Monday, December 11, 2017

2019 Forester - News on the Next Generation

From it's inception in the late 90s, the Forester has been a standout staple of the Subaru lineup over the years.  It's been a class leader in reviews with each generation and is still the only vehicle to have landed MotorTrend's "SUV of the Year" award twice.  As such, the Forester is coming up on completing it's design cycle for this bodystyle and will be switching over to it's new 5th Generation Design in October of 2018.  Here's a rundown of what we know now, as well as handling some speculation surrounding the latest incarnation of the beloved Forester.

'19 Forester Spotted Testing
The 2019 Subaru Forester will be built around the Subaru Global Platform (SGP), which already carries the Impreza and Crosstrek platforms currently.  Reductions in noise, vibrations, and ride harshness are noticeable improvements in the current models, so the Forester should easily follow suit with these kinds of changes.  New for the 2019 Forester will be a Direct-Injected 2.5l Boxer Engine with a slight bump in power.  A Continuously Variable Transmission will send power through it's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system.  Spy photos of the new 2019 Forester show that many of the window lines retain their boxy shape to continue it's excellent reputation for having stellar interior visibility.

Early Viziv Concept
The rumor mill has been spinning about the possibility of the 6-Speed Manual Transmission option going away.  If that's true, the Forester would be the third vehicle in Subaru's lineup to lose this feature, following the Outback and Legacy which did away with it in 2015.  With the market focusing more on pre-collision technology, it's likely that Subaru would follow suit and include EyeSight as standard equipment in the next-gen Forester.  EyeSight currently only works on vehicles equipped with a CVT, so the Manual would be phased out in favor of an All-EyeSight offering for the '19 Forester.

However, this has not been the case with the Subaru Crosstrek, which just picked up a new 6-speed option for it's latest version released earlier this year.  The Crosstrek was also marketed in other markets to have "all vehicles with EyeSight", but the US Market did not, so there's a chance that whatever rumor is spinning for the Forester losing it's manual transmission could be based on other markets.  The Forester is still currently sold with a 6-Speed option for the 2.5i (base) and 2.5i Premium models.  While demand is low in general for manual transmission vehicles these days, this is still a defining trait of the Forester when customers are looking for an All-Wheel Drive small SUV, so it would be surprising to see Subaru drop this option for the sake of saying that "all Foresters come with EyeSight".  Currently, there are no solid details to confirm or deny this rumor.

There are other rumors circulating that hint towards the Forester XT going away for the 2019 model as well.  While this may be true of the XT badge itself, sources have noted that there will be a Forester Sport offered for the upcoming 5th-Generation model.  It's likely that the change is only in name itself, as the turbocharged option on the Forester has been selling well even with low production numbers, which has been common with the higher-output options on Subarus in general.  Expect to see more distinct styling and features on the 2019 Forester Sport retaining that turbocharged oomph.

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