This year's Los Angeles Auto Show has the distinction of hosting the world premieres of all-new replacements for two of the most popular compact crossovers in the globe, the 2013 Toyota RAV4 and the 2014 Subaru Forester.
The new Forester is an inoffensive evolution of its predecessor that debuts with a roomier interior, improved performance and better fuel economy.
Built on a new platform with a 0.9-inch longer wheelbase (now 103.9 inches), Subaru's SUV is 1.4-inches longer and 0.6-inches wider, with the automaker also laying claims to improved vehicle packaging for "notable gains in roominess, particularly in the rear seat, where legroom is now 41.7 inches".
As for the cargo area, with the 60/40 split rear seatbacks lowered, it now stands at 74.7 cu. ft.
Under the hood, a new 250-horsepower 2.0-liter direct-injection turbocharged boxer unit joins the previously available 170-horsepower 2.5-liter naturally aspirated engine.
Both models come with all-wheel drive as standard, with the 2.5L engine offered with a 6-speed manual or a CVT achieving manufacturer-estimated fuel economy ratings of 24 mpg city, 32 mpg highway and 27 mpg combined, and the 2.0L Turbo only with the CVT.
Among the new amenities offered as standard or on the options list, depending on the trim grade, are a rear vision camera with a color multi-function display, power rear liftgate with automatic close, Keyless Access and Start and the EyeSight driver assist system that integrates Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking and Vehicle Lane Departure Warning.
U.S. sales of the new Forester will begin in spring of 2013, with prices to be announced.