- The Subaru Forester is all-new for 2019.
- The Forester is one of the best-selling compact crossover SUVs and competes against the Honda CR-V, the Toyota RAV4, and the Nissan Rogue.
- The base Forester starts at $US24,295, while the top-of-the-line Touring trim level starts at $US34,295. Our mid-grade Sport trim test car starts at $US28,795. With options and fees, our Forester came to an as-tested price of $US31,815.
- We were impressed with the Forester’s solid feel, great cabin ergonomics, standard all-wheel drive, and its impressive suite of safety technology.
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The Subaru Forester is one of the most popular offerings in what is arguably the most competitive segment in the US auto market.
At its launch in 1998, the Subaru Forester was part of the initial wave of modern compact crossovers to reach the US market. Since then, the segment, and SUVs in general, has absolutely exploded in popularity. So much so that major automakers such as Ford and General Motors have announced plans to ax the bulk of their passenger models.
Compact SUVs such as the Forester accounted for roughly one out of every five vehicles sold in the US last year.
For 2019, Subaru is back with a fifth-generation Forester.
We recently spent a week with a 2019 Subaru Forester Sport in Crystal Black Silica.
“The 2019 Subaru Forester is one of the most complete and capable compact crossovers we’ve ever come across,” we said in our review.
“It’s solidly built with a well-designed and spacious interior,” we said. “It’s loaded with an impressive array of standard safety features and, of course, there’s Subaru’s tried and true all-wheel-drive system.”
Our review also said that the boxer engine could use some more power and the Forester’s overall demeanour could do with an extra dose of refinement.
The base Forester starts at $US24,295, while the top-of-the-line Touring trim level starts at $US34,295. Our mid-grade Sport trim test car starts at $US28,795. With options and fees, our Forester came to an as-tested price of $US31,815.
Here’s a closer look at its coolest features:
1. Updated styling: Aesthetically, you’d be hard-pressed to spot the difference between the new model and its outgoing predecessor. In other words, it’s undeniably a Subaru. Overall, the styling is restrained and handsome.
2. Interior ergonomics: The interior is impressive. While the Forester’s cabin isn’t exactly stylish or plush, it’s very roomy and well-designed. Its cabin ergonomics and button placement are on point.
3. Interior quality: The cabin feels solidly put together, and the material quality is impressively high. Everything about this interior gives you the impression that it’s built to last.
4. Easy-to-use infotainment: Our test car came equipped with the optional eight-inch touchscreen running Subaru’s Starlink infotainment system. Foresters at lower trim levels come equipped with a 6.5-inch unit.
We were impressed with Starlink’s simple, straightforward layout and its number of features.
Its features include satellite radio, weather data, roadside-assistance alerts, and WiFi-hotspot capability.
5. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
6. A secondary infotainment screen: The Forester’s center console features two infotainment screens. It’s the same setup found in both the Crosstrek and the Ascent.
The secondary display, which is controlled using the “Info” button on the steering wheel, is just as useful.
It offers readouts of the vehicle’s trip computer, climate control …
… secondary engine gauges, active safety systems, radio, and all-wheel-drive system. It also provides information about the weather.
7. Subaru EyeSight: The EyeSight driver-assistance system comes standard on all Foresters.
The EyeSight system includes adaptive cruise control, automatic pre-collision braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, and pre-collision throttle management. The system, which works through a pair of cameras on either side of the rear-view mirror, worked brilliantly and is a true asset to Subaru.
8. Roomy cabin: Overall, the Forester’s cabin feels roomy, airy, and inviting. The second row is particularly impressive, with ample headroom and legroom for even the taller among us.
9. Panoramic glass roof: The massive standard panoramic sunroof certainly helps create an open feel.
10. Cargo room: Open up the rear hatch, and you’ll find 33 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats up. Fold the second row down and cargo capacity increases to a voluminous 70.9 cubic feet.
11. Spare tire.
12: Standard all-wheel drive (AWD): The Forester’s standard AWD system can operate in several modes, including dirt, snow, and mud.
13: Ground clearance: The Forester’s 8.7 inches of ground clearance, along with the AWD system, should be able to get you through most sticky situations.
14. Drive modes: For everyday driving, Subaru has included two additional driving modes you can activate using the buttons on the steering wheel.
Sport mode calibrates the drivetrain for performance, while Intelligent mode is geared toward smoothness and fuel economy.
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