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More New Fifth-Generation 2019 Subaru Forester Details Emerge

There’s more new-generation 2019 Subaru Forester rumors circulating. Subaru may not drop the 2.0-liter turbo just the XT badge.

The 2019 Subaru Forester will be the next model in the brand’s stable to get the new Subaru Global Platform. True to Subaru’s 5 year life-cycle, the Forester SUV is next in line. The fourth-generation Subaru Forester, introduced in 2013 as a 2014 model, is showing its age and it’s ready for a complete remodel. The all-new fifth-generation Forester will arrive next fall in October, 2018.

We reported here at Torque News, Subaru may drop the Forester XT 2.0-liter turbo model for the 2019MY and they could also axe the 6-speed manual transmission gearbox when the new model arrives. This has not been been confirmed by Subaru Corp, but a source close to Subaru told us this will happen.

The rumor mill is spinning and we’ve heard from another source, Subaru could keep the 2.0-liter turbo engine in the new 2019 Forester, and change the badge from Forester XT, to Forester Sport. This would make sense for the Japanese automaker as consumers don’t know that X stands for AWD and T stands for Turbo. Consumers do know what Sport means and a Forester Sport (with 2.0-liter turbo) would also be more in line with competition from the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport and all-new Nissan Rogue Sport hitting the U.S. market. Subaru fans won’t really care if it’s called XT or Sport, as long as it keeps turbo power.

Forester gets the new SGP

Here’s what we do know is coming for sure. The all-new fifth-generation 2019 Forester will ride on the new Subaru Global Platform (SGP) with a lower center of gravity improving driving dynamics, a quieter cabin, and improved safety because of it’s higher rigidity and strength. The new SGP architecture will also reduce vibrations and produce a smoother ride quality in the new Forester.

The standard 2019 Forester 2.5i will get Subaru’s new direct-injection 2.5-liter naturally aspirated Boxer engine and it will get a small bump in power over the outgoing model. It will be more fuel-efficient and will be coupled with a newly-revamped Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) sending power through it's standard Symmetrical all-wheel drive system.

If Subaru drops the 6-speed manual gearbox in the new Forester, look for the small SUV to come standard with the EyeSight driver assist safety system like the all-new Ascent 3-Row family hauler coming next summer. Expect to see Subaru’s new design language, more high-tech features, and possibly 2019 Subaru Forester Sport Premium and Touring trims retaining that sporty turbocharged power.

Let us know what you think of Subaru dropping the XT badge in favor of a new Forester Sport. If you liked this article and think it would interest your friends, consider sharing or tweeting it to your followers.

Photo credit: Subaru USA


Ed B (not verified)    December 27, 2017 - 12:10PM

I feel better now. As I stated in my previous post, I don’t care what they call the turbo Forester, just don’t abandon the loyal customers of the version. The turbo is a real player in the CUV market. It’s the closet you can get to a luxury CUV without the sticker price. While XT sales may only account for 10-13% of Forester sales, it’s an important option. The moniker “Sport” is fine with me. The new platform will help sales as it moves closer to a more refined vehicle with the familiar Subaru quirkiness...

JOSEPH N SACCONE (not verified)    December 27, 2017 - 9:37PM

I am an owner of a 2014 forester xt that is my first subaru. Im excited to hear they might not drop the 2.0 turbo. I could care less if it's called XT or sport. If they dropped that engine without something replacing it with similar power it will be my first and last subaru. The base engine doesn't cut it for me. Especially when you pack out the forester like it's designed to be. It's slow as sh*t without any weight in the car let alone with 4 passengers and gear stacking out the trunk. The XT is perfect and look forward to something that can replace it.

Steve Muders (not verified)    March 3, 2018 - 1:31PM

In reply to by JOSEPH N SACCONE (not verified)

I'm with you! I'm on the fence watching and waiting. This will be my first Subaru Forester Sport package purchase if it happens. If not I'm moving onto another second thoughts. If I'm buying something; I'm not going to settle on less. I saw some pictures of the 2019 Forester and its quite appealing. I got cash in hand lets see if they put their money where their mouth is! I'm not wild about their 2.5 regular motors!

Robert Madritsch (not verified)    December 27, 2017 - 11:50PM

The word "Sport" is too generic, whereas "XT" is unique! And who cares if most don't understands what XT means since how many people know what RX stands for in the Lexus line...

SubiBoy (not verified)    January 4, 2018 - 12:51AM

In reply to by Robert Madritsch (not verified)

Totally agree with you! The "XT" badge stands out in a world of cookie cutter CUVs. In fact, all go as far as saying that I'll order a couple of XT badges from the internet and If Subaru does the unthinkable, I'll promptly remove the "Sport" badge and replace it with XT. ;)

James Tillers (not verified)    December 28, 2017 - 12:22PM

How credible are your "sources" or "rumors"? Lol the previous article said someone high in the Subaru chain of command said the XT and turbo was going away. Now we get the opposite.

James Tiller (… (not verified)    March 26, 2018 - 2:58PM

In reply to by James Tillers (not verified)

I read your comment and completely agree, because I just got through reading the other article. It's as if I wrote it.

Then, I saw your name and the fact that you properly placed the question mark outside of the quotes.


Cody (not verified)    December 28, 2017 - 4:59PM

I don't care what they call it, but the 6 speed manual would be missed. The 2019 engine upgrade would further enhance an already excellent driving experience.

Frank (not verified)    December 30, 2017 - 2:05AM

We almost bought a 2018 Forester, but decided to hold out for the 2019 model. We assume that by then, Subaru will have added support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. But the loss of the turbo option would likely be a deal breaker. I don't care what they call it, as long as they keep the option for the 2.0 Liter Turbo engine. So it is nice to hear the 'updated' rumour about only the name changing.

Ljnymd (not verified)    January 3, 2018 - 2:09PM

Good that they are keeping the turbo. The other engines are hamsters (non-turbo four) and dinosaurs (six cylinder) so this is really the only decent engine for driving in mountainous areas.

Bob H (not verified)    January 6, 2018 - 10:01PM

Just started to look at the 2018 Crosstrek and Forester. After seeing this article may wait or the 2019. However, first year vehicles tend to worry me a bit.

Gary J. Jenkins (not verified)    January 7, 2018 - 2:21AM

If they can fit rear cross and blind spot tech on the manual Impreza in the sport trim why doesn't it come with the Forester Premium 6 spd manual? I don't get it.

Gary (not verified)    January 8, 2018 - 7:01AM

I've owned 5 Outbacks. My last one (2015) has the 3.6 litre engine. The first real power. I'm thinking of downsizing to the Forester. The 2.0 litre turbo would be my only choice now. Anything less might be a deal breaker for me.

have 2 subies (not verified)    January 11, 2018 - 2:54AM

Have 17 XT. Don't care about the name. Sure would be nice if the need to press a button on the steering wheel to get full power goes away and is replaced with a gas pedal position sensor. Have 3.6 Outback too. Both are gas hogs, but XT needs permium for best performance while 3.6 doesn't. Both get the same 20-21 mpg overall. Hope the 19 Forester does better. Both get 24 on trips. Will propbably replace Ourtback with 19 Forester, or 19 Ascent

JY (not verified)    January 11, 2018 - 4:06PM

Glad they are keeping the Turbo 2.0 engine. Wish they can also keep the XT name as its part of Subaru history.

David Edwards (not verified)    January 12, 2018 - 10:56PM

Why are they so eager to get rid of the 6 speed manual? Attention Subaru: NOT everyone wants a CVT!!! I currently drive a 2018 2.5i Premium Forester with the manual. I like the car. However, I would never have bought it, especially with the non turbo engine if the manual were not offered. The manual gives you more control over the vehicle and allows you to rev the engine to get all the power out of it. Plus some people just prefer them! And NO, paddle shifters are NOT the same!

ColoradoGal (not verified)    February 10, 2018 - 11:26AM

In reply to by David Edwards (not verified)

David - ditto everything you say about dropping the manual transmission. I bought my first Forester in 2001. Now have my second one which is a 2005. Both were manuals and great cars. I want a manual for the winter driving in Colorado. There is definitely more control, as you stated. If Subaru drops the manual, it is not likely I'll buy a 3rd Subaru. So sad and disappointing. I do not mind having to order it and wait 6 weeks or so, if I can just continue to purchase a manual. And, ditto re: paddle shifters.

Andrew Scarborough (not verified)    January 20, 2018 - 12:52PM

I don't care so much what they badge them as, but would very much hate to see the 6 speed manual transmission go away. Also wouldn't mind seeing a more efficient version for their 2.5 engine. A change by getting rid of the manual transmissions just adds to the degradation of my brand loyalty for Subaru.

BobM (not verified)    January 23, 2018 - 12:47PM

No Sport. That's what country clubbers call their caddies. Then again my 09 XT also has the hood scoop. Some differentiation from gramma's Forester would be nice. A six-speed manual turbo would work. XT6?

David Walent (not verified)    January 24, 2018 - 7:25PM

Looking forward to the redesign, added safety features, HP and fuel mileage bumps for the normally aspirated engine model. Also the return to better handling. If no 6speed then that is a deal breaker. My wife and I really enjoy the added control of the 5 spd in our 2006 forester x. Really helps with off road and tough terrain out west.

John Goreham    January 26, 2018 - 11:54AM

I hope the 2.0T returns, but I own a 2016 2.5i Premium and I am more interested in the base engine. If the 2.5 returns (new or not), I'm out. Too many owners reporting on-going oil consumption problems. Unless Subaru totally redesigns a new base engine I won't be looking at a new Forester or Outback, nor will I be recommending it. I'll be buying a new compact crossover in a year or so and don't need the worry.

Terence (not verified)    January 31, 2018 - 1:41PM

I really hope they don't drop the manual transmission. I was looking forward to getting one but would love to get it with a manual.

Lindsay Druett (not verified)    March 14, 2018 - 4:42AM

The XT originally came from the Subaru Vortex, but hey, it's for the marketing droids, but, at the end of the day it's about the specs. A Subaru isn't a Subaru unless it has a horizontally opposed engine, and a Forester isn't a Forester unless it has permanent 4WD (AWD, whatever), both legendary with Subaru. As much as manuals are cool, they are getting more and more uncommon (this is automobiles right across the board), but I'm sure they will do the limited release with 6 speed manuals.

Steve Muders (not verified)    March 15, 2018 - 1:33AM

I’ll have to wait and see when the 2019 models come out on the new platform. I would like to get a Forester Premuim Sport XT.

fred (not verified)    March 15, 2018 - 8:31AM

But not all 2.5 engines have oil issues, I own two Subaru's 2017 and 2018- No issues ..My parents own a 2016 and 2015 no issues

gearhead4 (not verified)    March 28, 2018 - 12:59AM

I have owned 3 Subarus with manual gearboxes and understand the attraction. My last two Subarus came with the CVT transmission, which I have no issues with. They always seem to match the gear ratio to the load, and the fuel economy beats the MT every time. My 2015 Outback shows a lifetime average of 33 MPG
I have owned 6 Subarus with 2.5 boxer engines. i never experienced any oil burning.
I am looking forward to driving one with direct injection