The Forester caters to an increasingly more eco-conscious customer base rather than the traditional on-the-go small SUV consumer. Even so, the Forester still possesses the ability to keep up when the road gets rough and road conditions demand performance. Styling remains sharp and modern– it’s still clearly the Forester from front to back, but with new styling touches to the headlamps, facias and grille.
A turbocharged engine option and manual transmission are excluded from this year’s lineup, disappointing some enthusiasts but the base engine utilizes direct injection and a high compression setup to put out 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque while achieving 26 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. This makes it more powerful than ever, while remaining competitive fuel economy for its class. In Sport and Touring Foresters, a 7-speed manual mode that simulates a manual transmission via wheel mounted shift paddles helps scratch the itch for those with the need for speed.
The Forester is available in five trim levels — Base, Premium, Sport, Limited and Touring.
Standard features on the base trim include EyeSight driver assists, LED headlights, automatic start/stop functionality, automatic climate control, a rearview camera, a 6.5-inch infotainment system fitted with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Sirius XM Radio and two USB-ports.
The Forester Premium adds 17-inch alloy wheels, X-Mode off-road mode with hill descent control, a panoramic moonroof, roof rails, a rear spoiler, a 10-way power driver’s seat, Starlink Safety and Security, a leather wrapped steering wheel, reclining rear seats and rear A/C vents.
Heading up to the Forester Sport adds 18-inch black alloy wheels, a dual-function X-Mode, SI-Drive with Sport Sharp mode, LED fog lights, roof rails with integrated tie-downs, gloss black and orange exterior accents, dark gray sport fabric upholstery, interior orange stitching and trims accents, Sport gauges with color LCD instrument panel display, a 6.3-inch multifunction display mounted on top of the dash, two rear USB ports, and a quick-entry system with push-button ignition.
The more upscale Forester Limited adds leather seating, steering-responsive LED headlights with high-beam assist, chrome grille accents and exhaust, a power liftgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, blind-spot monitoring with lane change assist and rear-cross traffic alert. An 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen display replaces the standard 6.5-inch screen.
The top of the line Forester Touring can be ordered with Black or Saddle Brown perforated interior leather seating. Also included are unique 18-inch alloy wheels, roof rails with silver accents, satin silver side mirror caps, automatic reverse tilt side mirrors, chrome door handles, an 8-way passenger’s seat, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, a navigation system with SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link, a 9-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, a driver monitoring system watching for sleepy or distracted driving, reverse automatic braking and one-touch folding rear seats.
The EyeSight suite of driver assists comes standard for all trims and includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure and sway warning, lane keep assist, and lead vehicle take-off alert. A lesser-known EyeSight feature is the pre-collision throttle management system can help avoid accelerating ahead of time by significantly reducing throttle response and alerting the driver as to on oncoming collision. Optional driver-assist features include reverse automatic braking, blind-spot monitoring with lane change assist and rear-cross traffic alert. The Starlink Safety Plus package includes SOS emergency alert, roadside assistance, automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle recovery, and can unlock/lock the doors, honk the horn, flash the lights and find your vehicle.
The biggest news for 2019 is the addition of the Subaru Forester to the Subaru Global Platform shared with the Impreza, Crosstrek and Ascent. True to its roots, the Forester carries a similar look to its predecessor but now sporting a stronger, lighter, and much quieter chassis with even better suspension. This year’s model features a high compression direct injected 2.5L boxer engine producing 182 horsepower paired with a CVT transmission and of course all-wheel-drive. The Forester also now includes a host of camera-based driver assists via its EyeSight advanced Safety System.
Rugged Exterior, fuel-efficient boxer engine, famously capable all-wheel-drive system, improved passenger and cargo room; EyeSight safety system.
The Subaru Forester brand is known for building go-anywhere vehicles that provide a healthy amount of driver satisfaction and technology. Keeping with this philosophy, Subaru re-vamped the Forester, aimed again at those who wish to master roads less travelled while maintaining urban practicality. Under the hood Subaru added a few horsepower, increased chassis rigidity, and included the addition of several electronic drive settings on Sport, Limited, and Touring models designed for poor weather conditions. A brake-based torque vectoring system and adjustable throttle response via Subaru Intelligent Drive system were even included from the WRX. Compared to the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5, the Forester is a strong contender with a heritage all its own.