. He has also personally handled the development of the new GT Edition designs for Motor Image Group.
The i-S EyeSight GT Edition also has new, striking bespoke 18″ alloy wheels to complete the look, while the i-L EyeSight and GT Lite Forester come with 17″ alloy wheels. The suspension has also been re-tuned to make the ride smoother and provide better handling.
Inside the cabin, the Forester i-S EyeSight with the new GT accessory kit features 2-tone diamond-quilted designer leather seats inspired by European grand tourers. The front seats also come embossed with the GT logo on the sides, adding an extra touch of exclusivity.
“We are proud to introduce four exceptional Forester models that cater to a larger group of drivers in Malaysia who prioritise safety and performance. With Subaru’s Advanced Driver Assist System EyeSight 4.0, each of these models offers the best possible driving experience for our customers. State-of-the-art EyeSight 4.0’s unique combination of Lane Centering Function, Lane Departure Prevention, Pre-Collison Braking and other functions fulfill Level 2 ADAS semi-autonomous driving technology that adds another layer of protection and safety, as well as enhanced driver assistance not commonly found in CKD vehicles,” said Mr. Glenn Tan, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Tan Chong International Limited.
“The Forester i-L EyeSight offers a practical, safe and comfortable driving experience for young couples with children and families seeking a spacious, versatile and valued-packed SUV. Its comfortable interior and generous cargo space make it easy to accommodate growing families and their gear on their day-to-day activities or weekend road trips. And for those that desire a sportier and stylish outlook while enjoying the functionality and practicality of a family SUV, the i-L EyeSight GT lite is perfect for families and individuals alike. As for the i-S EyeSight model, it’s the ideal SUV for those who appreciate performance and have a sense of adventure. With our top-performing model, i-S EyeSight owners can expect not just a safe and dependable drive, but also an incredibly enjoyable one.” Mr Tan added.
“Finally, our Forester GT Edition is a visually stunning vehicle that not only enhances the sporty and dynamic look of the new Forester with the GT kit, but also improves aerodynamic performance, resulting in an exhilarating driving experience. The Forester GT strikes a perfect balance between aesthetics and functionality, featuring bespoke 18″ GT wheels and diamond-quilted leather seats that add to its visual appeal. We are confident that these new Forester models will meet the needs of consumers in Malaysia who are looking for an unparalleled driving experience.”
The new Forester comes in 3 new exterior colours i.e. Cascade Green Silica, Magnetite Gray Metallic, and Brilliant Bronze Metallic, to complement the Crystal White, Ice Silver Metallic, Crystal Black Silica, and Horizon Blue Pearl.
The retail prices are:
- Forester 2.0 i-L EyeSight : RM173,500
- Forester 2.0 i-L EyeSight GT Lite : RM179,500
- Forester 2.0 i-S EyeSight : RM183,500
- Forester 2.0 i-S EyeSight GT Edition : RM195,500
The prices shown above are for private registration in Peninsular Malaysia (without insurance). The Subaru Forester comes with warranty coverage of 5 years or 100,000 km (whichever comes first).