Ch-Ch-Changes: 2011 Subaru Forester

For 2011, the Subaru Forester gets a slight exterior refresh, updated interior and an all-new four-cylinder powertrain.

All Foresters get a new grille design as well as an updated instrument panel with soft touch materials.

The big news here, of course, is the new 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine (otherwise known as a Boxer engine) that produces 174 pounds-feet of torque. The torque figures are improved from last year’s base engine, and both power figures are achieved at a lower rpm.

The third-generation Boxer engine is a completely new powertrain for Subaru, featuring lightweight materials, a compact design and superior vibration-reduction methods. The new engine features a dual-overhead-cam design compared with the single-overhead design that the previous Subaru had. Driving performance is smoother throughout the whole acceleration range, Subaru says.

In the Forester, the engine achieves 21/27 mpg city/highway with either the automatic or manual transmission. That’s an improvement of 1 mpg city and highway from the 2010 model. The 224-hp turbocharged engine, found on the 2.5XT trims, remains unchanged from last year.

The 2011 Forester is offered in 2.5X, 2.5X Premium, 2.5X Touring, 2.5X Limited, 2.5XT Premium and 2.5XT Touring trims. The base starting price for the 2011 model with a manual transmission is $200 higher from 2010; an automatic brings the base model to $21,695. The Touring trim is new for 2011, positioned above the Limited trim with the base engine and replacing the Limited on the turbocharged trim. It features high-intensity-discharge headlamps with automatic height adjustments, a touch-screen audio system with backup camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, roof rails, Sirius satellite radio, electroluminescent gauges and side mirrors with integrated turn signals and perforated leather-trimmed upholstery.

We break down the prices and feature updates for each trim below.

Bullet points represent additional features from last year.

2011 Subaru Forester Pricing (2010 Pricing)

2.5X: $20,495 ($20,295)

  • No additional features from last year 

2.5X Premium: $23,195 ($22,795)

  • Driver-side power window with auto up/down and anti-pinch protection 
  • Tilt/telescoping steering wheel 
  • New 17-inch alloy wheels 
  • Standard Bluetooth with steering-wheel control switches 
  • Bluetooth audio streaming connectivity 
  • iPod connectivity 
  • USB port 
  • Sirius Satellite Radio capability 
  • New TomTom navigation option: $595 with All Weather Package 

2.5X Limited: $26,495 ($25,995)

  • Bluetooth connectivity 
  • HD Radio 
  • iPod connectivity 
  • 4.3-inch LCD display screen 
  • Six upgraded speakers (instead of four) 
  • Backup camera accessory option 

2.5X Touring: $27,995 (N/A)

2.5XT Premium: $26,995 ($26,495)

  • New radio unit with six speakers 
  • Bluetooth connectivity 
  • iPod connectivity 
  • Sirius Satellite Radio capability 
  • New body-colored roof spoiler 

Forester 2.5XT Touring: $29,995 (N/A)

Automatic transmission: $1,200 (N/A)

Prices do not reflect a destination charge of $725 ($695 last year)

2011 Subaru Forester 2.5X Premium

2011 Subaru Forester 2.5XT Touring

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