Subaru teased two images in recent weeks of its long-awaited new 2019 Forester, but it took until the 2018 New York International Auto Show for the SUV to go full monty. Now, here it is, revealed at last. While it proves short on surprises, the popular SUV does benefit from some improvements that can only help it consolidate its place on the market.
Subaru’s design team made sure to provide the new Forester with a more rugged demeanour, but one that respects the design signature developed by the brand on its recent models, most notably the Impreza and the Crosstrek. At the same time, it has to tread carefully and not shake things up too much, given that the Forester is the brand’s best-selling model.
Significant changes are thus few and far between. The wheelbase is now almost 2 cm longer, nearly all of that going to increasing rear-row legroom. Elsewhere, the EyeSight drive assist system will be offered standard on all 2019 editions.
The 2.5L 4-cylinder engine that drives the Forester has been revised as well, now ponying up 182 horses and maximum torque of 176 lb-ft – respectively 12 and 2 more than before. The company swears that the new setup is quicker on acceleration. Estimated average fuel consumption is 7.1L/100 km.
Those hoping to lay their hands on a turbo-charged 2019 Forester are out of luck. The turbo option has been jettisoned for the new generation, and there are no plans to introduce one. Coincidentally or not, the company’s new Ascent SUV will get a turbo; it sounds like maybe the automaker wants to avoid short-sheeting the sales of its new large utility model.
The only thing buyers can beef up their Forester with is the Sport package, which adds some distinctive elements to the chassis as well as a choice of drive modes. As for the CVT that comes with the model, we’re told it will try to imitate the capabilities of a seven-speed manual gearbox when the driver makes use of the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
Remains to be seen how effective it will be at that.
The company has not yet announced pricing for the new Forester, nor when precisely it will arrive at dealerships.