I recently had the opportunity to compare the all-new 2019 Fifth Generation Subaru Forester SUV to its predecessor fourth-generation model, the 2018 Forester, during back-to-back test drives. Based on this comparison, my assessment is that the 2019 Forester is better by nearly every metric. It is quieter, larger, offers more passenger room, has greater cargo capacity, and is more technologically advanced than its predecessor.
New Platform for the 2019 Model
A key factor behind my assessment is that the 2019 Forester unibody structure is based on an all-new platform. Using a construction analogy, the fundamental attributes of a house are determined by its foundation. Likewise, the same is true for an automotive platform, which functions as a vehicle’s foundation. The backbone of the 2019 Forester is the new platform called the Subaru Global Platform, which it shares with the larger Ascent SUV, Crosstrek subcompact SUV, and Impreza sedan.
The new Subaru Global Platform gives the 2019 Forester a more solid feel, with noticeable differences in the ride comfort, quietness, and stability over its predecessor fourth-generation model. In addition, the new platform extends the 2019 Forester wheelbase by 1.2 inches, translating into a 1.4-inch increase in rear-seat legroom, as well as slightly more head, shoulder, and hip room. It also gives the 2019 Forester wider rear door openings and a steep C-pillar angle improves passenger ingress and egress.
The Forester has a redesigned suspension and a greater use of high-strength steel, which adds further rigidity for a sturdier ride. Steering response is also improved. All-new braking hardware provides better stopping power. As an added benefit, the new electronic parking brake frees up console space by eliminating the traditional parking brake handle.
All 2019 Foresters are powered by a new version of the 2.5-liter Boxer four-cylinder engine equipped with direct fuel injection and Auto/Stop. The updated engine generates 182 horsepower, compared with the previous version's 170 hp. One powertrain change for the 2019 model-year is that a turbocharged engine available in 2018 is no longer offered.
The 2.5-liter engine is mated to a continuously variable transmission, which helps to increase fuel efficiency. Also standard on all Forester trim levels is Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, which actively monitors acceleration, deceleration, cornering and traction to transfer power to the wheels with the best grip.
EyeSight Is now Standard
All 2019 Foresters come standard with the EyeSight driver assist technology, which includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure and sway warning, lane keep assist, Pre-Collision Throttle Management, and Lead Vehicle Start Alert that notifies an inattentive driver if the car in front begins moving forward after coming to a stop.
The 2019 Forester design increases cargo space to 76.1 cu. ft. with the 60/40 split rear seatbacks lowered, a gain of 1.9 cu. ft. The load floor sits flatter and the cargo area’s squared-off shape has been further optimized to facilitate carrying large objects. The rear gate opening maximum width is now 51.3-in. wide, a 5.3-inch increase over the prior model.
2019 Subaru Forester
- Engine: 2.5-liter BOXER four-cylinder engine (182 hp and 176 lb.-ft. torque)
- Transmission: Lineartronic CVT (Continuously variable transmission)
- Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
- Cargo Space: 76.1 cubic feet with the 60/40 split rear seatbacks lowered
Originally posted on Automotive Fleet