The Subaru Forester is a five-door station wagon/ crossover vehicle. It is a front-engine, all-wheel drive car that seats five. Although originally designed as a station wagon, the Forester has transitioned to a crossover design, borrowing characteristics from SUVs. With ample cargo capacity, it is an ideal family vehicle. The all-wheel drive and rooftop cargo tie-downs make it an excellent option for travel, even to locations that are off the beaten path.
Available as either a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission, the Subaru Forester has a 2.5-liter DOHC engine capable of producing 170 horsepower. A turbocharged version can produce 224 horsepower. The Forester is outfitted with a number of safety features, including seven airbags, antilock brakes, emergency breaking assist, and traction control. Stability control and a rollover sensor are also included. The Forester features raised roof rails and a 2,400 lb towing capacity, and 33.5 cubic feet of rear cargo space adds to its versatility. It achieves above-average fuel economy, getting 20mpg/city and 27mpg/highway.
The Forester first debuted in 1995 at the Tokyo Motor Show. The car was made available to the public in 1997 as a competitor of the Honda CR-V, Toyota Rav4, and Suzuki Grand Vitara, among others. Since then, the Forester has undergone a number of incarnations, gradually transitioning from a crossover vehicle largely inspired by a station wagon to one based largely on the SUV design. As of 2011, the Forester continues to thrive as a member of Subaru's line. It is built in ?ta, Gunma, Japan.
The Forester comes standard with a number of features, and a number of upgrades are available as well. A four-speaker audio system with CD player in-dash, satellite radio capability, and MP3 playback is standard, and this can be upgraded to a six-speaker system with Bluetooth technology. A TomTom Navigation System can also be added. A moon roof and 10-way power adjustable driver's seat are standard on most models, and cruise control is standard on all cars. The rear seats fold down in a 60/40 split, giving the Forester additional cargo space. The All Weather package includes heated seats, wiper de-icer, and heated side view mirrors, and a back-up camera is an option. Reclining rear seats and a CFC-free air conditioning system add to the car's overall sense of comfort.
The Subaru Forester has won numerous awards. It was named Best Small SUV" by Car and Driver in 2004, 2005, and 2006. It also won Wheels magazine's "Gold Star" award for best compact SUV in 2008, and in 2009 it was named Motor Trend magazine's "Sport/Utility Vehicle of the Year".
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