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Subaru Forester 2023: limited edition 2.5X grade with wireless Apple CarPlay introduced amid chip shortage


An aftermarket head unit with wireless phone projection is the only change from the standard Forester 2.5i AWD

Subaru Australia has introduced a new entry point to the Forester range in the form of the 2.5X.

This new Forester 2.5X is priced at $37,890 before on-road costs, which is identical to the current entry point to the range – the 2.5i. 

By offering the new grade at a more accessible price, the Forester 2.5X will compete with other entry-level rivals such as the Toyota RAV4 GX ($34,400) and Mazda CX-5 Maxx auto ($33,390).

2023 Subaru Forester 2.5X
An Alpine head unit takes the place of the normal Starlink unit in the 2.5X

What is different about the Forester 2.5X?

Changes from the 2.5i are few and far between when it comes to the 2.5X, with the only one being an aftermarket Alpine head unit. 

This new display is 1.0-inch down on screen size from the regular 8.0-inch unit offered in the Forester, but adds wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. At the same time, it takes away the CD player and one of the two USB-A ports.

In some ways, this unit is an upgrade over the standard infotainment system across the Forester range, as the current Subaru head unit only supports wired phone projection systems. 

During a time when car manufacturers are struggling to secure enough semiconductors to build customer vehicles, the sourcing of a third-party multimedia system could be one method to circumvent a bottleneck in the supply process.

2023 Subaru Forester 2.5X front 3/4
The exterior of the Forester 2.5X remains unchanged from the standard model

Chasing Cars has reached out to Subaru Australia for clarification around this sudden change. 

Outside of this entertainment system, the Subaru Forester 2.5X remains unchanged from the standard model meaning it still includes features such as 17-inch wheels, manual seats, along with a fairly extensive safety suite, which includes adaptive cruise control  and lane keep assist.

Power comes from a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that makes 136kW/239Nm. A CVT sends power to all four wheels. 

Subaru Australia said the first shipment of the 2.5X models will arrive before Christmas this year, with the new grade now available to order from dealers. 

Subaru Forester 2023: prices in Australia

All prices listed are before on-road costs.

  • 2.5X: $37,890
  • 2.5i: $37,890
  • 2.5i-L: $40,290
  • 2.5 Premium: $43,090
  • 2.5i Sport: $44,840
  • 2.5i-S: $46,340
  • Hybrid L: $43,290
  • Hybrid S: $49,340