The sporty 2018 Subaru Forester XT and the manual 6-speed Forester are going away after the 2018MY. A Subaru source close to the brand told Torque News, Subaru will axe the Forester XT turbocharged model, along with the Forester 6-speed manual gearbox option when the 2019 Forester arrives next year. Forester is getting a complete remodel in 2019 and the two models will be dropped from the lineup according to the source.
This has not been confirmed by Subaru Corporation, but we trust this source. So if you want a 6-speed manual rower in a Forester, you better get one now. You can still get a fully synchronized 6-speed manual transmission with Incline Start Assist 2018 Forester in 2.5i and 2.5i Premium trim.
If you want a turbocharged Forester XT Premium or Touring model, you better get to your nearest dealer now. The sportier trims are powered by a 2.0-liter turbo boxer engine producing 250hp and 258 lb. ft of torque. It only comes equipped with the Lineartronic CVT automatic (Continually Variable Transmission). The standard 2.5-liter Forester produces 170hp and 174 lb. ft of torque.
Why is Subaru dropping these models?
Subaru is likely axing both Forester XT and the 6-speed manual gearbox models because of fuel mileage. Fuel economy in the 2.5i w/ manual transmission trim gets an EPA/DOT estimated 22/28 city/highway mpg. Forester XT w/ CVT gets an estimated 23/27 city/highway mpg. But the Forester 2.5i w/ CVT likely the only model for 2019, gets an estimated 26/32 city/highway mpg right now, before it gets the new direct-injection engine upgrades.
Another reason why the 6-speed manual option is likely going away, is because Subaru wants to have their most popular models come standard with EyeSight driver assist like the all-new Ascent 3-Row family hauler making its dealer launch next summer. EyeSight isn’t compatible with the 6-speed manual models, and can only be used with the Lineartronic CVT automatic. The Subaru brand will continue to pursue safety first, and EyeSight-equipped models earn the highest TOP SAFETY PICK+ awards from IIHS.
So if you want an XT turbo model, or a 6-speed manual gearbox Forester, you better get one of the 2018 Subaru Forester models because they are going away after this model year. True to Subaru’s 5 year life-cycle, the Forester is next in line in the brand’s stable to get the new Subaru Global Platform. The fifth-generation 2019 Subaru Forester will get significant improvements but arrives next year without the sporty turbocharged XT trim or a 6-speed manual gearbox model.
Photo credit: Subaru USA