2019 Subaru Forester Is Bigger, Smarter

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - March 30, 2018

Despite the changes that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety made to its testing regime and rating systems at the end of last year, Subaru continues to be one of the safest automakers on the road. While the 2019 Subaru Forester, which was unveiled at the New York Auto Show on Wednesday, looks a lot like its predecessor, the SUV makes major strides in terms of safety.

Now in its fifth generation, the new Forester comes with more safety features than before. The company's EyeSight safety system is standard, bringing forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and lane keeping assist. Other available safety features that can be added to the SUV include reverse automatic braking, along with blind spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert.

While we've seen EyeSight in Subaru's vehicles before, the Forester's real party piece is DriverFocus, which is available on the range-topping Touring trim. Subaru's latest system uses facial recognition software to identify signs of driver fatigue. It can also recognize a distracted driver. In addition to constantly watching you to make sure that you're paying attention, the system also has memory functionality, remembering the seating position, climate settings, and multifunction display settings for up to five drivers.

On the design front, not a lot has changed for the Forester. The SUV now sits on Subaru's Global Platform that adds 1.2-inches to its wheelbase. The rear end of the Forester has received larger, lobster-claw-like taillights that emphasize the vehicle's more upright design. Subaru increased the tailgate opening by 5.3-inches in width, as well. Overall, the Forester features a conservative design that a lot of consumers will find to be agreeable.

2019 Subaru Forester

While a lot of automakers are moving towards turbocharged power plants, Subaru decided to kill off its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder unit. The entire Forester lineup now exclusively comes with an updated 2.5-liter flat-four. The engine produces 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. A continuously variable transmission is the only gearbox Subaru talks about, which makes sense – a six-speed manual and the now-standard EyeSight system have never been compatible.

Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system is standard – the Forester does wear a Subaru badge after all – and, on higher trims, comes with off-road-focused X-Mode setting, and includes Hill Descent Control. For 2019, going with either the Sport, Limited, or Touring trim brings a dual-mode version of X-Mode that allows drivers to choose from two more additional modes – snow/dirt and deep snow/mud – for better performance in those conditions.

Just like the exterior, the Forester has grown on the inside too. The extra inch in the wheelbase results in an increase of roughly 1.4 inches of rear legroom and 1.9 cubic feet more of rear cargo space. Subaru claims the roomier cargo area can now accommodate a full-size golf bag without needing to tilt it sideways. While that's nice, we think the extra rear space will be a welcomed change for any of the golden retrievers Subaru's been using in its marketing lately. For other passengers, the Forester is allegedly the roomiest and quietest variant of the SUV that the automaker has ever made thanks to the new platform.

The 2019 Forester will arrive in dealerships later this year.

Learn more about the current Forester on sale now

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter | Website

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