For 2019 Subaru completely redesigned the Forester, its popular two-row compact SUV. With a bevy of new safety tech, handsome styling inspired by the mid-size Ascent, and more attention paid to refinement, Subaru really leveled up with this update to make the Forester a very compelling choice within its segment.
Prices for the 2019 Subaru Forster start at $24,295 for the base model and go up to $35,270 for the top Touring trim, with all-wheel-drive being standard across the board. In terms of efficiency, the 2019 Forester beats all non-hybrid competitors with all-wheel-drive, achieving 29 highway/33 city gas mileage.
Pros: With class-leading efficiency and a more refined driving experience, the 2019 Forester is an excellent choice within its segment. The Forester’s buttery-smooth ride sets it apart from competitors that struggle to isolate their cabins from harshness.
Cons: There is no hybrid model to compete with the Toyota RAV4 for shoppers seeking peak efficiency in a compact SUV. The Forester is smaller than some vehicles in the segment, like the Volkswagen Tiguan which offers a third-row seat. The Subaru Forester is not exciting to drive and could prove to be boring for driving enthusiasts.
Looks Best In: Subaru offers several great exterior paint options, like the bright Crimson Red Pearl and soothing Horizon Blue Pearl. However, it’s Jasper Green Metallic, a light-medium green that best suits the Forester’s low-key and outdoorsy vibe. Inside, the Saddle Brown leather available on the top-end Touring trim creates a rich and earthy ambiance.
The Toyota RAV4 stands out for its aforementioned available hybrid powertain, while the Volkswagen Tiguan offers the added versatility with seating for up to seven passengers. The comfort-oriented Honda CR-V and Nissan Rogue most closely match the Forester’s character. For shoppers looking for a sporty and engaging driving experience, the Mazda CX-5 makes a much better dancing partner on winding country roads than the Forester.
Safety Score: The 2019 Subaru Forester has not yet been tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. However, the 2018 model received a Top Safety Pick designation from the organization. Based on that precedent it’s expected that the 2019 model will perform well.
Summary: Efficient, comfortable and practical, shoppers cannot go wrong with the 2019 Subaru Forester. If an effortless driving experience is prioritized over sportiness, this is a top contender in the compact SUV segment.