The 2017 Subaru Forester arrived in Winnipeg showrooms June 20. According to Jim Pattison Subaru Winnipeg sales rep Tom Boyd, on the surface, the changes may appear minimal but they include a number of safety and comfort options.
The major changes to Subaru’s top-selling model, says Boyd, are in the Technology package (available on all but the base trim) — which now includes lane-keeping assist, blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert, while retaining adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning and lane-departure warning. The Active Torque Vectoring system — previously added to the WRX and WRX STI models — is also now available on the top-of-the-line, turbocharged 2.0XT Touring trim.
As well, Subaru’s optional EyeSight safety system has been improved with the addition of new colour cameras that can monitor a wider, longer area. The Forester provides a number of trims to choose from. The standard engine is 2.5-litre dual overhead cam (DOHC), 16-valve, horizontally opposed, four-cylinder Subaru Boxer engine with electronic throttle control and active valve control System that puts out 170 horsepower. The XT models are powered by a 2.0L DOHC, 16-valve, horizontally opposed, direct injection four-cylinder Boxer engine with a twin-scroll turbocharger and intercooler.
Interior improvements include an available heated steering wheel, heated front seats, new cognac brown leather interior, better soundproofing and slight changes to the exterior appearance.
Boyd reports the base model starts at $28,479 (including freight and pdi).
“We received an initial delivery of three models — with more on the way,” he says.
Driven 2016 stops in Winnipeg
Driven 2016 is making an encore appearance in Winnipeg July 9. Show producer Mark Seto notes while this is the sixth time the auto show will have played the city, it will be the first time it will be here two years in a row.
“We used to be at the Convention Centre,” Seto says. “Last year, we relocated to the Red River Exhibition grounds. That allows us to introduce different concepts and features.”
Driven 2016 focuses on the aftermarket. “We appeal to a younger demographic who spend a lot of effort customizing their models,” Seto says. “We will have over 200 such vehicles indoors and outdoors competing for recognition in our show-and-shine. We will also have over 30 exhibitors showcasing everything from new vehicles to modified aftermarket parts.”
Also this year, fans can watch Formula D Drift demonstrations.
Drift driving, Seto explains, pits two drivers driving side by side at high speeds trying to get as close to each other as possible without accident.
“Professional drifters from around North America will be in attendance showcasing their skills,” Seto says. “Formula D Drift is the largest such organization in the sport with 35,000 to 40,000 participants.”
Among other sights to see will be featured vehicles such as three wide-bodied tuner models from Vancouver and the Red Bull Sugga, a former Volvo military vehicle turned into a DJ station, coming from Calgary.
Also on hand will be professional drivers available to take show visitors for rides in several exotic models, including a Tesla, in a charity fundraiser. Each passenger pays $20 for a ride.
“This year, we are giving the money to Resource Assistance for Youth, a resource program for at-risk youth,” Seto says. “Last year, we raised $3,000 for charity.”
Seto notes Drive 2016’s title sponsors are Birchwood BMW and Kal Tire Canada. “We have support from a number of other auto dealers, too,” he says, “including Audi Winnipeg, Auto Gallery of Winnipeg, Birchwood Lexus and Birchwood Hyundai, Crown Honda,Mercedes-Benz Winnipeg, Nott Autocorp and Waverley Mitsubishi.”
Last year, Seto reports, Driven attracted 5,000 visitors. “We hope to have the same number or more this year,” he says. Seto also organizes Driven shows in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.
MUCDA golf tournament
Forty-four teams signed on for this year’s Manitoba Used Car Dealers Association fundraising golf tournament, which was held June 15 at the Kingswood Golf and Country Club in La Salle.
“The weather was perfect and everything went smoothly,” says Terry Van Der Ploeg, MUCDA president. “Everyone had a good time.”
In addition to enjoying a round of golf, participants heard from young cancer survivor Ryan Veldkamp. “A lot of the guys were moved by his story,” Van Der Ploeg says.
The event raised $15,000 for the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba pediatric oncology unit. That was double the amount raised at the last tournament, Van Der Ploeg says. “We had more participants and more sponsors this year.” He says MUCDA gives to a different charity each year. Previously the organization donated the proceeds from the tournament to the Siloam Mission.
Third-generation Gauthier on the job
Kayden Gauthier is following the lead of his father, Randy, and grandfather, Jim. In early May, the 20-year-old began his auto sales career at Jim Gauthier Chevrolet.
The younger Gauthier, of course, is no stranger to the family business. He spent his summers washing cars and helping in different areas of the store.
“I am enjoying sales,” Gauthier says. “I know that I have big shoes to fill but am not feeling any pressure. I am focusing on building up my customer base.”