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2013 Subaru Forester XT gets 2.0T, on sale from $43,490

January 24, 2013

Subaru Australia has released details of the new 2013 Subaru Forester XT; the sporty performance version of the new-look Forester. It comes with more power and torque – despite a downsized engine – improved aerodynamics, and reduced fuel consumption.

Replacing the outgoing 2.5-litre turbocharged boxer engine is a new 2.0-litre turbocharged boxer with direct injection. It produces 177kW of power and 350Nm, up from the MY12’s 169kW and 320Nm outputs. With the smaller engine fuel economy has improved by 19 per cent, with the combined cycle rating of 8.5L/100km (down from 10.5L/100km).

Although performance figures haven’t been mentioned, the 2013 XT is likely to be quicker than the outgoing model, even though around 70kg has been added to the Forester’s weight. The current model is able to do the 0-100km/ dash in 7.1 seconds.

Unfortunately for manual transmission lovers, the new model is only available with a new Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable) transmission.

These types of gearboxes are usually regarded as being less than sporty, however, with paddle shifter control, the new ‘box offers a number of versatile manual modes, including a six-speed mode and an eight-speed mode in the ‘S’ setting.

Subaru says the “paddle shifters make it instantly possible to select the driver’s preferred gear”, even if the driver wants to select second gear for taking off during extremely slippery conditions, for example.

In terms of design, the 2013 Subaru Forester XT comes with an aerodynamic body which is 11 per cent more efficient cutting through the air than the outgoing model. This helps with performance obviously, but also fuel efficiency. The co-efficient drag has been tested at 0.33.

Other changes for the 2013 XT include improved soft-touch interior trimmings and fixtures, a larger cabin thanks to a 25mm longer wheelbase, a sunroof, improved NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness), and a new X-Mode all-wheel drive setting which uses Hill Descent Control and Vehicle Dynamics Control to offer greater off-road capabilities.

Nick Senior, Subaru Australia managing director, recently spoke about the exciting new model, saying,

“The XT is that sporty alternative, but not at the expense of creature comforts, ride and refinement. Comfortably quick is its catchphrase.

“There’s a heap of new technology plus great advances in cabin trim, suspension, transmission and engine efficiency that make this a powerful package in every sense.

“Factor-in the lower emissions, fuel consumption and increased towing (1600kg to 1800kg), and you’re looking at our best-ever turbo petrol Forester that comes with the peace-of-mind of Subaru durability, five-star safety and our long-established rock-solid resale value.”

The new XT comes in two flavours; the XT and the XT Premium. The Premium adds, among other things, satellite navigation, ‘EyeSight’ driver assist, leather seats, front wipers with de-icers, and an eight-speaker harman kardon multimedia unit.

Full prices for the new range below (excluding on-road costs):

2013 Subaru Forester 2.0i (manual) – $30,990
2013 Subaru Forester 2.5i (auto) – $32,990

2013 Subaru Forester 2.0i-L (manual) – $33,490
2013 Subaru Forester 2.5i-L (auto) – $35,990

2013 Subaru Forester 2.5i-S (auto) – $43,990

2013 Subaru Forester 2.0 D (manual) – $35,490
2013 Subaru Forester 2.0 D-L (manual) – $37,490
2013 Subaru Forester 2.0 D-S (manual) – $43,990

2013 Subaru Forester 2.0 XT (auto) – $43,490
2013 Subaru Forester 2.0 XT Premium (auto) – $50,490

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.