The fifth-generation Forester SUV, based upon the Subaru Global Platform, has been unveiled

Subaru’s new Forester SUV has been revealed at the New York motor show, showing what's to come when the first customer cars arrive on roads late this year.

Like the new Impreza and XV crossover, the Forester is based on Subaru's tough new Global Platform, but it retains the unique appearance of its predecessor with only slight design changes. This comes as little surprise; the outgoing car has consistently been a strong-seller in certain parts of the US, so Subaru won't want to change the recipe too much.

The Forester will at first come with a new-generation 2.5-litre flat four developing around 182bhp and 176lb ft of torque, with start/stop technology included to offer improvements to economy. Drive is sent to all corners via symmetrical all-wheel drive and a Lineartronic CVT gearbox is fitted as standard.

There's no word as to what the main UK engine will be, although we know diesel options will be dropped. Today’s 2.0-litre flat-four is regarded as anaemic, and the 1.6-litre petrol turbo fitted to the Levorg estate might be too thirsty in the heavier and less aerodynamic Forester.

The UK looks set to follow suit of the US and be offered only a CVT gearbox for the Forester. This seems likely given that Subaru’s semi-autonomous driving system, EyeSight, which needs to be combined with an automatic transmission, is expected as standard on UK Foresters.

Inside, there's a 6.5in or 8.0in touchscreen with Subaru's latest Starlink infotainment system.

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Subaru Forester

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Subaru's corporate boss Takeshi Tachimori said: "The key with this car is that it is designed for its market, which is families. We know the opposition - the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V and so on - and we stand out for not chasing car enthusiasts, but for giving these families what they want, from safety to space and practicality to comfort and more, all built to an affordable price.

"Our product is entirely rational, and that is the right way. Our brand, though, is more emotional - we have underdog appeal, being smaller than most car making giants, and earning respect with our approach. That separation between product and brand is proving very popular."

Next month, Subaru will reveal its long-awaited hybrid variant of the Forester at the Beijing motor show. Subaru’s new hybrid system is expected to either be an electric motor incorporated into the brand’s signature longitudinal transmission (a set-up used in the short-lived XV Hybrid), or a more radical system replacing the rear differential with an electric motor. Hybrid technology from Toyota - which owns 16% of Subaru - has been utilised for the new Forester.

A successful launch for the new Forester in the UK is essential for the brand after a significant drop in sales in 2017. The Forester sells around 300,000 units globally, accounting for 25% of Subaru's overall production. In the UK the current model is priced from £26,495.

Additional reporting by Hilton Holloway

Read more

Subaru Forester review 

Subaru WRX STI review 

Subaru Levorg review

Join the debate


15 March 2018

I own a manual gearbox diesel engine Forester.

If this article is correct in the engine and transmission options for the new model in the UK, it will be my last Subaru, and their uk sales will fall by one more... 

15 March 2018
allwheelsdriven wrote:

...their uk sales will fall by one more... 


They really can't fall much more (there isn't far to fall).

You'd almost think IM didn't know what they were doing.

If I want an autonomous car, I'll take a taxi.


31 March 2018

....doesnt get any better.

They seriously need to sack their designers, and start again.

In comparison the original Forester was a vast improvement on this, and the simplicity of the Outback 3.0 was perfect for the loyal Subaru buyers.

15 March 2018

To be fair to IM (Subaru's UK importers), they can only import to the UK whatever vehicles Subaru HQ in Japan make available for them to choose from.

The sales rot started when Subaru pulled out of WRC rallying and IM decided to stop importing most of the sportier range of Subaru cars because of the unfavourable exchange rate and increased competition.

15 March 2018

You would think the conversation with IM and Subaru would go something likes this:

Subaru - here are the models we wish to sell you

IM - We will struggle with such high-spec models with limited engine/transmission options Would you like us to sell more than we currently do?

Subaru - Yes!

IM- Well....

If I want an autonomous car, I'll take a taxi.

28 March 2018

... the US "


Europe hasn't mattered to Subaru in a while, and it seems it will be of even less importance in the future. Maybe we'll get the hybrid that Japan is likely to get ( the 2.0L turbo option has been dropped in the US btw ), but really, they can barely build enough cars for the US, Europe is nothing but an afterthought.


And the car looks awful.



28 March 2018

Like the latest generation Impreza & XV the latest Forester is not a great departure visually from it's predecessor.under the skin however that's another matter  it's all new but that Subaru's way isn't it? What I don't think is too clever is making automatic transmission coupled with the Eye Sight system as standard  is too bright an idea.  Personally I don't like automatics especially CVT automatics like the Lineartronic box that's now the sole option, I certainly don't want the Eye Sight as I think I'm perfectly capable of driving a car without this gizmo, having cranked up over four decades of driving on UK roads. What has also been an effect of these additions has been that  list prices of both the Impreza & XV have been ramped up considerably over their predecessors. I've had two Subaru's an XV and my current BRZ and I can honestly say that both vehicles have been among the finest cars I've ever owned and it's with sadness that I regret that until manual versions are once again made available I'm unable to consider buying another one.

31 March 2018

 On your point about automatics,I owned for many years an H6 3litre Outback premium model.It was one of the most reliable,safe and economical vehicle I have owned.It had a 4speed ZF box,with manual auto overide and gave no trouble.I recently changed to a 2015 2.5Litre Premium Outback with CVT and eyesight along with other technology based safety features,lane departure warning etc.The eyesight system has saved at last count, 6 pedestrians and equal numbers of cars,who/which have run out between parked cars,run across controlled pedestrian crossings against the red light and cars entering roundabouts and cutting me off,when I have already started to go round.In all cases there is no way a human could react quickly enough to stop the car and avoid accidents the way this system does.Do you also cross off your list of suitable vehicles,Volvo,MB,BMW etc,which all have similar avoidance systems?I am not sure why you don't like autos,because with 5/6/7/8/9 speed auto's with manual over ride or paddles you can indulge you need to change gear,far faster than a manual,and as an additional safety measure, allows you to do left foot braking,far better and quicker.Engineering web sites show scientifically, that a normal driver will take 4seconds to achieve braking when a traffic light changes and the driver reacts.1sec for traffic light change recognition,1second for foot to go onto brake pedal,1second for the driver to apply pressure to pedal,and 1 second for the physical braking effect to occur.At 30MPH thats a lot of road covered before you have the effect of braking.

garage man

29 March 2018

I think you may need have a second look and try the CVT before being so negative. All Subaru models, apart from the 3.6l, use it in New Zealand and Subaru sales have boomed as reported by a national newspaper -  "The figures add up to a phenomenal 26% increase year-on-year in a growing market, with final industry growth for 2017 being reported this week at 9% versus 2016." While the NZ market is nowhere near the size of the UK market we have a very broard range of vehicles to choose from.




16 April 2018

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