Following in the footsteps of the award-winning original Sport Utility Tough, Car Easy Subaru Forester, the fully redesigned 2003 Forester combines the best SUV attributes with passenger-car comfort, safety, handling and fuel efficiency, offering the best of both automotive worlds.
Due in showrooms this May, the new Forester has a fresh new look to complement its sporty, go-anywhere character. Its beauty is more than skin deep, though. The new Forester features more interior volume, with additional legroom. The new body structure is stiffer to improve handling and passenger protection.
The new Forester is powered by a 165-horsepower, 2.5-liter, four-cylinder boxer engine. Five-speed manual transmission is standard, with a four-speed electronic automatic transmission (4-EAT) optional. Standard-transmission models will feature the Subaru Hill Holder clutch system, which holds the vehicle in place on an incline, and disengages when the clutch is released for a smooth takeoff.
Bold Design, Added Value
The 2.5 X Forester model has been updated with a dozen new standard items, such as 16-inch wheels, 80-watt AM/FM/weatherband stereo with CD player, remote keyless entry system and variable intermittent windshield wipers. The uplevel 2.5 XS adds interior and exterior upgrades and an All-Weather Package.
Enjoying the Ride
All-new strut units further refine the ride, as does variable-ratio power rack-and-pinion steering, while a robust body and 7.5 inches of ground clearance make the Forester tough enough for off-road adventures.
Speaking of tough, the braking system of the new Forester has been enhanced with larger front brake rotors in its anti-lock brake system (ABS) to help drivers make short, confident stops in emergency situations. The 2.5 XS model with rear disc brakes also features the new Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) system, an enhancement to ABS.
Safety - The Subaru Standard
The Subaru commitment to safety continues with the addition of a dual-stage passenger front airbag, standard front seat head/chest side-impact airbags, active front head restraints and front seatbelts with pre-tensioners and force limiters. In fact, the Forester meets or exceeds federal passenger car safety standards not surprising for an SUV engineered for passenger comfort.
The all-new 2003 Subaru Forester made its world debut at the 2002 Chicago Auto Show. Photo courtesy of Jeff Orlando.