2014 Subaru Forester: First Look

By David Thomas  on November 1, 2012


  • Competes with: Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Ford Escape
  • Looks like: Subaru is staying conservative
  • Drivetrain: 2.5-liter four-cylinder, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, CVT or six-speed manual transmission, standard all-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: Next year

Subaru does a lot of things right. Its models are reliable, capable and pack one of the better all-wheel-drive systems on the market. Do they set the world afire in the looks department? Nope — excluding the BR-Z, of course. And the redesigned Forester is perhaps the least stunning Subaru we've seen in a long time.

Subaru will officially reveal the 2014 Forester at the 2012 L.A. Auto Show at the end of November, but today the company released a few images and details on the available powertrains.

Powering the base 2014 Forester will be the same 2.5-liter four-cylinder that is currently in the 2013 model. It maintains the same power figures of 170 horsepower and 174 pounds-feet of torque. It can be teamed to a six-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission.

More significant, though, is a new turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that will power the more expensive trim levels. It puts out 250 hp and 258 pounds-feet of torque. That's a significant jump from the outgoing 2.5-liter turbo's 224 hp and 226 pounds-feet of torque. It will be available only mated to a high-torque-specific CVT with the ability for drivers to shift in manual modes for six or eight different speeds. It will also come equipped with hill decent control. The performance numbers for the turbo are certified only with premium gas. It's unclear if regular gas can also be used.

Ground clearance remains 8.7 inches for the new model, which has a "refined" (or new) suspension system, the company says. Which one is it? Maybe we'll find out in Los Angeles.

This is a significant change from the outgoing model, with a roomier interior that Subaru says has more rear legroom and a larger cargo area.

Outside, the new Forester is 1.4 inches longer, 1.3 inches taller and 0.6 inches wider with a wheelbase stretched 0.9 inches.

We'll learn more at the 2012 L.A. Auto Show in a few weeks, and you can guarantee we'll have information on a sale date, trim levels and more images then.


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Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon.  Email David