2019 Subaru Forester: Leaks, Teasers, Pictures, Specs, Release Date And More (Updated)

The well-rounded Subaru Forester is set for a significant update and will premiere in fifth-generation guise at the 2018 New York Auto Show on March 28.

The Forester has been a staple in Subaru’s crossover range for more than 20 years and in its current form, is a tantalizing option for anyone looking at a reasonably-priced compact-sized crossover.  Last year, it was the brand’s second best selling model with around 180,000 units sold in the States, just behind the Outback.

The 2019 Forester will be even more advanced and of course benefit from a visual overhaul.

Will it look better than the current one?

We sure hope so. In fourth-generation guise, the Forester isn’t the best-looking option in the market, especially when compared to the edgy new VW Tiguan. Subaru designers have tried to address this for the model’s fifth-generation.

What we know for sure -thanks to the single official teaser – is that the rear of the Forester will adopt new C-shaped taillights. Camouflaged prototypes spied on the road show that some cues will be shared with the larger Ascent and like many new cars, the 2019 Forester will be slightly larger than its predecessor. Bits and pieces from the Viziv Future Concept will also make their way onto the Forester.

The interior design remains a mystery but as mentioned, Subaru will upgrade many of the important pieces of tech. At the heart of these updates will be improvements to the Eyesight system that includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist and Sway Warning, Pre-Collision Braking, and Pre-Collision Throttle Management.

New gizmos are always fun, but what about the vehicle’s all-important underpinnings?

Glad you asked. The 2019 Forester will be the fourth model in the range to ride on the Subaru Global Platform, conceived to be used by the firm’s entire family of models. Importantly, the use of this platform will allow Subaru to develop electrified versions of the new Forster if it sees fit. From what we’ve heard, the crossover could be the first Subaru to benefit from the same plug-in hybrid tech found in the Prius Prime after partnering up with Toyota.

No matter what Subaru’s decision on electrifying the Forester is, there will be the typical selection of four-cylinder boxer engines available to customers alongside a CVT and standard all-wheel drive. We hope that Subaru will continue to offer the option of a manual gearbox.

We’re not sure at this point if the new Ascent’s 2.4-liter turbo boxer that delivers 260horse and 277 pound-feet of torque will make it into the new Forester, but fingers crossed.

Not a die-hard Subaru fan?

If you’re open-minded and not ultimately sold on the Forester’s new design, engines, and price, don’t fret as this segment of the market has numerous alternatives. The Honda CR-V is perhaps the most well-rounded option in the segment and can be purchased for a little over $24,000 making it an excellent bang-for-your-buck option.

Sticking with the Japanese theme, the Mazda CX-5 is also a fierce competitor and starts at $24,150 in base form while $26,215 gets you the SUV in the better equuiped Touring guise. Of the vehicle’s in this segment, it is perhaps the best looking.

Those with a soft spot for German vehicles always have the VW Tiguan to consider. It starts at $24,595.

When can I get it?

As for the 2019 Subaru Forester, it could get a price hike over the $22,795 commanded by the existing model, possibly approaching the competition that starts at around $24,000 in the States. Following its debut in New York, the next Forester will be arriving in showrooms later in the second half of the year.

[Article updated with leaked images]

more photos...

Photo credits: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien for CarScoops

  • Soob

    I think I prefer the current model, but have to wait to see the new one in full first.

    • Vanishing Boy

      Don’t worry, it will be more of an evolutionary design.

  • TrevP

    These always looked funny to me.

  • Jason Miller

    The Forester USED to be cool…

    • Vanishing Boy

      I agree, the 1st-gen S/tb & 2nd-gen STi (both JDM-only) were the epitome of cool.

      We almost got the ferocious ’09 XTI concept (from the SEMA show, which it had 315hp!!!) on the 3rd gen, but it never happened.

      Somehow, Subaru tried to redeem themselves by releasing the tS for the 4th-generation. But this WRX-powered CUV (all of its 270+hp glory) was only released in both Australia & Japan ONLY!!!

      If only this 5th-gen attempts of building a spicier Forester, then it will redeem itself.

  • Belthronding

    I like subaru but i would prefer it less boring,also wish they follow their fancy concepts design wise.

  • fabri99

    Subaru used to make exciting cars – what happened in the last ten years? Did they loose the magic?

    • Vanishing Boy

      Theres word that Subaru’s aim is to build the safest cars on the planet. Even word that Subie is axing the MT for the sake of safety!!!

      • expert

        doesn’t make any sense to offer a manual version of the Forester; I’m guessing 95% are sold with the CVT.

        • Honda NSX-R

          95%? More like 98%

  • pjl35

    I’m about to make a bold prediction…the interior will be lifted from the Impreza. Earth-shattering news given this happened for the last two generations, I know.

    • Obsequious Lickspittle

      I like the style of your sarcasm!

  • Harry Nimmergut

    I’m glad that the design will not change that much. This is on the short list to replace one of our vehicles in 2-3 years. Outback has gotten too big for our needs. I’ll also need to see what the next Escape, Rogue and possibly Tucson look like as well, since all should have been redesigned by then.


    BORING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mark Thomas

    I’m in the market for a new small (for me) SUV. Was highly anticipating the new 2019 Forester. The VIZIV concept looks awesome. This is SO FAR removed from the concept it’s incredible. It’s as if they’ve gone backwards in time. I don’t even care about the interior anymore, I’m not driving around in THAT. I think I’m going to set my sights on the new 2019 Volvo XC40.

    • expert

      Subaru concepts are never even close to actual production models….they just set ya up for a huge disappointment.

    • Jesse A. C. Majors

      Check out the Audi Q5. Its been extremely reliable for me so far.

  • Mark Thomas
  • cwarner

    I really want to like the Forester and have considered it my last two car purchases but the styling, even my wife agrees with me with me that it’s just not a good looking vehicle . We bought the CR-V and Rav-4 in the end but I think the Subaru would be an excellent car if you can get past it’s lack of style.

  • Trades46

    A PHEV Forester sounds enticing. Other than the Outlander PHEV there isn’t much competition in the segment and the Forester can use something to give the Rav4 Hybrid & Rogue Hybrid to think about.

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