Subaru’s compact SUV, the ever-popular Forester, is back for 2019 with its new fifth generation design which aims to reclaim the compact SUV crown and cement itself as the vehicle to choose within this size category.
Subaru never disappoints in the quality and capability of their vehicle line-up and the new Forester is no exception. The company enjoys a loyal customer following for this very reason and the 2019 Forester is set to continue this trend with its blend of all-terrain performance, practicality and everyday utility.
The exterior updates given to the new Forester are a subtle evolution rather than a complete redesign. The overall appearance is familiar, but those with a keen eye will notice the new, more prominent face which features a larger grille as its centerpiece along with redesigned body panels that offer a more sculpted look. The end result is a stylish crossover SUV which is only slightly longer and wider than the preceding model.
Every 2019 Forester features automatic LED headlights as standard, a welcome addition that is sure to please buyers who may be looking for a better value from the base trim level.
Sport trim is likely to be the most popular option for buyers and adds exterior styling accents in the form of a black grille, and orange highlights on the roof rails and door bottoms, in addition to larger 18-inch black alloy wheels.
Interior styling, features & comfort
The interior of the 2019 Forester exudes quality and is a significant departure from the bland Subaru interiors of old. Step inside and you’re greeted with a range of quality materials including soft-touch surfaces, leather and brushed metallic finishes, depending on your chosen trim level. All but the base model are fitted with a large moonroof which further improves the feel of the cabin.
Buyers who are familiar with the Forester range will notice and appreciate the slightly larger cabin in this new model. Legroom for both front and rear passengers is ample, seating five occupants in complete comfort on either cloth upholstery or leather seats that have been redesigned to offer more support.
The vehicle’s infotainment system is larger than the previous model, presenting you with a 6.5-inch touchscreen display as standard that features integrated Bluetooth capability as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality. An 8-inch screen is offered as an option which includes an upgraded sound system and satellite navigation.
This year’s Forester is also gifted a larger cargo area, expanding to a maximum of 76.1 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. With the seats in place, cargo capacity stands at 35.4 cubic feet which is at the upper end for compact SUVs.
Performance & handling
Subaru’s powerplant of choice for the new Forester is their 2.5 liter, 4-cylinder gas offering that provides 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque via an automatic CVT transmission.
This combination works well in everyday situations but might not offer the outright performance that some buyers are looking for. This may come as a blow as the turbocharged 2.0 liter engine has been discontinued and is no longer an option.
The all-wheel drive system is impressive and provides enough traction to tackle any surface that the average crossover SUV owner could wish to traverse. Unpaved trails and farm tracks as well as mud and snow are easily handled thanks to generous ground clearance.
On-road handling is impressive with minimal body roll through corners and plenty of grip, assisted by steering that’s lightweight, providing the Forester with an agile and sporty feel. Highway cruising is comfortable and refined.
The 2109 Forester is more fuel efficient, thanks in part to the variable transmission and the updates made to the 2.5 liter boxer engine’s fuel injection system.
The result is EPA economy figures of 26/33/29 mpg for city, highway and combined driving, enough to match or beat all Foresters competitors including the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5 and Nissan Rogue.
Should you buy the 2019 Forester?
Starting at $24,295, the 2019 Subaru Forester is a great choice for buyers who require a practical, spacious vehicle for everyday use – whether that be off-roading or general family duties. It manages to best its nearest rivals due to its impressive value for the money, offering the latest in technology, great fuel mileage and competitive performance.