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New Subaru Forester Offers Greater Off-Road Ability for Adventure Seekers

If you are looking for adventure, the new 2019 Subaru Forester delivers. See what improvements offer even greater off-road ability for adventure seekers.

Subaru redesigns the acclaimed Forester for 2019 with even more off-road ability for adventure seekers. The small SUV is now built on a new platform, and also incorporates more space for passengers and cargo for weekend excursions. The overhaul also incorporates better outward visibility, as well as a larger hatch opening.

Trims for the new Forester include standard, Premium, Limited, Touring, and a new-for-2019 Sport trim. All models are powered by a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine making 182 hp and 176 lb.-ft. of torque, which pairs to a CVT and Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel-drive system, though the CVT automatic found in Sport and Touring models offers drivers steering wheel paddle shifters for manual shifting. Subaru discontinued the 6-speed manual gearbox.

The newly developed 2.5-liter four-cylinder horizontally opposed Boxer engine features around 90 percent new components compared with the previous 2.5-liter engine and introduces direct injection, improving horsepower and torque while also providing a boost to environmental performance through improved fuel efficiency. Forester now gets up to 33 mpg highway, a 1 mpg improvement over last years model.

X-Mode Off-Road Ability

The 2019 Forester comes standard with Subaru’s exclusive Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system which includes selectable drive modes. Forester’s X-Mode controls engine, transmission, and brakes on slippery surfaces and in poor driving conditions improve performance in off-road conditions and on poor surfaces. Sport trim features an exclusive “Sport Sharp” mode, while Sport, Limited, and Touring provide a dial allowing easy switching between two modes depending on road conditions, improving assistance in snow and dirt, as well as deep snow and mud.

For adventure seekers, Forester comes with a minimum ground clearance of 8.7 inches, along with the widest possible approach and departure angles and ramp break-over angle for extreme off-road use. Subaru says the new 2019 Forester offers excellent ground clearance for a wider range of off-road activities than ever before.

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Photo credit: Subaru Global


John Goreham    May 24, 2018 - 12:58PM

I have owned 2 Outbacks, 1 Legacy GT, and now have a 2016 Forester (2.5i Premium with EyeSight and Nav). I was skeptical that X Mode was anything but a gimmick. I have had my Outbacks and Forester in some pretty wild areas without trouble. Then I tested the Crosstrek with X Mode on a Land Rover-designed off-road course last fall. I was totally blown away. The addition of X Mode would definitely make me think about trading up for a new Forester sooner than I planned.

Bert Capay (not verified)    June 8, 2018 - 9:44AM

My 2017 Forester has a certain losseness in the steering and suspension system. After only 700 miles Subaru dealer installed a dowel to the steering drive shaft that eliminated about 80% of the steering rattle. The 20% remaining rattles still results in a high NVH. Unacceptable for such a nice car with a quiet and efficient boxer engine and fun to drive AWD system