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The New Subaru Forester, It’s Good To Be Square

The new Subaru Forester is here, and its unique shape is catching on with many automakers. Subaru Forester has always been a little boxy, but that's not bad. I'll explain how it benefits you.

Is it good to be square?

When you look at the new 2025 Subaru Forester, its boxy shape may not be the most aerodynamic-looking among new compact SUVs. However, this unique design carries practical benefits for buyers. 

The boxy design, a familiar trait of Subaru, has been the Forester's signature for years, and there's a good reason for it. It offers ample headroom and cargo space, making it a practical choice for your everyday needs. 

U.S. News says, "A boxy shape can give a vehicle an assertive stance that sets it apart, and the design also brings practical advantages like ample headroom and cargo space."

There's more here to see.

The new Forester also has the best outward visibility of any compact SUV. Other automakers are beginning to catch on. A few are small SUVs, but many are large SUVs. The U.S. ranked the best "boxy" new 2024 models. 

U.S. News says, "Some vehicles, such as the Jeep Wrangler, have always been proudly boxy. Recent redesigns indicate that some popular models are joining that clique, changing course to adopt chunky exteriors."

I've listed the U.S. News Best Square Cars for 2024 from lowest to highest. Notice the new 2025 Forester is not on the list.  

  • 2024 Lexus GX: $64,250 | Overall Score: N/A
  • 2024 Jeep Wrangler: $31,995 | Overall Score: 7.2/10
  • 2024 Mercedes-Benz G-Class: $143,000 | Overall Score: 7.2/10
  • 2024 Jeep Gladiator: $37,895 | Overall Score: 7.4/10
  • 2024 Land Rover Defender: $56,900 | Overall Score: 7.7/10
  • 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser: $55,950 | Overall Score: 7.9/10
  • 2024 Ford Bronco: $39,630 | Overall Score: 7.9/10
  • 2024 Rivian R1S: $74,900 | Overall Score: 8.2/10
  • 2024 Ford Bronco Sport: $29,795 | Overall Score: 8.2/10
  • 2024 Kia Soul: $20,190 | Overall Score: 8.6/10
  • 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe: $33,950 | Overall Score: 8.6/10
  • 2024 Kia Telluride: $36,190 | Overall Score: 8.7/10

Vehicles with square lines stand out from the pack and appeal visually to some buyers. They may also have practical benefits, such as their tall stance offering abundant headroom.

What sets the Forester apart?

The Forester has a taller stance with 8.7 inches of ground clearance. The boxy shape also makes it easier to get in and out without ducking or hitting your head. I mentioned the Forester's outward visibility.

Even though it's boxy, the Forester's sloped hood is another unique characteristic that sets it apart. This design feature enhances the Forester's appearance and improves the driver's visibility and overall driving experience. 

Because of the lower Boxer engine, the hood slopes downward, giving the driver improved outward visibility and a better view of the road ahead. This unique engine placement not only enhances the Forester's performance but also makes it feel like you're driving a smaller vehicle, enhancing your driving experience.

Many automakers are following a similar path, but the Forester stands out with its unique combination of practicality, comfort, and design features. It's not just another boxy SUV—it's a Subaru Forester, a vehicle that offers a perfect blend of functionality and style, sure to pique your interest. 

It’s for the most active customers.

That means it comes with Subaru's excellent Symmetrical all-wheel drive and 8.7 inches of ground clearance for all-weather performance. With X-Mode and dual-function X-Mode on some trims, the Forester is ready for any off-road adventure, giving you the reassurance of its top-notch performance. 

For more adventurous customers, there's the Forester Wilderness trim level. You can read my report here

U.S. News says, "With its 2024 overhaul, the Lexus GX left its fluid lines behind for a more squared-off, upright look. The Hyundai Santa Fe followed a similar path with its current-year makeover, abandoning the outgoing model's gentle contours for hard-edged and assertive sheet metal."

Subaru is often criticized for its conservative exterior styling. The new Forester could be a better-looking compact SUV, but there are significant benefits to its boxy shape. 

Is the new Forester still boxy, or is it improved over the previous model? If so, click the red Add New Comment link below and let us know.

I am Denis Flierl, a top Torque News reporter since 2012. I’ve invested over 13 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role, working with every major car brand. I am an experienced Rocky Mountain Automotive Press member. You'll find my expert Subaru analysis here. Follow me on my X SubaruReportAll Subaru, WRXSTI, @DenisFlierlFacebook, and Instagram.

Photo credit: Tucson Subaru


Ken (not verified)    July 11, 2024 - 5:35PM

I recently purchased a 2024 Forester Touring, as I was pretty sure I liked it better than what I had read, with pictures, of the 2025. There are features on my 2024 that are not on the 2025. I am very happy I picked the 2024 for multiple reasons!