Subaru Forester lovers rejoice, thy time is nigh!
The sixth generation of Subaru’s popular compact crossover will come to market in spring of next year as a 2025 model. While the little SUV looks to get improvements in looks and tech, we’re not sure it will make gains in the performance category.
The 2025 Forester will be available in Base, Premium, Sport, Limited and Touring trims.
The staid front fascia of the last generation is gone, replaced with a face that just might be a bit polarizing. If you like lights, it’s probably your jam. Thin daytime running lights sit atop round projector headlamps with additional lights on the lower bumper. I kind of dig it, but some might find it a tad busy.
Subaru has also added an air outlet on the trapezoidal fenders for better aerodynamics. The company’s press release says it contributes to “…reduced lift on the front tires.” I don’t think that’s ever been much of a problem on the Forester, but you do you, Subie.
Proportions here are pretty much the same as the 2024 Subaru Forester, which earned a TCC Rating of 6.5 out of 10 and compares well with the Toyota RAV4. The sixth generation Forester is only about a half-inch longer and wider than the outgoing model. Depending on trim level, wheels range in size from 17 to 19 inches and the bronze option looks pretty dope. Some may say bronze wheels are for the high-performance STI and WRX vehicles only but I say nay nay. Gatekeeping isn’t cool, bro.
Inside the Forester keeps its comfortable and functional aesthetic. There is some cool texture on the dashboard and the two-tone doors panels on some trims are a nice touch, but it’s the tech that’s gotten a big upgrade. The 11.6-inch touchscreen is now available on the Forester, replacing the old 8.0-inch unit. This comes with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and navigation. What’s cool is the inclusion of standard navigation as well as the what3words navigation system. What’s that? It’s essentially a shortcut and mnemonic device, in which the world is divided up into three-meter-square sections, defined by, you guessed, three words. It’s an excellent way to navigate to places that don’t have a postal address.
The base Forester gets dual 7.0-inch touchscreens. The bottom one controls the climate and vehicle settings while the top one features all other functions including wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Subaru’s camera-based EyeSight driver assistance features get an upgrade as well. The company says the technology will operate more quickly and smoothly in more conditions thanks to updated software, a wider view angle and an electric brake booster. Further, if a driver becomes unresponsive while using adaptive cruise control, the Forester will stop, turn on the hazard lights, unlock the doors and call emergency services.
Available features are plenty and include reverse automatic braking and rear cross-traffic alerts, blind-spot monitors with lane-change assist and automatic emergency steering to help mitigate collisions at speeds less than 50 miles per hour. Finally, the top Touring trim can opt for a driver focus system to keep tabs on the person behind the wheel. A camera and facial recognition software can recognize distraction or fatigue. This also allows for gesture control within the climate system. This is a gimmick in BMW which offer it, and guess what? It’s a gimmick here too. There are physical buttons to raise and lower the temperature. Just, you know, push them.
Under the hood is the tried and true 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 180 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission, the power gets down to all four wheels. In previous Foresters this hasn’t been the most fun powerplant to pilot, but most owners put a premium on utility, not performance.
The Forester has that in spades. Roof rails are standard, there are a smattering of utility hooks in the cargo area for hanging points and the SUV offers up 74.4 cubic feet of space. A kick sensor helps when you’re carrying a full load of gear and need to open the tailgate.
With 8.7 inches of ground clearance it can clear obstacles other compact SUV would struggle with. X-MODE is standard, helping maintain traction in slippery situations. No word on an off-road specific Wilderness trim, but let’s hope Subaru adds it at a later date. We were surprised at how well it handled the mud and dirt in the last generation, and how livable it was on the street.
Subaru has not announced pricing for the 2025 Forester. This year’s model ranges from $28,000 or so all the way up to close to $40,000, so look for prices to start just a bit higher.
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