Subaru is on a roll with its Crosstrek and Outback sales lately, and now the fully redesigned Forester unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show should boost brand sales even further.
The Forester is all-new for 2025, featuring a taller, more square body plus a stiffened chassis.
Additionally, Subaru is increasing cargo capacity and modernizing the interior infotainment screens, all in the name of nabbing market share among crossovers.
Riding a wave of increasing sales this year, Subaru is showing just how big of a player it can be in the crossover world. The recently redesigned Crosstrek is now the best-selling small crossover in the US, while the larger, re-engineered Outback is doing well among a flood of popular midsize crossovers.
And now Subie unveils yet another popular crossover, the two-row Forester, for its sixth generation with a fresh look and some key chassis upgrades for 2025.
Unveiled at the 2023 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2025 Subaru Forester is improved in a variety of ways, but the key to Subaru's success is in its chassis. Following its smaller sibling's engineering footsteps, the new Forester chassis remains based on the Subaru Global Platform, though it is now 10% stiffer torsionally.
The frame construction now benefits from stronger welding techniques and additional structural adhesive, which actually simplifies assembly and saves some weight, too. Subaru has yet to share the exact chassis dimensions, but product planners say this new approach yielded a more responsive Crosstrek.
As always, a 2.5-liter flat-four Subaru boxer engine is found under the hood, making 180 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque and paired with Subaru's polarizing Lineartronic CVT.
Active Torque Vectoring and SI-Drive performance management systems are standard, though paddle shifting abilities are reserved for the four trim levels above the base (Premium, Sport, Limited, and Touring). The Forester's steering system is borrowed from the WRX’s dual-pinion electronic power steering rack, just like the Crosstrek.
Save for the Solterra EV and BRZ coupe, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is a guarantee at this point for any Subaru crossover and the Forester is no different. With 8.7 inches of ground clearance, the Forester is more capable than a number of its competitors, though such capability typically hinders its fuel economy. EPA mileage estimates have yet to be released.
With five trim levels and a number of Crosstrek-matching specifications, it's worth pondering where the Forester fits into Subaru's lineup and how it differentiates from the smaller Crosstrek and larger Outback.
For starters, it has more space than the Crosstrek. With the rear seats folded, the Forester offers 74.4 cubic feet of useable room, compared to the Crosstrek's 54.7 cubic feet and the Outback's 75.6 cubic feet. That's an impressive spec, particularly for a model that is usually around 10 inches shorter than the Outback.
Roof rails are standard on all 2025 Foresters, for ready adventuring, while Subaru says the overall sheetmetal improves aerodynamics, to increase fuel economy and stability. But the biggest change to the Forester is probably found inside.
For the first time on the Forester, Subaru's Starlink 11.6-inch Multimedia Plus system is available, specifically for every trim except the base model. Beyond the multimedia improvements, a concerted effort to reduce road noise through the roof panel means the cabin is now 39% quieter.
On the safety front, Subaru's EyeSight driver-assistance technology has truly grown up. With a wider field of view, better software, an electronic brake booster, and driver monitor, the camera-based EyeSight system is so advanced that it can now detect an incapacitated driver or even automatically steer away from an emergency. A rear seat reminder for children is also standard.
Altogether, the Forester looks and will likely feel new, even if its basic mechanical formula remains relatively unchanged. Such details may not matter to the common Forester buyer, however, as Subaru owners are a committed bunch.
And if you are one of these people reading this now, your chance to buy a new Forester will come in spring 2024.
Do you think the new Subaru Forester's styling is an improvement over the previous generation? Please share your thoughts below.