2019 Subaru Forester

Motor Trend (USA) - - Intake - Kelly Pleskot

The fourth-gen Forester de­ci­sively won our SUV of the Year award when it ar­rived for the 2014 model year. But since then, this small cross­over has started to feel a lit­tle older than com­peti­tors when it comes to tech­nol­ogy and in­te­rior ac­cou­trements. In a chance to re­take the top spot, Subaru is soon com­ing out with a new gen­er­a­tion of Forester, which re­ceives thought­ful new fea­tures and rides on a new plat­form.

We tested the out­go­ing Forester with the op­tional 2.0-liter tur­bocharged en­gine mak­ing 250 hp, and we were im­pressed with its ex­cep­tional ac­cel­er­a­tion. It hit 60 mph in just 6.8 sec­onds from a stand­still. Sadly, Subaru drops this en­gine for the 2019 model year.

Now the only re­main­ing power source in the lineup is a 2.5-liter boxer-four. It de­liv­ers 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque, up 12 hp and 2 lb-ft from the old ver­sion. Also say good­bye to the six-speed man­ual— Subaru is only of­fer­ing a CVT on this Forester. Subaru says to ex­pect quicker ac­cel­er­a­tion from the new 2.5-liter, so it’ll likely im­prove from the out­go­ing 2.5-liter model we tested, which hit 60 mph in 8.7 sec­onds.

The 2019 Forester sits on the new Subaru Global Plat­form. We’ll have to test it for our­selves, but Subaru claims the new plat­form will im­prove ride com­fort, quiet­ness, and agility. The squat Su­bie looks about the same size as be­fore, but its wheel­base has in­creased 1.2 inches. Subaru prom­ises slightly more legroom on the new model, and it should gain in head­room, shoul­der room, hip room, and cargo room, as well. Subaru has also widened the max­i­mum rear gate open­ing by 5.3 inches.

In­side the cabin, the Forester re­ceives re­designed front seats, a new elec­tric parking brake, and now­stan­dard au­to­matic cli­mate con­trol. Oh yeah, and fi­nally it has Ap­ple Carplay and An­droid Auto, both stan­dard on the new model. All Foresters come stan­dard with Eye­sight, which in­cludes au­to­matic pre-col­li­sion brak­ing, adap­tive cruise con­trol, and other fea­tures.

On the new Sport trim level, look for a spe­cial grille with gloss black ac­cents on the frame, a black-fin­ished rear roof spoiler, black 18-inch wheels, and orange ac­cents on the black un­der­guards and roof rail mounts. In­side, gray up­hol­stery mixes with orange stitch­ing.

The 2019 Subaru Forester goes on sale later this year.

Say good­bye to the six-speed man­ual. Subaru is only of­fer­ing a CVT.

STAY FO­CUSED Subaru’s op­tional Driver­fo­cus sys­tem uses fa­cial recog­ni­tion to iden­tify signs of driver fa­tigue or dis­trac­tion. It works with the stan­dard Eye­sight sys­tem and can rec­og­nize up to five driv­ers.

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