2025 Subaru Forester debuts in the US – 6th-gen gets bold styling, 2.5L NA boxer, stiffer chassis, EyeSight
The sixth-generation Subaru Forester has made its debut in the United States at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show. Set to arrive at dealerships in spring 2024, the redesigned SUV will be offered in five trim levels there, namely the Base, Premium, Sport, Limited and Touring.
While the general shape of the latest Forester is somewhat similar to its predecessor, the Japanese carmaker has taken a bolder approach when it comes to the design details. For starters, the front end is noticeably more imposing than before with prominent gloss black panels surrounding a larger grille.
There’s also two-tier lighting on the latest generation, with the main LED headlamps being separated from the upper daytime running lights. Further down, you’ll find the corner fog lamps along with a slim air intake and hexagonal-shaped trim that appears to be perfect for auxiliary lighting mods. Look closely and you’ll also spot the updated Subaru star cluster emblem that is making its debut on the new Forester.
Along the sides, squared wheel arches replace the previous car’s rounded ones, accompanied by chunky body cladding finished in black. The SUV also gets the “floating roof” treatment with a small section of the A- and D-pillars in black, the latter also bearing a ‘Symmetrical AWD’ emblem.
Moving to the rear, the previous C-shaped headlamps have been dumped in favour of more triangular-shaped units that are connected by a trim piece running across the tailgate. The reflectors have also been brought higher up and pushed to the corners of the body, leaving just a large black panel in the lower apron. Curiously, there’s just a single exhaust outlet despite the panel appearing to have two dedicated sections for dual exits.
As for other details, Subaru says the Forester will come with front, side and rear underguards as standard, which are colour finished according to the chosen trim level. There are also air outlets at the trailing edge of the front wheels to extract air from the wheel well to reduce lift and improve driving stability.
Beneath the new metal skin, the Forester continues to be underpinned by the Subaru Global Platform (SGP), although this has been enhanced with 10% stiffer torsional rigidity. This was accomplished through strong welding techniques as well as the use of additional structural adhesive (from approximately 26.2 feet to 88.5 feet).
Even so, the dimensions haven’t changed that much, as the sixth-generation Forester measures 4,656 mm long (+31 mm), 1,829 mm wide (+14 mm), 1,730 mm tall (unchanged) and with a wheelbase that spans 2,670 mm (also unchanged). The ground clearance is a healthy 221 mm.
Moving inside, the Forester’s overhauled dashboard mimics what we’ve already seen on recent Subaru models like the WRX, Crosstrek and facelifted Ascent. The headlining here feature is the 11.6-inch Starlink touchscreen infotainment system, which comes to the Forester for the first time and includes wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay – lesser variants get a 7-inch display instead,
Other things pointed out are front seats with slimmed-down shoulder areas for better visibility and rear-seat access as well as improved sound dampening, with the carmaker stating an approximately 39% reduction in rate of noise attenuation from the roof panel.
Subaru also updated the boot with heavy-duty utility hooks, including three on each side of the cargo space and two on the powered tailgate, which now gets hands-free access via a kick sensor. With the 60:40 split-folding rear seats folded down, you get 2,107 litres (74.4 cubic feet) of cargo capacity instead of 838 litres (29.6 cubic feet) in their default position.
Available equipment for the Forester in the US includes alloy wheels (17 to 19 inches), roof rails, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and start, a tyre pressure monitor, steering-responsive headlamps with automatic high beam, a wireless phone charger, ventilated front seats, telematics as well as heated seats, mirrors and wipers.
Standard for all Forester variants is the latest version of Subaru’s EyeSight suite, which includes autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree camera, lane keep assist and more. This can be further enhanced with reverse AEB, blind spot monitoring with lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert and automatic emergency steering.
In the US, the Forester will only be offered with a 2.5 litre naturally-aspirated flat-four petrol engine making 183 PS (180 hp) and 241 Nm of torque. All-wheel drive is standard along with the brand’s Lineartronic CVT that comes with eight virtual speeds. A hybrid powertrain will be introduced later on, the company said.
The 2.5L NA powertrain also bundles in Active Torque Vectoring, SI-Drive modes as well as X-Mode, the last of which comes in two versions, both with hill descent control and hill start assist included. Higher trim levels get the dual-function X-Mode for increased capability in a wider range of adverse conditions. The Forester’s steering also gets an improvement with a version of the WRX’s dual-pinion electronic power steering rack, which is said to provide a more direct and natural steering feel and greater responsiveness.
So, what do you think of the all-new Forester? Does it look better than its predecessor or is it a little too bold for your taste? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
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