Subaru of America, Inc., the only car company that offers Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive as standard equipment on every vehicle in its product line, has introduced the 2005 Forester 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition at the New York International Auto Show. The 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition expands the Forester line to four models, giving customers a depth of choices unavailable in other small SUVs, from high value to luxury to sports car-like performance.
The Forester 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition is the second vehicle offered as part of a multi-year strategic marketing partnership between Subaru of America, Inc. and the renowned retailer of active-lifestyle clothing and equipment. The agreement makes Subaru the official car of L.L.Bean and L.L.Bean the official outfitter to Subaru. Subaru has offered an Outback® L.L.Bean Edition since 2001 and recently introduced the all-new 2005 version of this model.
‘The partnership between Subaru and L.L.Bean has been a great success for Subaru, because it builds on the attributes that customers experience with both brands, including long-lasting premium quality, ruggedness with everyday comfort and compelling value,’ said Fred Adcock, Executive Vice President, Subaru of America, Inc. ‘We are excited to now expand this relationship to the Forester, which, like our Outback model, is a natural fit for the outdoors-oriented lifestyle that many L.L.Bean customers enjoy.’
The Forester 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition joins three other models in the line: the high-value 2.5 X, the premium-level 2.5 XS and the high-performance turbocharged 2.5 XT. The 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition builds upon the extensive features and performance of the premium-level Forester 2.5 XS model. Powered by a 165-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder boxer engine, the 2005 Forester 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition is equipped as standard with a 4-speed direct control automatic transmission. Other Forester models feature a 5-speed manual transmission as standard and offer the automatic transmission as an option. The Forester 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition is exclusively equipped with a self-leveling rear suspension, which helps maintain ride level even when driving with a full load.
All Forester models share the common thread that makes the Subaru brand unique in the market: standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. In all Subaru models, full-time AWD powers all four wheels all the time. (See page 3 for details on the two types of Symmetrical AWD used in the Forester model line.) Some SUVs in this segment offer a standard 2-wheel drive model and reserve All-Wheel Drive as an option, or make it part of upper trim level models only. Moreover, the AWD systems on some small SUVs are the automatic part-time type, meaning the vehicle operates in 2WD model until wheel slippage occurs.
Exclusive Design, Functional and Luxury Features
The new-generation Forester models combine distinctive SUV design with smart, practical packaging. For 2005, the 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition is the only Forester model distinguished by either steel gray metallic or platinum silver metallic bumpers and protective body cladding. The Forester 2.5 X model features textured gray bumpers and protective side cladding, and the 2.5 XS and 2.5 XT models are identified by body color bumpers and side cladding.
A large glass power moonroof is standard on the Forester 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition and offered as an option on 2.5 XS and 2.5 XT models. New 10-spoke alloy wheels also distinguish the 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition, while the 2005 2.5 XS model features a new 8-spoke alloy wheel design.
Products that carry the L.L.Bean brand exemplify a tasteful blend of ruggedness and comfort, and the 2005 Forester 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition shares this characteristic. Inside, this new model is equipped with exclusive beige leather-trimmed upholstery with perforated leather bolsters and L.L.Bean logo embossed front seats. A standard auto-dimming rear-view mirror integrates an electronic compass, and L.L.Bean embroidered floor mats stand up to rugged usage. The Forester 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition comes equipped with a standard security system, which is available as an option on the 2.5 X and 2.5 XS models.
All Forester models for 2005 feature a new 3-spoke steering wheel, which is perforated-leather wrapped in all models except the 2.5 X. In addition, all Forester 2.5 XS models and the 2.5 XT model add a new 8-way power driver’s seat for 2005, and these models also feature a standard All-Weather Package that includes dual-mode heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors, a viscous limited-slip rear differential and a windshield wiper de-icer.
Forester has always been an ideal outdoors companion, and the 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition expands this trait further with a new, durable and water-resistant surface for the cargo area floor and rear seatback. All Forester models feature a standard 60/40 split fold-down rear seatback with one-touch operation for a flat load floor. In the Forester 2.5 X model, the 32.0 cubic feet of carrying space behind the rear seat doubles to 64.1 cu. ft. when both rear seatbacks are folded. Cargo capacity for Forester 2.5 XS and 2.5 XT models with equipped with the moonroof is 29.6 cu. ft./rear seatbacks up and 62.7 cu. ft./rear seatbacks down.
The standard retractable cargo area cover sits high enough to accommodate tall packages such as coolers, and there is a convenient cargo area 12-volt power outlet. The center console features a side storage compartment on the passenger side, a 12-volt accessory power outlet in the storage box and dual cupholders.
Continuous Improvement Enhances All Forester Models
The 2005 Forester models benefit from the brand’s continuous improvement philosophy, gaining enhancements to performance, safety, comfort and appearance. The normally aspirated 2.5-liter engine in 2.5 X and 2.5 XS models adds the Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) system that’s already used on the turbocharged Forester 2.5 XT. The ETC system optimizes throttle response, fuel efficiency and emissions control.
The 4-speed electronic direct controlled automatic transmission that is standard in the Forester 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition and optional in all others uses fewer moving parts than the previous 4-speed automatic transmission, and it benefits from redesigned electronic controls. Advanced computer technology provides for a more precise shift pattern and slope control functions on inclines and descents.
Forester bolsters its already impressive safety credentials for 2005 with a new dual-stage deployment driver’s air bag (a dual-stage deployment passenger front air bag was already standard). A seat position sensor on the driver’s seat track detects if the driver is sitting too close to the air bag, in which case the system would delay deployment of the air bag’s second stage. The passenger side front seat incorporates an occupant detection module that detects weight on the passenger seat – determining if it’s a child or adult – to control air bag deployment.
Interior comfort and convenience are enhanced in all 2005 Forester models by the addition of a standard air filtration system and new illuminated power lock switches. Raised black-letter tires replace raised white-letter tires in the same size as before (215/60 R16), contributing to a more refined exterior appearance.
The Best of Both Worlds
Forester owes its success to a ‘Best of Both Worlds’ crossover SUV design approach that blends positive SUV attributes such as a command driving position and interior versatility with the comfort and superior driving dynamics of a passenger car. A responsive 4-wheel independent suspension, variable-ratio, variable-power assisted rack-and-pinion steering and 16-inch wheels and tires make Forester models equally adept at taming twisty back roads and absorbing the bumps of off-pavement trails.
The Forester 2.5 XS models are equipped with 4-wheel disc brakes and – like all Subaru models – a sophisticated 4-channel/4-sensor Anti-lock Brake System (ABS). The Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) feature on Forester 2.5 XS and 2.5 XT models enhances braking performance and stability through optimized brake force distribution between the front and rear wheels.
Two Types of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is a total system that integrates a lightweight horizontally opposed (boxer) engine and full-time All-Wheel Drive. The boxer engine and simple, symmetrical drivetrain layout equip Forester with a lower center of gravity than other SUVs. Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive provides the safety benefit of optimal traction for all road conditions.
In all Forester models equipped with the 5-speed manual transmission, a viscous coupling locking center differential built into the transmission case divides engine power 50 percent front / 50 percent rear. Wheel slippage at the front causes more power to shift to the rear, and slippage at the rear transfers power to the front, ensuring that the wheels with the best traction receive more power.
Models equipped with the 4-speed electronic direct control automatic transmission feature an AWD system that utilizes an electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch housed in the transaxle tailshaft. This Active All-Wheel Drive uses several input sensors to determine how weight transfer affects available traction. Under acceleration, the system routes power to the rear wheels to maximize rearward weight transfer. Under deceleration, the system directs power to the front wheels to respond to potential weight transfer to the front.
The standard viscous limited-slip rear differential in the Forester 2.5 XS and 2.5 XT models directs power to the rear wheel with the most traction.
Proven Safety Leadership
Independent tests consistently demonstrate the commitment to safety that Subaru engineers into all of its models. Subaru Forester earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) highest rating (‘good’) in both the side impact crashworthiness evaluation and 40 mph frontal offset crash tests, and the IIHS called Forester the ‘best small SUV’ it has tested. Subaru Forester meets all Federal passenger car safety standards.
The Subaru Ring-Shaped Reinforcement Frame body structure is strengthened in Forester through the use of a hydroformed front subframe and tailored-blank welded structural elements. The standard array of Supplemental Restraint Systems (SRS) includes a dual-stage deployment passenger front air bag and front seat head/chest side impact air bags. Also standard are front seatbelt pretensioners with force limiters and upper-trim head impact protection. Front-seat active head restraints help minimize whiplash injury. All five seating positions are equipped with three-point seatbelts (height-adjustable on the four outboard positions), and each rear seat position has a headrest. A safety pedal system in all Forester models is designed to yield during a serious frontal impact in order to help reduce injury to the driver’s lower limbs.
The 5-mph front and rear bumpers on all Subaru Forester models exceed the Federal 2.5 mph bumper standard applicable to passenger cars. In contrast, the bumpers on some SUVs offer little or no protection in low-speed collisions, potentially contributing to high repair costs.
Subaru of America, Inc. supports various outdoor activities and conservation and recycling programs, including the U.S. Forest Service ‘Tread Lightly!’ program, which encourages careful use of off-highway trails. Subaru is the official vehicle of Dagger Canoe and Kayak Company, the American Canoe Association, the National Ski Patrol, the Professional Ski Instructors of America, the International Mountain Biking Association, Gary Fisher Bicycle Components, National Brotherhood of Skiers and Leave No Trace.
Price this car:
MSRP: $21,445 – $26,545
Invoice: not available yet
Source: Subaru Press Release