2019 Subaru Forester gains in size and features but drops turbo

Subaru has launched the new generation of its Forester SUV, featuring new technologies, including the brand’s first-ever driver recognition system, and the roomiest cabin in the model’s history.

The new Forester is the latest application of the Subaru Global Platform, which is said to bring sharper handling and greater comfort. The new model is larger in all dimensions except height, being 15 mm longer (at 4,625 mm), 20 mm wider (1815 mm) and has a 30 mm greater wheelbase, at 2770 mm. It’s turning radius of just 5.4 metres is claimed to be one of the smallest in class.

Highlighting SUV credibility, the new Forester has an 18.7 degree approach angle, 19.6 degree break-over angle and 24.6 degree departure angle.

The Subaru Driver Monitoring System – Driver Focus – debuts in the new Forester and has the potential to monitor for signs of driver distraction and/or drowsiness, but if detected, automatically alerts them. The technology is a first for a mainstream brand in Australia.

For the first time in the Forester’s history – with the first-gen model dating back to 1997 – a forced induction power plant is no longer offered. Additionally, the turbo-diesel drivetrain first introduced in 2009 is also axed.

With this, the range is only available with a reworked 2.5-litre normally aspirated flat-four which produces 136kW/239Nm and backed exclusively by a CVT automatic.

However, a hybrid version of the Forester, which has been dubbed the ‘e-Boxer’ and utilises a smaller 2.0-litre engine in conjunction with an electric motor, is expected to land on local shores next year.

Forester pricing starts from $33,490 plus on-roads for the 2.5i, in a range that covers four variants:

  • Forester 2.5i AWD – $33,490
  • Forester 2.5i-L AWD – $35,490
  • Forester 2.5i Premium AWD – $38,490
  • Forester 2.5i-S AWD – $41,490

2019 Subaru Forester highlights:

  • 90% new direct injection engine – more responsive and efficient, with 136 Kilowatts of power (+7.9%) and 239 Newtonmetres of torque (+1.7%).
  • Seven-stepped manual mode CVT – Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) automatic upgraded for more sporty response.
  • Third Generation Subaru EyeSight driver assist – now standard across the entire Forester range, with features including:
    • Adaptive Cruise Control.
    • Blind spot detection.
    • Lane Change Assist.
    • Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
    • Bring yet more safety to the masses.
  • Roomiest Forester yet – distance extended between front and rear passengers.
    • Larger, wider cargo area with easier access.
    • Forester 2.5i Premium AWD and 2.5i-S AWD have a smoother, faster operating powered cargo door.
  • X-Mode – with new features and functionality for even better sure-footed performance on challenging surfaces.
  • Reverse Automatic Braking (RAB) – helps to avoid collisions and reduce damage
    • Debuts in Forester 2.5i-L, 2.5i Premium and 2.5i-S
  • Infotainment – Adds digital radio to Forester for the first time.
    • Includes Apple CarPlay™ and Google Android Auto™ connectivity.
  • Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-Drive)  Making its debut in Forester 2.5i Premium and 2.5i-S, SI-Drive is optimized to improve fuel efficiency in I mode and increase engine speed in S mode, for even greater responsiveness.
  • Steering responsive LED headlights  (SRH) – across the entire Forester range.
  • Electronic parking brake – new to Forester, for added convenience.

Subaru Forester MY19 Model Specification:

Forester 2.5i AWD:


  • ABS anti-lock brakes with four-wheel discs (ventilated), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Vectoring
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Auto Vehicle Hold (AVH)
  • Blind spot detection
  • Child seat anchor points
  • Curtain airbags – full length (front and rear)
  • Driver’s knee airbag
  • Dual front airbags
  • Dual front side airbags
  • Electronic parking brake
  • EyeSight driver assist
  • Front seatbelts with pretensioners and load limiters
  • Front adjustable seatbelt anchorage
  • Front and rear fog lights (single rear)
  • Height adjustable seatbelt anchors
  • Lane Change Assist (LCA)
  • LED tail lights
  • LED Steering Responsive Headlights, dusk sensing, with integrated Daytime Running Lights (DRLs)
  • Rain sensing windscreen wipers
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
  • Rear door child locks
  • Rear view camera with washer
  • Safety pedals – shock absorbing brake pedal
  • Seatbelt indicator lights – all seats
  • Side intrusion bars
  • Sun visor extensions
  • Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD)
  • Three-point A/ELR rear centre seatbelt
  • Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
  • Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC)
  • X-Mode


  • 6.5-inch infotainment display, Apple CarPlay™ and Google Android Auto™ compatible, digital radio (DAB+), six speakers, steering wheel controls
  • Air ducts for rear passengers
  • Auto Stop Start
  • Bluetooth connectivity and voice recognition
  • Bottle holders in each door + two cup holders in centre console and rear armrest
  • Cargo area light
  • Cargo hooks (four)
  • Central locking – remote
  • Climate control air conditioning – dual zone with rear vents
  • Cruise control – steering wheel buttons
  • Driver’s footrest
  • Electro-luminescent gauges
  • Front puddle lights
  • Harman kardon® audio six-speaker audio
  • Height and reach adjustable steering column
  • Height adjustable driver’s seat
  • Immobiliser security system
  • Leather steering wheel and gearshift
  • LED map lights (x2)
  • Overhead console
  • Multi-Function Display (MFD)
  • Power steering, mirrors and windows
  • Privacy glass – rear doors, rear quarter, tailgate
  • Push-type fuel lid release – tethered fuel cap. Auto locks when vehicle locked or car in motion
  • Rear seat centre armrest
  • Rear seat recline
  • Seatback pockets (divided)
  • Security blind
  • Steering wheel audio, phone, EyeSight, MFD and MID controls
  • USB charge port – rear x 2
  • USB connection – front
  • Vanity mirrors – illuminated
  • 60/40 split/fold rear seat
  • 12V/120W power jacks (three)


  • 17-inch alloy wheels – full size spare
  • Electronic, heated folding door mirrors
  • Rear mud guards
  • Rear spoiler
  • Rear wiper
  • Roof rails
  • Shark fin antenna
  • Wheel arch and side cladding

Other Features 

  • Auto cargo door unlock on key
  • Automatic transmission lock-out – need foot on brake, key in ignition “on” position, to release lever
  • DataDot security technology
  • Electronic Throttle Control (ETC)
  • Paddleshift Lineartronic™ Constantly Variable Transmission (CVT) with seven-speed manual mode
  • Smart key and push button engine start
  • Speed limiter
  • Subaru Global Platform
  • Three-year unlimited kilometre warranty
  • 2.5 litre DOHC direct injection horizontally opposed Boxer engine produces 136 Kilowatts of power at 5,800 rpm and 239 Newtonmetres of torque at 4,400 rpm
  • 12-month/12,500 kilometres Capped Price Service schedule

Forester 2.5i-L AWD ADDS (to 2.5i specification):

  • Driver Monitoring System – Driver Focus – including:
    • Distraction warning
    • Doze/drowsiness warning
    • Air conditioning setting (last use)
    • MFD setting (last use)
    • MID setting (last use)
  • Vision Assist, including:
    • Front View Monitor (FVM)
    • Side View Monitor (SVM)
    • Adaptive Driving Beam (ADB)
    • Reverse Automatic Braking (RAB)

Forester 2.5i Premium AWD ADDS (to 2.5i-L specification):

  • Alloy pedals
  • Auto dipping passenger door mirror
  • Auto power folding door mirrors
  • Chrome window molding
  • Cloth trim – upgraded
  • Door and dash panel trim – upgraded
  • DMS additional features:
    • Auto driver’s seat adjustment
    • Auto door mirror adjustment
  • Electric folding rear seats – on touch
  • Factory-fitted satellite navigation powered by TomTom
  • Front fog lights add chrome surround
  • Powered cargo door – with auto switching control and smart lock
  • SI-Drive – with steering wheel controls
  • Tail pipe cover
  • USB connection x 2 – front
  • 18-inch alloy wheels – full size spare
  • 8.0-inch infotainment display
  • 8-way power driver and front passenger seats with position memory

Forester 2.5i-S AWD ADDS (TO 2.5i Premium specification):

  • Chrome finish window switches and silver-coloured mirror adjuster
  • Door and dash panel trim – upgraded
  • Electric sunroof
  • Front LED fog lights add piano black housing
  • Front, side, rear silver under guard highlights
  • Harman kardon premium audio, with additional two speakers + sub-woofer (nine in total) and amplifier
  • Leather trim
  • Perforated lower console surround with white stitching
  • Piano black front grille with chrome surround
  • Piano black rear cup holders with chrome highlights
  • Silver coloured mirrors
  • Silver highlights on roof rail tie-down points
  • X-Mode – two-mode rotary dial with silver highlights

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