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2020 Subaru Forester and XV hybrids announced for Australia

By David Bonnici, 19 Dec 2019 Car News

Subaru Forester and XV hybrids announced for Australia

Petrol-electric versions of Subaru's most popular models arrive in March to take on Toyota's hybrid SUV dominance

Subaru has officially entered the hybrid arena with petrol-electric versions of its XV crossover and Forester medium SUV slated to arrive in Australian showrooms from March.

Subaru announced the XV and Forester Hybrid e-Boxer All-Wheel Drives (AWD) while revealing it has already sold 500 of the battery-electric Foresters to fleet customers.

Subaru XV Hybrid

Both cars have their Toyota C-HR and RAV4 hybrid counterparts in their sights, with Subaru hoping to benefit from significant interest in electrified RAV4 that has seen buyers of the top-spec Cruiser variants facing an eight-month waiting period.

Both Subaru hybrids feature a 100kW/196Nm 2.0 litre horizontally opposed Boxer with continuously variable transmission (CVT) engine linked via an electric motor driven by a high voltage lithium ion battery.

Subaru Forester Hybrid

The electric motor produces 12.3 kW of power and 66 Nm of torque, and is self-charging via kinetic energy captured by regenerative braking and coasting.

READ MORE: Subaru Forester news and reviews

According to Subaru the XV Hybrid offers around 14 percent improvement in fuel efficiency over its equivalent petrol variant's’ official 8.8L/100km urban fuel consumption, and is at least 7.0 percent more frugal in the combined cycle (7.0L/100km).

Subaru Forester Hybrid

The Forester Hybrid claims efficiency improvements of up to 19 percent over the 2.5-litre petrol version’s 9.3L/100km urban consumption; while the 2.5’s 7.4L/100km combined figure is bettered by about 7.0 percent.

The e-Boxer powertrain automatically adjusts the power split between petrol and electric to match driving conditions using three modes:

  • Motor Assist EV driving, which depending on vehicle and battery condition can operate in fully electric mode up to 40km/h
  • Motor Assist electric (EV) + petrol engine driving
  • Petrol engine driving

When driving in fully electric mode (both forward and reverse), the Pedestrian Alert system emits a sound at speeds up to 24km/h, to alert people in close proximity.

Like the petrol versions, hybrid XV and Foresters feature X-Mode torque control that helps them better negotiate dirt roads, slippery surfaces and negotiate steep hills.

Pricing and features

Priced from $35,580, the XV Hybrid AWD will come with its own specification grade that sits between the entry-level 2.0i AWD and 2.0i-L AWD versions.

Subaru XV hybrid

It will come with significantly more equipment than the entry level XV however, with Eyesight advanced driver assist included as standard that includes autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist, plus Vision assist that adds blind-spot monitoring, high-beam assist, lane-change assist, rear-cross traffic alert and reverse auto braking.

Other features over the XV 2.0i include:

  • Pedestrian alert system
  • Energy flow display
  • Leather finish steering wheel and gear shift
  • Premium cloth trim
  • Charcoal seat trim colour
  • Auto dimming rear view mirror
  • Front LED fog lights
  • Dusk-sensing auto-off headlights
  • Power folding door mirrors with indicators
  • Black slim roof rails

The XV Hybrid will also be available with exclusive Lagoon Blue Pearl paint option (as pictured).

The Forester Hybrid L and Hybrid S versions are similarly equipped to their 2.5i-L and 2.5i-S counterparts, which come with EyeSight and Vision assist as standard.

Subaru Forester Hybrid

At $39,990, the Hybrid L retails costs $5300 more than 2.5i-L and, as well as the hybrid powertrain gains the energy flow display, pedestrian alert system, premium black cloth trim, blue illumination instrument cluster, front LED fog-lamps and some bespoke exterior garnish.

READ MORE: Subaru XV news and reviews

The Hybrid S meanwhile becomes the new Forester range topper featuring similar additions over the 2.5i-S that take the price up by $6050 to $45,990.

Subaru Forester Hybrid

The 2020 Subaru XV and Forester hybrids go on sale in March and will be covered by the brand’s five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty.