With assembly of the fifth-generation Subaru Forester taking place at the newly-launched Tan Chong Subaru Automotive (Thailand) for distribution in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia, there will certainly be queries about the pricing of the SUV model when (in all likelihood) it is launched in Malaysia as a fully-imported (CBU) model.

During a group interview session following the launch of the TCSAT facility, Glenn Tan, managing director of Tan Chong International, said, “it’s definitely (going to be) more expensive than the current Forester now, but we definitely want to keep it competitive and keep it within a single price range,” said Tan.

“It’s not going to be (as) cheap as the current one now. It’ll definitely go up to a different zone, but we believe the new car, compared to the other competitors at this new zone should be reasonable. We’ve had similar situations in Taiwan, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and all our countries. We don’t see an issue with the price moving up,” he added.

It was previously revealed that all-new Forester would be launched in Malaysia by mid-2019, with the EyeSight suite of driver assistance systems being fitted on higher-end variants. At the time, an introduction was slated to to take place in April 2019, but it appears we’ll have to wait a little longer.

The latest Forester has already been launched in Thailand, with three variants being offered, starting with the 2.0i-L at 1,330,000 baht (RM171,610), followed by the 2.0i-S at 1,380,000 baht (RM178,009) and 2.0i-S EyeSight at 1,450,000 baht (RM187,039). These prices include what is referred to as an “option pack” that bundles in a five-year/100,000 km warranty and 24 hour roadside assistance – 300,000 baht for the 2.0i-L and 320,000 baht for the remaining two variants.

In terms of specifications, all variants sold in Thailand get the same FB20 engine (156 PS and 196 Nm), Lineartronic CVT and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. The equipment list is also rather comprehensive, and includes LED headlamps, 17- or 18-inch wheels, an eight-inch touchscreen, dual-zone climate control and powered tailgate.

Safety kit is also similar across the range, with seven airbags (front, side, curtain driver knee), Active Torque Vectoring, Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), ABS with EBD, Brake Assist and Isofix child seat anchors on the outer rear seats.

The most expensive variant gets the EyeSight package, which consists of Pre-Collision Braking and Throttle Management, Lane Sway and Departure Warning as well as Adaptive Cruise Control and Lead Vehicle Start Alert. These systems are joined by Lane Change Assist, rear cross-traffic alert and blind spot monitor.