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2020 Subaru Forester Hybrid 2.0e-S

Car Reviews  ·  May 11, 2020

2020 Subaru Forester Hybrid 2.0e-S

The Subaru Forester is a midsize 5-seat SUV that stands out in a relatively crowded market due to the longevity and off-roading capability of its full-time all-wheel-drive powertrain. 

The new Forester Hybrid has an adventurous brand image and practical nature, which converges with the idea of the brand. Cargo space is excellent, and the simple interior design speaks to the sensible car buyers searching for something that is well made.


The Forester is not very different from the Hybrid S apart from the badge on the back, which suggests it is a hybrid. The design language for the 2020 Forester is typical of the Subaru brand. 

Each model is outfitted with LED headlights as standard with Touring and Limited models featuring steering responsive functionality. All of the models are also fitted with a panoramic power moon-roof and high mounted roof spoiler. The sport model alone is an attribute that features a unique grille and exterior setting. 


The cabin of the Forester Hybrid 2.0e-S is quite practical, with good outward visibility and a good driving position. There are several practical touches such as luggage, USB sockets, and sensible tie-down points. It is worth mentioning that the interior is nicely finished with caramel-coloured leather on the seats and dash. A textured plastic trim is used, layered on the rest of the cabin, so it is high quality. 

The back seat provides a lot of space as well, though there is no third-row option. The tailgate is power-operated, and there are adjusting buttons for both front seats with heating. At the back of the front seating are dual seat pockets.


Every Forester model comes with the standard touchscreen infotainment setting, utilising the latest Starlink interface from the brand. The base, sport, and premium models have a 6.5-inch display along with a larger 8.0-inch unit that is optional for the sport, limited and touring models. There are two USB ports provided for the front seat passengers, and two more are optional at the back of the centre console. Rear seat passengers have the means to charge their phones. 

There are Eyesight forward-facing cameras as well for things such as adaptive cruise, while another camera focuses on the driver. Using facial recognition technology, it is capable of recognising five drivers and adjust to suit each one’s seating position, music, reverse tilt on the wing mirrors, and much more.

There is a list of safety technology packages with Subaru EyeSight driver monitoring systems as the standout attribute. It maintains tabs on the actions of the driver to make sure that he or she checks the mirrors and observes lane discipline. This intelligent feature, though amazing, can be irritating at times. It sometimes fails to recognise a glimpse in the mirror and issues an audible notification when that happens. 

There is the usual complement of eight airbags and traction and stability control. There are child restraint points, which are located sensibly on the back of the seat as well as two sets of ISOFIX anchor settings. The Forester Hybrid 2.0e-S also has a tyre pressure monitoring system with three settings that include normal, loaded, and towing. The Forester earned the five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and a top designation from the Insurance Institute Highway Safety. 

Performance and handling

The 2020 Forester Hybrid 2.0 e-S, also dubbed as e-Boxer, is a combination of the current 2.0-litre horizontally-opposed four-cylinder petrol engine assisted by an electric motor which slots into a Lineartronic CVT automatic gearbox. The setup allows the powertrain to work seamlessly with the current permanent all-wheel-drive system, including X-mode for light off-road usage. 

The petrol unit develops 110 kW at 6000 rpm in this application, though the electric motor has peak outputs of 12.3 kW. Subaru has not yet given the combined quote for the output from both gas and electric sources. It can accelerate from 0 to 98 km/h in 8.5 seconds. Overtaking some of the slower vehicles on the highway is not a big chore, but gaining ahead some of the faster cars may need more planning.

Driving impressions

The Forester hybrid is quite adequate around town, but it does not provide the electric zip one would expect from a modern hybrid. The petrol engine on occasion may also be a bit slow at the start. The ride is quite comfortable, though, as the speed bumps do not usually matter. The sharp driveway approaches are technically not much of an issue. On the rural roads, the Forester hybrid is not exactly a powerhouse in the straight line. The CVT does not significantly help with the shifting simulation as well. 

There is a Sport mode, of course, but it only functions to sharpen the throttle subtly, so it does not make any difference. The braking and the handling is above average. There is an X mode that reconfigures the electronics of the vehicle for when there is rough terrain. Here, there are two modes, which are snow or dirt, for the slippery surfaces. There is also deep snow or mud for the much softer surfaces where the vehicle is at a higher risk.

Fuel economy

The average fuel economy worked out to be an indicated 8.5 litre per 100 km though this is for highway driving. It could have a better rating in the city. 

Final thoughts

The Forester hybrid is a relatively new offering in the market, considering the brand has been focused on the midsize engine for sports sedans, wagons, and SUVs. The hybrid has focused on class and comfort as opposed to the EV considerations. The performance is adequate for city driving, and there are advantages for off-roading, but it is not particularly outstanding. The Forester Hybrid e-S is priced at $46,000, which is fair for its class and the technological offerings in its category. It is a good option as a multi-purpose offering. 

For more car reviews, updates about the car industry, and assistance in finding car parts in Australia, come visit us at CarPart! If you're looking for Subaru parts online and suitable Subaru spare parts in Australia, you may use CarPart's request for parts feature to shop for parts conveniently!

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