Tidbits you may have missed on the crossover coming later this year
It’s unlikely the Subaru Forester will overthrow the reign of the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V on the top of the sales charts. But the somewhat niche, all-wheel-drive crossover promises improved refinement and practicality in its new generation. If you missed the big reveal at the New York auto show, here are six important things to know about the 2019 Subaru Forester:
A new design, but a familiar one
Subaru didn’t go wild restyling the Forester like Toyota did with its new RAV4. But you will notice the model features a taller grille, new body cladding around the wheels, new taillights, a new bumper, and other updates. New Sport models receive a black gloss finished grille frame, black-finished 18-inch wheels, and orange accents around the body. Below, compare the 2019 and 2018 models for yourself.
One engine, one transmission
Subaru is simplifying its powertrain lineup. A revised 2.5-liter boxer-four is the sole engine option, and it makes 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque. That’s an increase of 12 hp and 2 lb-ft from the previous 2.5-liter unit. Subaru has dropped the 250-hp 2.0-liter turbo-four from the lineup because only 5 percent of Forester buyers were opting for that engine.
Also, Subaru is getting rid of the six-speed manual that was standard on lower trims. Now, the only transmission is a CVT. Some models have paddle shifters that simulate a seven-speed manual.
Expect more room inside the cabin
The Forester has always excelled at providing plenty of room for passengers and cargo, and now the new model should prove even more spacious. Subaru has opened up 1.4 inches of additional rear seat legroom as well as more headroom, hip, and shoulder room. Cargo space has increased slightly, and the load floor sits flatter. The rear gate opens a maximum of 51.2 inches wide, which is 5.3 inches more than the previous version, Subaru says.
At last, an electronic parking brake
On the old Forester, a traditional parking brake handle sat close to the driver’s seat. Now there’s a new electronic parking brake that opens up more space on the center console.
Bigger infotainment screens, and smartphone connectivity
The 2018 Forester offered a standard 6.2-inch infotainment system and an optional 7-inch screen. The new model brings along a standard 6.5-inch screen or an available 8-ich screen. Finally, Subaru is offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on the Forester.
The interior is built to fight dirt
Subaru knows its buyers will get their cars dirty every so often hauling outdoor gear or piling their dogs into the back seat. So the 2019 Forester fights dirt and scuff marks with a textured surface on the cargo area floor, sides, and rear gate interior trim. The bottoms of the front seatbacks also have a PVC material that is supposed to be easy to clean.