Subaru FORESTER Hybrid 2020 Video Review

2020 Subaru Hybrid Forester S, Forester L and XV. (Photo Narrative Post/Matthias Engesser) If Subaru FORESTER 2.5L is a capable car on road and off, then the Hybrid is no different. Its a Forester with a mild Hybrid engine. 

The Hybrid Looks:

FORESTER is handsome, in that uniquely Japanese way. Large light clusters include automatic LED headlights with high beam assist and LED DTRLs. Tail lights are big and bright, and are also LED. There are built in roof rails, and deep body carving to add a play of light under the doors and on the front and rear facades.

2020 Subaru Hybrid Forester S, Forester L and XV. (Photo Narrative Post/Matthias Engesser)

Hybrid Measurements:  

  • 220mm ground clearance
  • 4625mm long
  • 1815mm wide
  • 1730mm high
  • wheelbase of 2670mm
  • Cargo volume is 509/1779L (petrol models at 498/1768L). Wheels
  • 17” and 18” for L and S models
  • towing capacity of 1,200kg
  • towball limit of 120kg

There is no spare, only a puncture repair kit. Since Subaru has sacrificed the spare tyre, the space is split between battery and space for the tyre repair gear. A puncture repair kit means taking FORESTER too far of the tarmac, means a spare on the roof.

2020 Subaru Hybrid Forester S, Forester L and XV. (Photo Narrative Post/Matthias Engesser)

The Hybrid Cabin:

All FORESTERs have Smart Key entry/push-button start. Once inside, a clever identification system scans and welcomes the driver, and sets the profile accordingly. All very Big Brother.

Seats haver premium cloth or leather, with heating for the front. S gets power adjustment, with driver memory positions, but no lumber adjustment. S models add one-touch rear-seat folding (60/40 split for all models). The rear space is roomy and seats have reclining backrests. Knee room is about 10cm with 4×6’ occupants on board.

The dash looks sturdy, with complex sweeping lines. Materials have a soft, luxurious feel, and controls and readouts are all in the right spot. They fall easily to hand, and are mostly easy to use.

FORESTER Hybrid consists of 2 trim levels:- Hybrid L, and Hybrid S.

Main features include:  DUAL ZONE climate control, EYESIGHT safety, with Premium and S FORESTERs having built in navigation. Other models require Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. The latter is standard across the brand.

The 6.5” (8” on top moedels) touch screen, allows full touch control to augment the built in voice control. Siri will work while in cell range, by pressing the button. Entertainment includes DAB/FM/AM stations, with favourites stored on one touch buttons.

Functions are cleverly split between the many screens. Driver displays include twin dials, and a 4.2” MFD (multi-function display with digital Speedo).

On the centre stack, another MFD sits above the touch screen. Both of the MFDs are covered by deep sun visors.

Convenience features include:

  • 3X 12v sockets
  • 1 AUX socket
  • 4X USB (2 front, 2 in the rear armrest)
  • 4X cupholders (front console, rear armrest)
  • large bin/bottle holders in all 4 doors
  • cargo blind
  • hooks for bags

2020 Subaru Hybrid Forester S, Forester L and XV. (Photo Narrative Post/Matthias Engesser)

Hybrid On the Road:

After a few hours, you really settle in for the long haul. FORESTER has supportive seats with a perfect driving position. There is plenty of space to stretch out, and the rear passengers find more than enough room even with all occupants being adults.

Although the FORESTER Hybrid L misses power adjustment, the driver can still lift the seat manually. It’s about the only exercise most of us get. The steering wheel adjusts for reach and height, and all controls fall easily to hand.

Driver aids and safety aids:

  • Active lane control
  • active cruise control
  • active blind spot monitor
  • AEB forward/reverse
  • Brake light recognition
  • Lane sway warning
  • Lead vehicle alert
  • Pre-collision braking/brake assist
  • Pre-collision throttle management
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • High beam assist
  • Lane change assist
  • Reversing camera
  • 3 child capsule anchor points
  • 2 ISOFIX points along with rear door child locks.

2020 Subaru Hybrid Forester S, Forester L and XV. (Photo Narrative Post/Matthias Engesser)

The Hybrid Ride:

The ride is  smooth and luxurious. FORESTER has sophisticated suspension with stabiliser bars front and back. There are Macpherson struts up front and double wishbones at the back. If that means nothing to you, you’re not alone. You won’t notice it until you get in to tight bends.

The smooth ride morphs into sporty grip. FORESTER suddenly becomes that comfortable cruiser you’ve always wanted, minus the stupidly powerful engine. If that sounds like an oxymoron, you’re wrong.

Importantly, FORESTER can manage decent inclines, even in rubbish weather, X-Mode transforms grip, as seen in our video.

2020 Subaru Hybrid Forester S, Forester L and XV. (Photo Narrative Post/Matthias Engesser)

The Hybrid Engine and Transmission:

  • Petrol Engine – 110kw/196Nm
  • electric motor 3kw and 66Nm

Like all Subarus (except for BRZ) FORESTER Hybrid has Symmetrical AWD. The CVT transmission has no gears. Under harsh acceleration, FORESTER Hybrid will simulate tradtional gears, with manual paddle shifters for more control.

After that, revs go up and down to find the perfect match of performance and economy.

7.4L/100 vs 6.7L/100k and CO2 of 152g/km vs 168g/k may not sound like much, but it adds up. NOTE: Urban Cycle=9.3L/100k VS 7.5L/100k, a 19% saving.

FORESTER Hybrid will run for short periods in EV mode only. You do not need to plug in to a socket,  FORESTER Hybrid charges as you drive.

How Much Does a Subaru FORESTER Hybrid Battery Cost?

The 8 years/160,000km warranty protects owners, after which, $7,693 is the retail price for a new one. It’s worth noting that the battery usually outlasts the car.

2020 Subaru Hybrid Forester S, Forester L and XV. (Photo Narrative Post/Matthias Engesser)

Hybrid Conclusion:

FORESTER Hybrid uses a versatile platform that can take petrol, hybrid, or electric drive trains. It has the symmetrical AWD system Subaru is famous for. That alone puts it ahead of most other brands in the segment.

It comes with a 5 year warranty, 5 year/62,000km capped price servicing programme and 12 month roadside assistance. The latter should be 5 years, but you can’t have everything.

The batteries have a separate 8 year/160,000km warranty. With most electric cars, the batteries will outlast the car. Warranty usually kicks in if the batteries are at 70% or less efficiency, but check with you dealer when you have a service..

The important thing is you can drive this car just like any other car. You can go as far as the 48L petrol tank will get you, then you just fill up again.

Forester Range Pricing:- Model, Engine, power/torque, transmission, weight, Price

  • 2.5i AWD Wagon Auto, 2.5L 136kW/239Nm, CVT, 1563kg, $34,690
  • 2.5i-L AWD Wagon Auto, 2.5L 136kW/239Nm, CVT, 1565kg, $36,940
  • 2.5i Premium AWD Wagon Auto, 2.5L 136kW/239Nm, CVT, 1585kg, $39,940
  • 2.5i-S AWD Wagon Auto, 2.5L 136kW/239Nm, CVT, 1617kg, $42,990
  • Hybrid L Hybrid 2.0 Petrol, 110kW/196Nm, (Battery 12.3kw/66Nm), CVT, 1643kg, $39,990
  • Hybrid S Hybrid 2.0 Petrol, 110kW/196Nm, (Battery 12.3kw/66Nm), CVT, 1682kg, $45,990
  • CO2: 147g/km
  • Fuel: 91ron

We have reviewed FORESTER many times. Here are those, and other Subaru stories:

 

Subaru FORESTER Hybrid 2020 Video Review
  • Rating
4.0

Summary

FORESTER Hybrid uses a versatile platform that can take petrol, hybrid, or electric drive trains. It has the symmetrical AWD system Subaru is famous for. That alone puts it ahead of most other brands in the segment.

The important thing is you can drive this car just like any other car. You can go as far as the 48L petrol tank will get you, then you just fill up again.

About Rob Fraser 1423 Articles
Rob Fraser – General dogsbody & Director Rob is the founder of the business. He constantly mutters something about way too many red wines one evening being to blame. Often known for taking the 4WD in the driveway over the sports car, he has travelled pretty much everywhere in Australia and when he is bored goes for a drive. He first learned to drive on the farm in a left hand drive WW11 Jeep when he was 11, and was hooked on 4WDriving way back then. In addition to 4WD he is an avid motoring enthusiast and has maintained a strong interest in the industry ever since his teens. He has owned way too many cars in his time as well. Having previously lived at the top of corporate life he retired in 2000 and hasn’t put a suit and tie on since. Cars are his passion so why not have a business doing what you love he figures. He has towed either a caravan or camper trailer to most parts of Australia, has run guided tours for camper trailers’ and instructed drivers in off road towing.