Subaru’s rugged 4×4 moves into a new styling direction, with hybrid and a raft of EVs to follow.
Subaru chose the LA Auto Show to reveal its latest Forester, although you could be forgiven for thinking it was just a facelift rather than an all-new car.
The Japanese 4×4 specialists clearly feel they’re on to a winning formula with the Forester, now moving into its fifth generation and with 2.6 million cars sold in the US alone. The familiar upright five-door shape is still present and correct, with slightly more modern head and tail lamps, a more upright grille and a wider stance than before.
Underneath, there’s still symmetrical all-wheel drive, upgraded in the new model with dual-function X-mode and 221mm of ground clearance. US cars get a 2.5-litre flat-four engine and the rest of the engine lineup is to be announced.
Subaru CEO Atsushi Osaki was on hand to not only reveal the new Forester, but also announce that the brand will launch four new full EVs by 2026, with another four arriving by 2028 – in addition to the current Solterra EV, produced alongside the identical Toyota bZ4X.
The Forester’s chassis is said to be ten per cent stiffer than the old model’s, while the ride is claimed to be smoother and the car quieter than before.
Inside, quality has been upgraded as has infotainment. There’s now an 11.6-inch touchscreen in a portrait layout, with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while there’s also wireless smartphone charging. Subaru’s EyeSight driver assistance system has also been upgraded with a wider field of view and better cyclist and pedestrian detection. Even the tailgate has had a tech makeover, now opening with a wave of a foot under the front bumper.
The new Subaru Forester is set to arrive in the US market by the middle of next year, with the new cars also expected to arrive in Australia some time in 2024.