The current generation Subaru Forester does most things you expect of a mid-size SUV right, but it’s little bland to look at and the hybrid variant falls short of its competitors. Fortunately, a new model has just been unveiled and it’s looking pretty promising.
Finally, the new 2025 Subaru Forester has got style. And by that we don’t mean a sleeker profile with smaller windows. The new SUV still has its trademark upright design with a vast glasshouse, but it’s been given some interesting styling elements like the larger grille, squared off wheel fenders and black garnish around the A- and D-pillars. The headlights and taillights have a smoky, more sophisticated design and the wheels are looking much more modern.
The overall proportion is similar to the outgoing model, which is just fine as there’s not much to fault there in the first place. It’s worth noting that the new SUV is some 18mm broader and 20mm longer than the current vehicle, though both the height and wheelbase remain the same.
The interior of the current model is starting to get a bit long in the tooth, and so the new generation model brings a totally redesigned cabin that comes complete with a large 11.6-inch touchscreen with support for wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
While it appears that the instrumentation cluster has not gone fully digital yet, we can expect this to be the case further down the track.
The design of the cabin takes on a much more modern and adventurous approach, with improved storage facility and comfort. Ergonomics are said to have taken a step up, too, so is cabin noise suppression and overall refinement.
In terms of driving, Subaru says the chassis of the new Forester is 10 percent stiffer than before thanks to improved welding techniques and additional structural strengthening. Expect this to deliver improved driving dynamics and ride comfort.
While the current 138kW/245Nm 2.5-litre four-cylinder normally-aspirated boxer engine is expected to be carried over to the new car with only some minor tweaks, Subaru has confirmed that the new Forester hybrid will utilise hybrid components from the current generation Toyota RAV4 – a move understandable given the average performance of the Subaru-developed hybrid powertrain used in the current model.
Essentially, the new Forester hybrid will pack the same RAV4 electric motor, battery pack and associated hybrid components, albeit hooked up to a Subaru boxer engine. The tricky question is how will the Forester hybrid retain Subaru’s renown asymmetrical all-wheel drive, which the RAV4 hybrid isn’t (on-demand e-four AWD only).
For those who have been longing for the return of a WRX-powered, turbocharged Forester, unfortunately this remains up in the air, at least for the time being.
The new 2025 Subaru Forester is expected to hit showrooms in North America in late 2024, with Australian launch not expected until at least early 2025.