The Subaru Forester is new for 2025, and it features numerous upgrades.
The 2.5-liter flat-four carries over, and Subaru says the platform is stiffer than before.
Subaru says the 2025 Forester will start reaching U.S. dealerships next spring.
Subaru pulled the wraps off its 2025 Forester during the 2023 Los Angeles Auto Show. Big claims of “all-newness” get thrown around with abandon, but the 2025 Subaru Forester does have new sheetmetal, a stiffer chassis, and a bigger infotainment screen in its redesigned interior. You'll be able to choose from five trim levels when it gets to dealers: base, Premium, Sport, Limited and Touring, and we expect a Wilderness trim and a hybrid option to be added further down the road.
From the outside, the Forester’s body panels are smoothed around the headlights, and lifted over the wheel arches to give it a more action-ready stance. The new grille extends its edges to better highlight the arrow-shaped LED headlights, but the Forester retains its upright cabin, both for head room and brand recognition. Despite its boxy shape, Forester does have some aero tricks along its flat flanks, including a new air vent at the back of the wheel opening, to move air out of the wheel well, reducing lift at freeway speeds.
Underneath the Forester’s new sheetmetal is Subaru’s Global Platform, but it’s 10 percent stiffer for 2025, with an inner frame that uses more welds and more structural adhesive. Subaru says not only will the Forester's ride be firmer and more controlled on the new chassis, but also claims it will be quieter. Combined with added insulation in and outside the cabin, the Forester should be considerably less raucous inside.
Under the hood is a familiar pal, Subaru’s 2.5-liter boxer engine. We’re down two ponies from the outgoing model, but you’re unlikely to notice. The four-cylinder makes 180 horsepower and 178 pound feet of torque, and peak torque comes in a lower rpm than before, so even though it’s down on power, it should feel more responsive. The flat-four is backed by a continuously variable transmission which, in the higher trims, offers a manual “shift” mode with steering-wheel paddles. The Forester gets torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive standard, hill descent control, and a variant of the WRX’s dual-pinion electronic power steering, which purports to offer a tighter, more connected feel both on- and off-road.
Base and Premium trims come with 17-inch wheels, the Limited gets 18-inchers, and the Sport and Touring models both ride on 19-inch wheels—in a new bronze finish for the Sport. The Forester offers 8.7 inches of ground clearance.
It's still an easy step up inside, where a new center screen hosts most of the climate and infotainment controls. Surfaces are padded at the major touch points, but still offer Subaru’s wipe-clean functionality and scuff-resistant materials. In the back, split-folding rear seats provide 74 cubic feet of cargo room when folded. The tailgate now opens with a swipe of a foot beneath the bumper, and there are eight new tie-down points in the cargo area. Roof rails add utility in either a raised or low-profile design. For the driver, the new seat is more supportive around the hips and lower back, while the top section is narrowed for better visibility into the rear. Dual-zone automatic climate control is standard, and the Touring trim now comes with ventilated as well as heated front seats.
More standard tech is the rallying cry of every new car and the Forester is no exception. While a 7.0-inch touchscreen is standard on the base model, higher trims get an 11.6-inch screen with wireless smartphone mirroring. Subaru’s driver-assist technologies, which it calls EyeSight, have also been updated to work quicker and more comfortably in varying conditions. The Forester can now better identify cyclists and pedestrians and apply emergency braking. To help the driver better see around them, an optional 360-degree camera view is now available.
The 2025 Forester is scheduled to reach dealers starting in spring 2024. Prices aren't out yet but we expect they'll rise a fair amount from the 2024 Forester's $28,390 to $38,690 spread.
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