The 2019 Subaru Forester is all-new this year, marking the fifth generation of a crossover that was first introduced over 20 years ago. If you think you see a lot of them on the streets, then you’re right, because this is the single best-selling vehicle in the Subaru lineup.
Subaru gave the new Forester a thorough update with features loyal fans will appreciate. Power comes from a direct-injected 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque paired to a continuously variable automatic transmission. It has more power than the previous engine, and Subaru says it’s quicker, which should appease those who are disappointed there’s no longer a turbocharged engine option.
Those customers should consider the new Sport trim, which sits in the middle of the five-trim lineup with a base price of $28,795. It has a seven-speed manual mode and steering wheel paddle shifters along with Subaru Intelligent Drive that includes a Sport Sharp mode for a more responsive drive experience.
Standard on every Forester is all-wheel drive, which is one of the reasons you see so many Subarus on the streets of Boston. Adding to the Forester’s winter weather chops is active torque vectoring as a standard feature on all trims. This works in conjunction with the all-wheel drive system to send power to the wheels that slip so you stay confidently in control at all time.
There’s also X-Mode with hill descent control on all but the Base model of the Forester. It features driver-selectable modes that adjust the engine, transmission shifts, all-wheel drive system, and brakes to give the best control possible in less than ideal road conditions. In combination with hill descent control, which helps make navigating steep off-road hills easier, the Forester aims to be the perfect crossover for those with an active lifestyle.
Subarus have a reputation for safety and they uphold that reputation with the addition of EyeSight driver assist technology as a standard feature on every 2019 Forester. It includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, pre-collision throttle management, lane-departure and sway warning, lead vehicle start alert, and lane-keep assist.
The top Touring trim also gets segment-exclusive DriverFocus. This system is designed to reduce incidences of distracted driving. It uses face recognition to see the signs of a distracted or tired driver. When it sees these signs, it sounds a chime and illuminates an icon on the instrument cluster to let the driver know it might be time for a break.
Infotainment in the Forester features the latest version of Subaru Starlink with a standard 6.5-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. A larger 8-inch touchscreen, navigation, and an upgraded nine-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system are available on higher trims only. There’s also new Starlink Concierge, which provides personal assistance when you need help with everything from directions to making a dinner reservation.
The interior of the Forester continues to be a roomy, comfortable space with upgraded front seats and more legroom in back thanks to a longer wheelbase. The back doors open wider for easier access and there’s automatic climate control on all models with dual zone control on the Limited and Touring.
When it comes to cargo, the Forester has plenty of room for your stuff. There’s 35.4 cubic feet behind the rear seats or 76.1 cubic feet with the 60/40 split-folding rear seats down. If that’s not enough room, the Forester can also tow up to 1,500 pounds.
There’s also an available power rear liftgate with height memory to accommodate shorter drivers or garages with low roofs. It opens and closes quickly and has an available rear lock button that closes the liftgate and locks the doors at the same time, so you don’t have to stand around and wait.
The all-new 2019 Subaru Forester is available in five trims starting with the Base at $24,295 and topping out with the Touring at $34,295. It’s due to arrive in dealerships this October.