Subaru has unveiled today at the 2018 New York International Auto Show the all-new generation of the Subaru Forester. Subaru says the fifth generation Forester is “the roomiest, most capable and most versatile Forester ever made”.
Starting with the exterior, Subaru has played it safe and kept an evolutionary approach for the Forester, which means the car’s basic silhouette is almost unchanged from the previous generation. The goal is to make the Forester aligned with the Subaru family of vehicles, and therefore presents design cues that we’ve seen in some of its latest models, which include the LED headlights with C-shaped LED daytime running lights, complemented by the C-shaped LED tail lights, forming a family resemblance with the Subaru line-up. Shoulder lines that follow around the pillars “emphasize height and strength”, while the prominent wheel arches emphasize the Forester’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system’s functionality. A new Sport variant adds a sport grille with black gloss finish frame, black finish 18-inch alloy wheels, rear roof spoiler, LED foglights, PIN Code Access, All-Weather Package, and exterior orange accents create a more youthful vibe that Subaru says has been “inspired by the needs of outdoor enthusiasts”.
Underneath the familiar design is the Subaru Global Platform, which just like in the Impreza, has been futureproofed by Subaru to remain one of the safest platforms until the year 2025, which means that even after 7 years, it should still theoretically lead the pack in terms of crash protection. Elsewhere, exterior dimensions have been incrementally increased for increased interior room.
The all-new Forester boasts a more premium and upscale interior, thanks to the liberal use of soft touch materials and stitching details. The seats have been designed for greater long distance comfort, while the new electronic parking brake frees up center console space for greater flexibility. Subaru says that the interior is more durable and hard wearing in key places. For instance, the material used for the cargo area floor, sides and rear gate interior trim utilize a textured surface to resist dirt. PVC material was also used at the bottom of the front seat backs in order to resist scuffing and for easier cleaning, too. To make loading items into the trunk easier, the load floor has been flattened even further. Unique to the Forester Sport are orange details in the inside and a cargo area LED light with auto-off and a rear gate LED flood light that illuminates the area around the rear gate when it is opened.
Powering the Subaru Forester is a single choice 2.5 liter horizontally-opposed H4 boxer engine with direct injection, producing 182 hp and 238 Nm of torque. Power is sent through a standard Symmetrical AWD. Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-Drive), which is standard across all variants, is controlled via a knob, which allows the driver to tailor the vehicle’s throttle characteristics by choosing between Intelligent and Sport modes (Sport Sharp on Forester Sport). As ever, X-Mode comes as standard in the Forester, which incorporates Hill Descent Control into the equation. The engine, transmission shift pattern, Active AWD front/rear clutch force, brakes, and the Vehicle Dynamics Control system, work together to help the Forester tackle the roads less travelled. With its high 221 mm ground clearance, this is the most off-road capable Subaru Forester yet.
As ever with most modern cars nowadays, the Subaru Forester comes with the latest and greatest in active safety gear through the Subaru EyeSight safety suite, which comes as standard on all Foresters. Subaru EyeSight includes Automatic Pre-Collision Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure and Sway Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Pre-Collision Throttle Management and Lead Vehicle Start Alert. Optionally available safety features include Reverse Automatic Braking and Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
Making its debut in the Subaru Forester is a new safety feature called Subaru DriverFocus, which is a driver monitoring system that uses facial recognition software to identify signs of driver fatigue or driver distraction. DriverFocus can also recognize up to five drivers, and even remember their preferred vehicle settings for the climate control, seats, and more. Subaru says the Forester is “among the first vehicles in the industry to incorporate technology that can address the important societal issue of distracted driving”.
The Subaru Forester will go on sale later this year in the North American market. A Philippine debut will most likely be at the 2019 Manila International Auto Show.