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17 Mar 2021

Facelift (What's New)
Subaru's Driver Monitoring safety and convenience system

The Subaru Forester gets a new Driver Monitoring System that adds to its already strong suite of active safety systems, making it ideal for any family with multiple drivers.

Shopping for an SUV for the entire family? The Subaru Forester may have reached Singapore two years ago, but this 2021 SUV still proves itself a competitive option, especially so if your household comprises of multiple generations of drivers.

So what's new?

The high-spec variant comes with 18-inch rims and silver coloured front and rear underguards
In short, the addition of a Driver Monitoring System. Thanks to an infrared camera located just above the Multi-Function display on the dashboard, the new system allows the car to recognise who is at the wheel.

On the convenience front, this means you get a driver seat, door mirrors, climate control settings, as well as the Multi-Function and Combination Metre display that automatically revert back to your saved settings whenever you start the engine. Curiously, a two-setting memory seat for the driver is still offered.

And on the safety front, the system is also able to detect when you don't have your eyes on the road, or if you're driving when drowsy, issuing you with visual and audio warnings to correct your unsafe driving.

How does it work?

Driver recognition system takes only a few seconds to scan your face
Very well indeed. Saving a new driver profile is easy and straightforward, with the actual facial scan taking not more than 10 seconds (remember to take your mask off).

And after three days with the car, it never failed to recognise me right from the push of the engine start button. The system will add just a little drama to every drive as the seats and mirrors readjust themselves, especially if, like me, you have parents that prefer to sit in a position fit for a tank commander.

The Driver Monitoring System is also well-judged with its issuance of warnings to keep your eyes on the road, should you find yourself looking upwards for suitable multi-storeys to photograph your car (which is great), or ogling at pedestrians on the street (which is not so great) while the car is in motion. You're not going to get a constant barrage of warnings just because you're driving while looking around for a vacant parking lot.

But what about the rest of the family?

The system can save up to five different driver profiles
Well, there's still plenty in store for them. First off, the ride in the Forester is mighty comfortable, and space at the back is cavernous, something that will become critical if your children are already at driving age.

Opt for this higher-spec version and you'll also get convenient features including a powered rear tailgate, and a massive sunroof to compliment the spacious cabin.

And for enhanced looks, this spec will also add 18-inch rims, silver-plated underguards front and rear, and aluminium pedals.

And for the driver?

Space at the rear is cavernous even for three adults
The Forester is more par for the course here. With 154bhp from a 2.0-litre four-cylinder paired to a continuously variable transmission, it serves up just as much acceleration as you will need for a family hauler, nothing more.

Power delivery is far from urgent, although the Forester also manages to keep that annoying CVT drone well under control. Drive with a light foot, and you'll find decent levels of refinement from the drivetrain. I averaged a fuel economy of 10.6km/L.

The SUV also offers meaty steering, but it could do with a touch more accuracy for on-road use. Outward visibility, however, is excellent thanks to the car's large windows.

Just one last thing

Boxer four-cylinder is smooth and quiet
Should you get the Subaru Forester? At $131,800 (price as of 16 March 2021) for this high-spec variant, those looking at rivals with more power such as the Toyota RAV4 or Honda CR-V will have to cough out a fair amount more money for their family SUV.

Factor in the additional assurance you get from the active safety systems should your children or parents take the wheel themselves, and I think this Forester is rather hard to beat as an all-round family SUV.

But for the sake of keeping family arguments to a minimum, just make sure you always have a few excuses at hand before your partner catches you ogling at pedestrians.
Car Information
There's a promotion for Subaru Forester


: $157,800

Engine Type


4-cylinder 16-valve DOHC Horizontally opposed

Engine Cap





115kW (154 bhp) / 6000 rpm



196 Nm / 4000 rpm



Lineartronic CVT (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Fuel consumption



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facelift  subaru  forester  subaru forester  suv  family suv