When Subaru announced the new fifth-generation 2019 Forester, they left out two features loved by fans. Subaru Corporation axed the 6-speed manual gearbox and the Forester 2.0XT turbo model. Why did the Japanese automaker get rid of the two popular models?
Subaru Corp made the decision to ax the Forester 2.0XT with 250 horsepower. They likely made the decision to kill the sporty 2.0-liter turbocharged model because of slow sales, and more importantly fuel mileage. The new 2019 Forester will get up to 33 mpg on the highway, and will also let a driver pick between “Intelligent” and “Sport” driving modes, With Intelligent smoothing out acceleration to save fuel, and Sport makes things peppier.
The 2018 Subaru Forester 2.0XT could only muster 23/27 city/highway mpg and 25 combined mpg and required premium unleaded fuel. The outgoing 2018 Forester naturally aspirated 2.5-liter boxer engine with a 6-speed manual gearbox was even worse and had an EPA fuel mileage rating of 22/28 city/highway and 24 combined mpg.
Safety over fun
The other big reason Subaru killed the 6-speed manual is that Subaru’s number one priority is consumer safety. All new 2019 Subaru Forester models now come standard with EyeSight driver assist technology. Subaru Corp has not figured out how to make the safety system work with a stick-shift, so the manual gearbox had to go. Subaru will continue to pursue safety first, and EyeSight-equipped models earn the highest TOP SAFETY PICK+ awards from IIHS.
Fans who want a Forester 2.0XT turbo model, or a 6-speed manual gearbox, better get one of the 2018 Subaru Forester models because they are going away after this model year. The fifth-generation 2019 Subaru Forester will get significant improvements but arrives this fall without the sporty turbocharged XT trim or a 6-speed manual gearbox model.
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Photo credit: Subaru USA