The Forester crossover received new front- and rear-end treatments as well as powertrain and other upgrades in 2006. For 2008, the changes are minimal to Subaru's plain-Jane crossover.
As in '06 and '07, the base 2.5 X model's 2.5-liter, "boxer" four-cylinder engine boasts the automaker's I-Active Valve Lift System, which results in a power boost up to 173 horses, along with added overall refinement. Meanwhile, the turbocharged 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine in the 2.5 XT Limited offers 224 horsepower, with 226 lb-ft of torque. Both powerplants feature Electronic Throttle Control to help optimize engine response, fuel efficiency, and emissions control.
Both four- and five-speed automatic gearboxes are offered, but have been improved to provide better overall performance. The four-speed version includes an adaptive control shift system that automatically selects between normal and "sport" shifting modes in response to the driver's throttle input. Subaru's Variable Torque Distribution all-wheel drive system is standard across the line, as are stability and traction control.
A revised suspension offers better handling and a smoother ride, and the vehicle's ground clearance has been raised slightly relative to the pre-2006 version. Anti-lock brakes and front-side airbags are standard.
An upscale L.L. Bean Edition offers a two-tone exterior, self-leveling rear suspension, leather seats, and a MOMO wood-and-leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Sports 2.5X models get new six-spoke wheels and leather parking brake and shifter wraps, while the 2.5 XT gets a roof spoiler and 17-inch wheels. An upgraded audio system is standard on all but the base Foresters.
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