Last week featured the first and second generation Foresters. Next in the Forester evolution comes the third gen SH model. This generation is a complete redesign from the previous and offered some desirable new features.
The different trim levels available were similar to the SG where a base, base with luxury items, and a turbo model were offered. Power output on the SH was very similar to the respective SG models. An audio auxiliary jack came standard. Additional options, some which were not available on the SG, included heated front seats, panoramic roof, heated side view mirrors, climate control, and navigation. One common gripe is that the XT (turbo models) did not have a manual transmission as an option.
The SH redesign was a lot more SUV-like and less wagon-y. This was especially apparent with newly implemented frames around the windows (a first for Subaru) and was larger in nearly every dimension than its predecessor. This newer, more utility based, design was highlighted at the 2008 SEMA show where Subaru displayed their Forester Mountain Rescue vehicle.
This vehicle demonstrated the Forester as an offroader with surprising capabilities. This was the inspiration for quite a few. There are probably more lifted SHs out there than any other generation. But, there is still a huge following of those that prefer the lowered look. Subaru showed off this side of the versatile Forester with the tastefully modded XTi concept.
The XTi was equipped with the WRX STi engine and 6-speed manual transmission, 18″ wheels and tires, and Brembos. Although the XTi never made it to production it did emphasize what could be done to make the Forester more sporty continuing a common trend present in the earlier models. The most common upgrades for the SH are bolt-on suspension parts and modifications to increase power like intake and exhaust components. Of course, the Accessport is also an option for the XT and offers the greatest power gains per dollar over any other single modification. Check out a full list of COBB products for your SH Forester XT here.
More modern features, more cargo room, and a different look. Is the SH better than the SG?