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Is Subaru Forester Getting Soft? Enter All-New Sport Trim

Is Forester getting soft? Subaru brings the new 2019 Forester Sport trim. What sets it apart for adventure enthusiasts.

Some have suggested Subaru Corporation is getting soft and getting away from their off-road adventure roots. The new 2019 Forester reveals Subaru hasn’t forgotten what made them successful and the Forester Sport trim shows the brand is still about building “go-anywhere” all-wheel drive vehicles for getting away from civilization. It’s designed for urban-adventurers.

Loyal Forester fans are known for their adventurist spirt and can be seen taking their SUVs on trips to get away from the crowd. You’ll see a long line of modified Foresters with raised suspensions and large off-road tires heading to the high-country for weekend excursions. Subaru Corp hasn’t forgotten their roots and designed the Forester Sport for those wanting a small SUV with additional off-road capability.

Two-Mode X Mode

The new fifth-generation Subaru Forester Sport gets a two-mode X-Mode system that features separate settings for snow and dirt as well as deep snow and mud, and a unique SI-Drive Sport system for improved throttle response. The system should offer even more off-road capability to go virtually anywhere necessary.

Forester Sport should also dial up the fun-to-drive meter and employs a version of Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE) that comes on the sport-tuned WRX sports sedan. Drivers will be able to choose from two selectable modes; Intelligent and Sport Sharp. The Lineartronic CVT automatic transmission also features a seven-speed manual mode with steering wheel paddle shifters.

Sport trims get a unique front grille, rear spoiler, rear under-guard, and roof rails are featured with dark metallic 18-inch wheels and orange exterior accents. Other exterior additions include vertical LED fog lights and LED side mirrors, steering responsive headlights and a Forester Sport-exclusive Dark Blue Pearl exterior finish is also available.

Inside, the Sport gets orange interior accents and stitching, while the infotainment system includes an eight-inch touchscreen. Also added are dual rear USB ports, for a total of four, and A/C ducts on the back of the center console for improved second-row passenger comfort. The Sport trim also adds reclining rear seats and a leather shift knob. Forester Sport features Subaru’s Side/Rear Vehicle Detection (SRVD) system for enhanced safety.

For adventure seekers, Forester also 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. The new 2019 Forester offers increased ground clearance for a wider range of off-road activities than ever before.

The new 2019 Subaru Forester Sport will be available in U.S. showrooms later this year, and now comes with SI-DRIVE for sportier driving dynamics, and a Two-Mode X Mode for even more off-road capability for adventure enthusiasts to go virtually anywhere.

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Photo credit: offroading_subarus_of_colorado


Peter Benjamin (not verified)    August 16, 2018 - 8:36AM

I very much look forward to embarrassing a new ‘sport’ 2.5 equipped 2019 Forester at a double lane red light with my 2017 XT slightly modified with an Invidia 3” stainless performance exhaust ... just like I do with turbo Escapes, CRVs, Q5s, Rubicons... not to mention actual ‘sport’ cars. They will want a refund. Sport Not.

Richard Joash Tan (not verified)    August 18, 2018 - 2:24AM

In reply to by Peter Benjamin (not verified)

But I will look forward to embarrassing you and your forester with my new Forester e-Hybrid at a triple red light and I will not want a refund and you will be banned for life.

Michael (not verified)    August 16, 2018 - 11:19PM

Am I missing something important? Sports trim sounds like a different luxury package and otherwise is the same off-road as other foresters.

Jason (not verified)    August 16, 2018 - 11:20PM

How is this any different? They’re touting x mode and si drive but I have both of those on my 2015 XT, only difference is my Xmode only has one setting.

Donovan (not verified)    August 16, 2018 - 11:21PM

Why is there no off-road package for these cars? They basically force people to go buy wheels and tires and lift kits. Missed opportunity. Look at the TRD with Toyota. Hey, they’re partners now, maybe they could help Subaru out.

Ed B (not verified)    August 17, 2018 - 9:26AM

Hmmm, again - smoke and mirrors marketing. The Sport version of the 2019 Forester does virtually nothing to make it a credible alternative to a base model Forester. Simply tweaking X-mode and the faux CVT gears (sports sharp) will not make the car faster. The one engine fits all concept in the Forester car line moving forward is foolish and simply a means to reduce production costs. Subaru dropped the ball, when many of the competitors in this segment offer Turbo 4s or a 6 cylinder option. As Peter wrote, I'll stack my 2017 XT up against the 2019 Sport any day. Speed/power matters in this segment. Subaru is hoping gas mileage, a few enhanced safety features and smother ride bring in the masses. Enthusiasts stay home - nothing to see here!