Subaru’s venerable Forester has received a comprehensive redesign for its fifth generation. The 2019 model will have more interior space and safety features, a new sport trim level and Wi-Fi connectivity.
The newness comes with a price increase of $500 over the old Forester, for a starting point of $25,270.
The new Forester rides on Subaru’s Global Platform, which will underpin all new Subaru models. The platform change stretches the Forester’s wheelbase about an inch, which bumps rear legroom by 1.4 inches.
Heads, hips and shoulders will also have more space in the new car. Subaru even made the rear door openings wider to make installing a child seat easier -- a nice design consideration given the Forester’s target market. Cargo volume is also up, as is rear gate width.
Elsewhere inside, the new Forester gains an automatic brake hold feature, electronic parking brake and standard Wi-Fi hotspot. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard fare.
Under the hood, the Forester is losing two significant features from the outgoing model. The new car drops both the six-speed manual transmission and the XT model’s turbocharged engine.
As a consolation, the 2.5-liter naturally aspirated engine is getting a power bump of 12 hp and 2 lb-ft for totals of 182 and 176. The sole transmission choice will be a CVT. According to Subaru, this combo should be good for 33 mpg on the highway and tow up to 1,500 pounds.
On the safety front, Subaru's EyeSight driver assist tech is now standard and includes automatic precollision braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure and sway warning, and lane-keep assist.
Subaru’s new DriverFocus monitoring system will also be available. The system uses facial recognition software to identify signs of driver fatigue or driver distraction.
The new Forester comes in five flavors: base, premium, sport, limited and touring (the XT trim was dropped with the turbo engine).
The base model kicks things off at $25,270. Premium models start at $27,670. The new Sport trim, which comes with black and orange exterior and interior accents and black 18-inch wheels, starts at $29,770.
Limited Foresters crack the $30K barrier with a starting price of $31,770, while the range-topping Touring trim will command $35,270.
Look for the new Forester to arrive at U.S. dealers this November.