Why Subaru Kept New Forester Plain and Boring
Subaru launches the all-new fifth-generation 2019 Forester SUV this fall but it’s not what fans were expecting. The new 2019 Subaru Forester didn’t get much in the way of exterior design changes and it looks a lot like the previous generation model. Why didn’t Subaru bring bigger changes to Forester on the outside?
According to a report from Forbes, Subaru didn’t want to “confuse or disappoint the market” with their top-selling model around the globe. The report says Subaru Corporation opted for what it calls a "keep-concept" idea. What this means for consumers is, the Japanese automaker wants to keep Forester’s design language similar to the fourth-generation model that launched in 2014.
Where Subaru decided to spend their Research and Development budget on is new safety technology like EyeSight and the new DriverFocus with facial recognition. Subaru has a goal to be the overall safety leader, and Forester is their flagship model for the new technology around the globe. Forester is the number two-seeping vehicle in the U.S., but the compact SUV is their number-one selling vehicle globally.
Subaru doesn’t want to mess with the success they’ve had with Forester with its boxy greenhouse styling mainly because of its excellent visibility and cargo-carrying ability. When Toyota changed the styling of the RAV4 the raked roofline cut down visibility, rear headroom, and cargo room considerably. Excellent outward visibility is one on the core values the brand is not willing to sacrifice for improved styling.
Forester 2.0XT is gone
As for dropping the sportier Forester 2.0XT turbocharged model and coming out with the 2019 Forester Sport, according to Subaru, only 5 percent of buyers were opting for the turbo model, so it was not a profitable model to keep building. Subaru Corp decided to ax the 6-speed manual gearbox for the same reason; slow sales.
The new fifth-generation 2019 Subaru Forester gets a complete remodel underneath the boring exterior skin. The big changes come underneath as Forester grows with its wheelbase increased to 105.1 in. from 103.9 inches. This translates to gains in rear, legroom, headroom, hip and shoulder room. Subaru says the doors have wider openings making ingress/egress and installing a child seat easier.
The Forester re-design also increases cargo space to 76.1 cubic ft. with the 60:40 split rear seatbacks lowered, a gain of 1.4 cubic ft. Forester's rear gate opening width is now 51.2-in. wide, a 5.3-in. increase over the previous model and up to 8-in. wider than on some competitive SUVs. The load floor sits flatter, and the cargo area’s squared-off shape has been further optimized for ease of carrying large objects.
Subaru Corp doesn’t foresee a drop in new 2019 Forester sales around the globe and expects an increase in sales because of the changes. Their flagship model gets improved safety technology, comes with more passenger room inside, more cargo room, and keeps its excellent outward visibility. It’s a formula the brand isn’t willing to mess with.
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