SUBARU REMAKES ITS COMPACT FORESTER FOR 2019 WITH LOTS OF NEW FEATURES
The Subaru Forester has been completely redesigned inside and out for its fifth generation, bringing the best-equipped, roomiest, most-capable, and most-versatile Forester ever built.
Technology upgrades include the all-new Driverfocus Distraction Mitigation system, for the first time and only on the 2019 Forester.
New features include Eyesight Driver Assist Technology, LED headlights, auto start/stop, Sidrive Engine Performance management, Active Torque Vectoring, Automatic Climate Control, Electronic Parking Brake, Trailer Stability Assist, and welcome lighting.
Eyesight is standard on all versions of Forester, and includes automatic pre-collision braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure and sway warnings, lane-keep assist, pre-collision throttle management, and lead-vehicle start alert.
Pre-collision braking can apply full braking to completely stop the vehicle in emergency situations. Pre-collision throttle management restricts engine output if the driver accelerates when Eyesight detects an object in front of the vehicle. Lead-vehicle start alert prompts the driver that the vehicle ahead is moving away after being stopped. Lane-keep assist helps avoid lane drifting by gently steering the vehicle back to the proper lane.
Eyesight has been found to reduce rear-end crashes with injuries by up to 85 per cent.
Brake assist increases braking pressure in emergency braking situations, while brake override reduces the likelihood of unintended acceleration by cutting engine power if the gas pedal and the brake pedal are pressed at the same time.
Built on the Subaru Global Platform architecture with extensive high-strength steel, Forester offers durability, rigidity, and vibration resistance, along with enhanced crash safety, a quieter interior, better driving feel, agility, and confidence for many years.
Forester is available in standard ($24,295), Premium ($26,695), Limited ($30,795), Touring ($34,295), and new Sport ($28,795) trim levels, each adding more features and amenities, while maintaining the vehicle’s rugged capability.
My 2019 Touring is the most luxurious Forester ever, with new heated rear seats and steering wheel, memory for the exterior mirrors and driver’s seat, and downward-tilt mirror function when reversing.
Eight exterior colours are available for Touring, including new Jasper Green Metallic (light sage), Crimson Red Pearl, and Horizon Blue Pearl (dark sky, my Touring). Ice Silver (slight blue tint) and Sepia Bronze are also interesting and attractive. Black leather and Saddle Brown leather (mine) interiors are available, depending on the exterior colour.
Top-of-the-line Touring also debuts segment-exclusive Driverfocus safety technology (working with Eyesight) to alert the driver using audio and visual signals when the system detects fatigue or distraction using facial-recognition software. Driverfocus also recognizes up to five drivers and remembers their seat, mirror and climate settings.
A new version of the 2.5-liter Subaru boxer four-cylinder engine with auto stop/start, along with a standard Lineartronic CVT allows Forester to achieve a fuel-efficient 26 mpg city/33 highway/29 combined. With mostly local/neighborhood driving, I achieved 28.5 mpg.
The new engine produces 182 horsepower versus the 170 horsepower of the previous engine and yields quicker acceleration. Sport and Touring trims feature a sevenspeed manual mode, using steering-wheel paddle shifters.
Subaru’s legendary Symmetrical All-wheel Drive is standard on all trims, monitoring acceleration/ deceleration, cornering, and traction, delivering optimal distribution of power to the wheels with the best grip for maximum traction, better handling, improved efficiency and quick response to road conditions.
Standard driver-selectable Sidrive allows the driver to tailor throttle characteristics by choosing “Intelligent” or “Sport” mode. Intelligent smooths accelerator input for fuel savings, while Sport emphasises performance.
My Forester Touring had standard LED steering-responsive headlights, which tracked the direction of the turn for better visibility, and high-beam assist – working with Eyesight – to switch the headlights between high and low when an oncoming vehicle was detected. Each trim features its own wheel design and size. My Touring had eye-catching18-inch, five-spoke (wide, flat, with decorative cutouts at one edge) aluminum-alloy wheels, with machine-finished face and black painted pockets.
All but the base model have driver-selectable X-mode with hilldescent control, which optimizes control of the engine, transmission shift patterns, active AWD front/ rear clutch force, and brakes for maximum traction on slippery surfaces and steep inclines. For 2019, my Touring came with a dual-mode version with Snow/dirt and Deep Snow/mud modes, in addition to Snow and Mud in the basic X-mode system.
A strong shoulder line flowed beneath the pillars from front to rear, emphasizing Forester’s height and strength, while prominent wheel arches suggested allwheel drive functionality. Muscular creases lifted the edges of the hood. Forester’s new, more rugged style still retains a family resemblance.
The signature hexagonal grille, outlined with chrome with a large chrome strip across the top and featuring the blue Subaru badge, had active grille shutters to help reduce fuel consumption. Large silver-trimmed 3-D headlight housings with distinct daytime running lights wrapped around the front fascia and the front quarter, featuring Forester branding at the back edges. Fog lights were integrated into muscular chrome vent openings at the outer bumper.
Lower-body side cladding and standard front, side, and rear under guards protected against mud, rocks, and other road debris. Silver trim highlighted the under guards, the side cladding, and the black roof rails. Chrome outlined the side windows, and satin chrome capped the side mirrors.
Large 3-D taillight housings wrapped around the liftgate and the rear quarter, and a roof spoiler with black edges extending down the liftgate window emphasised the width of the vehicle.
Raised roof rails with new integrated tie-down hooks are designed for flexibility in hauling cargo carriers, sports equipment with available accessories, or lashing down a Christmas tree. With 8.7 inches of ground clearance, more than most competitors, Forester is ready for off-road driving, yet has an easy step-in height.