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2018 New York Auto Show: 2019 Subaru Forester


The 2018 New York Auto Show was one of the best motor shows we’ve seen for some time in the automotive industry, with a number of world debuts and a number of firsts, including the 2019 Subaru Forester. Due on sale in Australia in September 2018, the new Forester has been brought into this decade with new exterior styling and significantly more modern interior.

Now sitting on Subaru’s newest global platform, the new Forester may look similar to the car it replaces, but it is longer, narrower and less tall than the car it replaces. Subaru’s EyeSight active safety equipment will be standard equipment on all new Forester models, whilst both diesel and turbo petrol engine options have been cut.

2019 Subaru Forester green front static

The 2019 Subaru Forester now sits on Subaru’s Global Platform, which it shares with the current Impreza and XV. This has allowed for the car to incorporate a new range of technology, including additions to Subaru’s EyeSight system, whilst also driving and riding better than the previous generation of the car. Unlike the current Forester, just one drivetrain will be available – a new 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine producing 136kW of power at 5,800rpm and 239Nm of torque at 4,400rpm and matched solely to a CVT automatic with a seven-speed manual mode.

Measuring 4,625mm long, 1,815mm wide and 1,730mm tall, the 2019 Subaru Forester is 15mmm longer, 20mm narrower and 5mm less tall than the current generation of car. Subaru claims that the new Forester drives better than before as well, with retuned suspension and a 30mm longer wheelbase (2,670mm) allowing for a more compliant ride and a planted stance on the road. Yet unlike many other medium SUVs, the 2019 Subaru Forester offers reasonable off-road ability, thanks to an upgraded version of Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive system, a new form of Subaru’s X-Mode mode and a 220mm ground clearance.

2019 Subaru Forester dashboard

Much has been said online of the 2019 Subaru Forester’s updated styling. According to the brand,the 2019 Subaru Forester “debuts a more rugged style that showcases Subaru’s new design language while retaining a strong family resemblance to the rest of the brand’s portfolio”. To our eyes, it does look more rugged though very similar to the current model, with similarly aggressive headlights, tall tailights with new tailgate inserts and newly flared wheel-arches making the car appear wider than before.

Inside the 2019 Subaru Forester is where the brand has really improved the car – the dashboard layout is all-new, and appears much higher quality than before. The overall dashboard is shared with the current Impreza, with minor detail changes such as an X-Mode drive mode selector in the centre console. Standard in all new Forester models will be a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, whilst a larger 8.0-inch unit with inbuilt satellite navigation will be standard on upper spec models. Whilst these screens make the car appear more modern than before, on the North American models previewed at least, the optional red, beige or cognac interior trim makes the 2019 Subaru Forester’s interior appear more expensive and higher quality than any other Subaru product.

2019 Subaru Forester bootspace

Whilst the 2019 Subaru Forester offers a higher quality interior than before, the car will also offer more standard equipment than before as well. Subaru’s EyeSight active safety equipment is due to be standard, offering features such as autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warning, whilst features such as blind spot monitoring, automatic high beam headlights, rear traffic alert and even automatic braking in reverse – an increasingly important equipment deficit in competitors – will be available further up the range.

Also available on the 2019 Subaru Forester will be dual rear USB ports, LED headlights on all models, an electric tailgate on some models with LED lighting and alloy wheels in both 17- and 18-inch sizes.

2019 Subaru Forester green rear 3/4

The 2019 Subaru Forester has been confirmed for Australian sales in the third quarter of 2019, with pricing and specifications to be announced closer to its on-sale date.

Stay tuned to Chasing Cars for news and reviews regarding the Subaru range.