2019 Subaru Forester

Change Year or Vehicle
Coming Soon MSRP range
(5.0) 1 reviews
SAVE

2019 Subaru Forester Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview

Subaru's Forester compact SUV gets a dash of style for 2019 to season its earnest all-wheel-drive practicality. It's also a little roomier and now has Subaru's EyeSight package of safety and driver assistance tech standard on all models.

The 2019 Forester, unveiled at the 2018 New York International Auto Show, also gets a new Sport model with a sportier appearance, but gone is the sportier engine option, the 250-horsepower turbo 2.0-liter. All trim levels now will have a revised and slightly more powerful 182-hp version of the current model's base 2.5-liter boxer four. In addition to the new Sport, the Forester will carry over base, Premium, Limited and Touring trim levels.

The redesigned 2019 Forester moves to the new Subaru Global Platform that made its debut with the redesigned 2017 Impreza and helped make the sedan quieter, more agile and more stable. That platform now also underpins the Impreza's SUV sibling, the Crosstrek, and is the base for Subaru's coming Ascent three-row SUV.

The new Forester is a redesign for Subaru. It's the brand's entry in the red-hot compact SUV competition, and the Forester has been the brand's No. 2 seller after the Outback, though the redone Crosstrek is nipping at its heels.

 

Exterior
The Forester lost style points in the transition for the 2014 model from a sleeker, wagonlike design to the current lumpier shape with pronounced headlights and taillights. By comparison, the 2...

Vehicle Overview

Subaru's Forester compact SUV gets a dash of style for 2019 to season its earnest all-wheel-drive practicality. It's also a little roomier and now has Subaru's EyeSight package of safety and driver assistance tech standard on all models.

The 2019 Forester, unveiled at the 2018 New York International Auto Show, also gets a new Sport model with a sportier appearance, but gone is the sportier engine option, the 250-horsepower turbo 2.0-liter. All trim levels now will have a revised and slightly more powerful 182-hp version of the current model's base 2.5-liter boxer four. In addition to the new Sport, the Forester will carry over base, Premium, Limited and Touring trim levels.

The redesigned 2019 Forester moves to the new Subaru Global Platform that made its debut with the redesigned 2017 Impreza and helped make the sedan quieter, more agile and more stable. That platform now also underpins the Impreza's SUV sibling, the Crosstrek, and is the base for Subaru's coming Ascent three-row SUV.

The new Forester is a redesign for Subaru. It's the brand's entry in the red-hot compact SUV competition, and the Forester has been the brand's No. 2 seller after the Outback, though the redone Crosstrek is nipping at its heels.

 

Exterior
The Forester lost style points in the transition for the 2014 model from a sleeker, wagonlike design to the current lumpier shape with pronounced headlights and taillights. By comparison, the 2019's design is more athletic and less boxy, with sharper side sculpting, more pronounced wheel arches and a trimmer rear end. The Subaru hexagonal grille is bolder, and the front end now looks more like other new Subaru designs, such as the Impreza and Crosstrek.

Familiar, however, is the beltline's kick-up to the back pillar, as well as the tall glass all around that has made the Forester a leader among compact SUVs for safe visibility. If you think the big windows and low beltline don't bring enough airiness to the cabin, a panoramic moonroof remains an option. All models now get LED headlights, and all continue to sport lower cladding on all sides. Rear doors open wider for help with access and child-safety seat use.

The new Sport trim level gets a sportier look with a black-framed grille, black 18-inch wheels and a rear roof spoiler. It also gets orange accents on the black body underguards and on the roof rail mounts.

Interior and Tech
The 2019 Forester's wheelbase is up more than an inch to 105.1 inches, a stretch that adds 1.4 inches more rear legroom, to 39.4. Subaru says that efficient packaging also increases hip and shoulder room a bit. It also increases maximum cargo space by about 2 cubic feet to 76.1 with the 60/40-split folding rear seatback down. Loading also should be easier with a liftgate widened by 5.3 inches to 51.3 inches, a drywall-like width that will make the 2019 Forester among the widest versus its compact SUV rivals. A power liftgate is available on all but the base model and is standard on the Limited and Touring. Accessory-capable roof rails are standard on all but the base model.

Cabin noise has been a complaint about past Foresters, and Subaru says that the stiffer new global platform improves vibration and noise. It also says that additional work has been done to tune out annoying sound frequencies that show up at highway speeds.

A multimedia system with 6.5-inch display is standard; higher trim levels get an 8-inch touchscreen. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration is standard on all.

Keyless access with push-button start is standard from the Sport trim up and on these models, the Subaru Starlink connected services include remote start with climate control from the smartphone app. The available connected services also include emergency assistance and teen driver safety features such as geofencing and speed alerts.

The 2019 Forester's seats are a new design, and the new Sport model gets its own gray cloth upholstery with orange contrast stitching. A new electronic parking brake frees up additional console storage, and automatic climate control also is standard on all models. The Touring trim level gets added upscale feel with amenities that include a standard 10-way power driver's seat and a new eight-way power front passenger seat as well as new heated rear seats along with heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. Also new for 2019, the driver memory function includes outside mirror positions, and city drivers will appreciate that those mirrors now tilt down when the transmission is in reverse.

It wouldn't be a Forester, though, without some additional love for practical details, and one is a new textured material for the cargo area's floor, sides and liftgate panel that resists dirt and scuffing and is easier to clean.

Under the Hood
The sole engine offering for 2019 is a revised version of the 2.5-liter boxer four-cylinder that puts out 182 hp, up from 170 currently, and 176 pounds-feet of torque, up 2 pounds-feet. It is paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission. A "manual mode" with steering wheel paddles on the Sport and Touring models mimics a seven-speed transmission with artificial shift steps.

Dropped is the 250-hp, turbo 2.0-liter option, as is the manual transmission for the base mode. A stop-start system is standard and Subaru estimates that the new powertrain will achieve a 33-mpg highway mileage rating, up from 32 mpg highway for the current version of the 2.5-liter.

Standard on all Foresters is Subaru's active torque-vectoring all-wheel drive that shifts power in response to acceleration, deceleration and cornering, as well as for traction. The trims get 17- or 18-inch wheels, alloy on all but the base model, and all models have 8.7 inches of ground clearance. The Premium, Sport, Limited and Touring have a standard driver-selectable X-Mode with hill descent control that optimizes the powertrain, all-wheel drive and chassis systems for slippery conditions and steep inclines. An X-Mode upgrade for 2019 for the Sport, Limited and Touring models offers a choice of Snow/Dirt or Deep Snow/Mud modes.

Safety and Driver Assistance
The Subaru EyeSight package of safety and driver assistance technology is standard for all Foresters. It includes a front collision system with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, a lane departure warning, a trailer sway warning and lane keep assist. Available in addition are blind spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert with automatic braking. Sport, Limited and Touring models have standard automatic high beams and the Touring trim includes adaptive headlights. New for 2019 on the Touring model is a driver fatigue and distraction alert system.


2019 Forester Video

Subaru softened the lines of its Forester for 2019, but the most significant changes are all happening inside.

Latest 2019 Forester Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(5.0)
Performance
(5.0)
Interior Design
(5.0)
Comfort
(5.0)
Value For The Money
(5.0)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Hands Down the best car I have ever owned in my

by S U B A R U 4 L I F E from Bloomington on August 12, 2018

100% CONFIDENCE IN MOTION.... I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER MANUFACTURER I AM A SUBARU OWNER FOR LIFE. NEXT TIME LOOK OUT STI . .I HAVE MY EYE ON YOU.. Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2019 Subaru Forester currently has 0 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2019 Subaru Forester has not been tested.

Change Year or Vehicle

0 / 0 0 Photos
0 / 0

Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Forester received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker