The Japanese automaker Subaru is currently working hard on the next-generation 2019 Forester compact crossover. The prototype version of the upcoming Forester was recently spotted for the first time in a company’s internal testing. Based on recent reports, this five-door station wagon will ride on a completely new platform but it’s claimed to have something in common with the new Subaru Ascent concept revealed earlier this year. As we know that the fourth-generation Subaru Forester has been introduced in March 2013 and sold in the U.S. market as a 2014 model year. Now this five-door crossover is already looking quite old in the market compared to its rivals like the Honda CR-V.
The 2019 Subaru Forester seems to be really targeted to deal directly with Honda CR-V and Volkswagen Tiguan. That’s not a crazy idea, considering the CR-V’s compact crossover is quite successful in the U.S. market with sales reaching 702,982 units throughout 2015 to 2016. Interestingly both CR-V and Tiguan became benchmarks by Subaru’s engineers to attack the Forester prototype during its testing alongside the Honda Pilot who tried to protect the Forester prototype from the spy photographers.
Redesign, Changes and Specs
The fifth-generation Forester SUV will be based on a new modular architecture called the Subaru Global Platform and will reportedly be used throughout the Subaru product lineup in the future. Basically, this platform has been introduced for the first time in the 2017 Subaru Impreza and the 2018 Crosstrek. So it’s not surprising that the upcoming Forester will have a similarity of character line designs with the new Impreza. The new modular architecture is expected to provide some improvement, especially lowering the noise and vibration levels. In addition, by using this new platform, Subaru is expected to also offer plug-in hybrid version of the 2019 Forester.
Of course, there will be many changes in the all-new 2019 Subaru Forester that includes redesign and more roomy interior space. But certainly this five-door crossover looks much larger than the previous model and will take many design cues from the new three-row Ascent SUV. It’s too early to talk about the spec details; however Subaru will certainly offer sporty variants and STI-enhanced Forester tS on next-generation models in the United States. The forester tS is currently only sold in the Japanese domestic market and offers several upgrades, including the new chassis and is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter BOXER engine with an output of 250 horsepower.
As you know the U.S.-spec 2018 Forester is currently available in two powertrain options. The first option is a 2.5-liter DOHC BOXER 4-cylinder engine available for the Forester 2.5i variant, and is capable of producing 170 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 174 lb-ft of torque at 4,100 rpm. Furthermore there is a turbocharged 2.0-liter BOXER 4-cylinder engine offered for the Forester 2.0XT variant with output reaching 250 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 – 4,800 rpm. Well, the latter powertrain is the same as used by the Japanese-spec Forester tS.
Apart from that, all variants are equipped with Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive System as standard. The Japanese automaker offers two transmission options that include six-speed manual transmission with Incline Start Assist available for 2.5i and 2.5i Premium variants, as well as Lineartronic CVT (Continually Variable Transmission) specifically for 2.5i Limited, 2.5i Touring, 2.0XT Premium and 2.0XT Touring variants.
Release Date and Pricing Info
There is no official word about release date, however the redesigned 2019 Subaru Forester is expected to hit the U.S. showroom sometime in late 2018. This new five-door compact crossover should be ready to deal with some of its main rivals such as the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue, Chevy Equinox and Jeep Cherokee. While the price tag is expected to not rise much from the current model that is sold with a base MSRP of $22,795.
Image Credits: Autocar