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New York 2018: Fifth-gen Subaru Forester debuts with evolutionary redesign


2019 Subaru Forester grows in size, gains new engine

Another year and another all-new crossover has been launched. Subaru has taken the wraps off the 2019 Forester and it takes an evolutionary approach for its redesign. Being one of the marque's best-sellers, it's understandable why Subaru took a more cautious approach to the crossover's new look.

With that, the trio of the original compact Japanese crossovers are all-new just before the decade ends. The all-new Forester squares its sights directly at the fifth-generation Honda CR-V and the recently unveiled next-gen Toyota RAV4. Nearly unchanged looks aside, the 2019 Subaru Forester grows in size, gains a new engine (in the US at least) and, of course, a raft of safety tech.


For the all-new Subaru Forester, it gets a narrower grill than before with the headlights being mildly reshaped over the soon to be outgoing generation. The clean-sheet redesign also sees more upright foglight housings. Overall, it's a familiar-looking face that won't divide opinion. There are, however, a little more changes to the side.

Larger windows and more character lines are present on the flanks of the crossover. Also, the window kinks upwards towards the rear. Sticking to Subaru crossover tradition, unpainted plastic moulding surrounds the bottom half of the car. Lastly, there's the signature large sunroof which has been one of the key options of the Forester.

It's at the rear is where there are more dramatic changes. There's a more aggressive-looking tailgate spoiler, along with a larger rear window. The main highlight here is the tail light and now employs Subaru's new design language. C-shaped units comprise the center of the lights and the corners taper off in an upswept manner.

Inside, it's largely carried over the Impreza, which is the car the Forester is based upon. A large infotainment screen is at the center of the dash and arranged the same way as the Impreza. Upright aircon vents then flank the unit. The sweeping design then wraps around the front occupants. Also lifted from the Impreza is the steering wheel and instrument cluster. Door panels do get their own unique twist.

EyeSight, LED headlights, Auto Start/Stop, SI-DRIVE Engine Performance management, Active Torque Vectoring, Automatic Climate Control, Electronic Parking Brake, Trailer Stability Assist and Welcome Lighting are standard on all variants of the Forester. Power seats are standard on higher trim levels.

As for the engine, it's a new 2.5-liter unit with more power. It makes a healthy 182 PS and 238 Nm of torque. However, this engine is for the US-market and it is yet to be known if the rest of the world will get it was well. Unfortunately, there is no word whether Subaru will continue making the turbocharged 2.0-liter turbo for the Forester. Meanwhile, the transmission is a continuously variable unit Subaru calls Lineartronic.

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