2019 Subaru Forester Spied Testing on Public Roads


This is our first look at the all-new 2019 Subaru Forester.

Riding on the Japanese automaker’s new Subaru Global Platform, the 2019 Subaru Forester appears to be taking design cues from the new three-row Ascent crossover. The current Subaru Impreza rides on the new architecture, which has improved overall performance for the sports sedan. It’s expected the Forester crossover will benefit similarly, helping it stay competitive in what’s become a crowded segment.

SEE ALSO: 2017 Subaru Forester Limited Review

According to Subaru, the new platform increases rigidity throughout the body and chassis, helping reduce noise and vibration while increasing the comfort level of the vehicle thanks to better absorption of the suspension. More importantly however, the platform can be adapted to use electrified powertrains. It’s possible that in order for Subaru to comply with U.S. zero emission vehicle (ZEV) regulations, the Forester could be offered with a plug-in hybrid variant once it’s launched. Expect to see downsized turbocharged engines under the hood once the new Forester debuts sometime next year.

Our spy photographers said the 2019 Subaru Forester prototype was being benchmarked alongside a Honda CR-V and Volkswagen Tiguan. There was also a Honda Pilot there as a support vehicle, which actually tried to run interference to shield the Forester from the photographers.

Discuss this story on our Subaru Forester Forum

  • R. Schmidt

    It looks a lot like my current Forester XT…minus the funky paint of course.

  • charlie

    I hope it gets a better base engine.

  • Randy Sneed

    We need a WRX Forester!!!!!!

  • Antonio Salsiccia

    What has happened with Viziv? Why always prototype looks perfect and production version looks horrible? Levorq, Impreza and seems that new Forester as well. Only Legacy was more or less similar to concept. Who approves final version of the car? Maybe time for retirement?

  • You do no this is a wrap, right?

  • Greg Livingston

    That is called the Forester XT, has the same engine, with same horsepower and torque, and only comes in CVT. They do not have a 5-6 speed manual transmission, and more than likely never will.

  • Nfld

    Know way! Really!

  • Nfld

    I wish they had gotten rid of the bug-eyed lenses on all four corners.
    My ’13 2.5X Prem. is 3rd Gen. and all the lenses are smooth with the body.
    I don’t understand why the 4th Gen. had to bump them out.

  • Randy Sneed

    I have an XT, I want more HP, stiffer suspension, better brakes, the CVT is fine if they adjust the launch control software. Would not want a manual transmission.

  • Greg Livingston

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/28de7200a75199b3d2a928ecfeacdd5368f4df0d6b3cd289d2afa03d12fb9828.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d9c54521879ddde0e1a024d5edc9a93757b3fafc63dadfbbbcbf0c3602402721.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fbe902f8f7a3e529c553a2e6a0f30c163da6e99e42fe66070039dc695f3e5313.jpg Most after market programs designed for WRX are also available for the Forester XT, ie : Cobb Tuner etc. these programs will enhance your Forester XT the same as WRX. I have 2017 Forester XT with RSR lowering springs, which provides for a better suspension, and handling.

  • Randy Sneed

    I am sure your mods have increased the fun factor of your XT. My point is; I want a ‘factory, production WRX Forester’ not a tribute to aftermarket parts that interface poorly with a factory warranty. Went down that road with a MazdaSpeed turbocharged Miata, modified proms, tuner parts, koni coil overs, larger intercooler and turbo, custom exhaust and many other things. The car was very entertaining to drive but had many little issues that could never be addressed by several ‘tuning shops and dyno runs’ I have decided to look for a quick but unassuming ride that is fully warrantied and does not scream ‘look at me’ The American market is now experiencing a resurgence of the muscle cars of the 60’s and 70’s, but they are obnoxious looking and too large but VERY entertaining to drive, my hobby requires me to carry a fair amount of ‘gear’ or I would just purchase an STI. Which looks like a joke with the wing but I suppose the dealership would be happy to sub a standard deck lid of the same body color.

  • Greg Livingston

    Well I guess, to each their own, but I had a 2016 WRX, and I traded it on this 2017 Forester XT, and it was no more entertaining to drive then this Forester XT. Plus the extra hauling room. I have owned 30 Subaru’s since 1982, and I have found the Forester XT, especially the 2004-2007, to be just as fun to drive as a WRX. I had all my work on the Forester done at my local Subaru Dealer, and they warranted all the work done. I don’t put any bigger turbos , intercoolers, etc on my Subaru’s, but a Cobb tuner can do wonders , for more aggressive map setups, without ruining the warranty, plus can be removed, before taking it into dealerships. The STI is a nice car, but useless, on the street, you can’t use half of it’s capability on the street, it’s not a road car, it’s more of a course car/ rally car. It’s paying a great deal of money, for something you can’t fully enjoy, unless you go to a track course, or rally event. I had a 2007 Forester XT that I put STI lowering springs on, that was fully warranted, but for some reason, they don’t offer them for the current years, guess they didn’t sell enough. They have made the Forester bigger over the last several years, and gone away from the Forester that had the same frame and set up as the WRX. I don’t think they will ever make anymore Foresters like back between 2004-2007, that you could fit any WRX part on, and go down the street fully warranted

  • oldclimber

    Sayonara Forester. I’m sick to death of every suitable size vehicle evolving into a bloated, overstuffed road log, occasionally offset by a “new compact” something that fills the widening gap. Legacy wagon, my favorite; made into Outback, ok some more clearance and plastic cladding, but then a Big Gulp later, undrivable sloth. Now repeat with once tidy utilitarian Forester. They miss continually because Americans with tiny penises buy Big Ass Pickups don’t you know? There are like only three or four real station wagons left for us now, and two are made by Volkswagen. This looks like a bad competitor for a minivan without sliding doors.

  • John T. Jacobson

    I’m a die hard manual, until I 2017 Forester XT. 8 gears with peddle shift are better. If the Forester became available in 2.5 STI, I’d be all in prepaid. If the STI does not become available in a wagon, I may order a Cadillac wagon if fast.

  • Ken

    Looks like the hatch is coming back to the STi.

  • Ken

    Rumor is hatch is coming back to the STi. Also a 2.0L DI motor too.

  • Randy Sneed

    If the hatch is coming back to STI, I could be a buyer.

  • Richard Brant

    One of the Forester’s good points was the visibility out of the rear side windows from the driver’s seat. This is always a good point in all of the reviews. I hope the picture is just camouflage and not an indication that Subaru has succumbed to the stylist.
    Nothing will ever be as good as the ’04 & ’05 FXTs with a 5 speed.

  • John T. Jacobson

    What is the body size of hatch STI?

  • Ken

    I’m not sure, but you can bet that it will be larger than the outgoing model as is always the case it seems. It is unfortunate.

  • Miggy Z

    it looks like it has Kim Kardashian’s rear end.


    I like the look much better, less boxy.

  • Bob

    This is the Subaru Ascent 2019, not the Forester

  • Sylvester

    we need more off road forester. Not a crapy impreza bus…….
    If u need WRX, take Impreza.

  • Sylvester

    Another impreza bus?
    Need more off road and not huge ego street car……
    This is SUV, stupids

  • Mama Mary

    The love my 2014 Forester for the great visibility out the side windows and the small, easy to parallel park size. If that is gone my next car might as well be another brand with more luxury features than what Subaru offers. That would be a disappointment : (

  • Nfld

    So I take it the article was mis-titled?

    “2019 Subaru Forester Spied Testing on Public Roads”