The Subaru Forester is the Japanese marque’s best-selling SUV, given its esteemed points for practicality and superior on and off-road traction, all thanks to its standard symmetrical all-wheel-drive. After almost five years since the SJ Forester made its local debut, Motor Image Pilipinas, Inc. (MIPI), the official distributor of Subaru vehicles in the Philippines, has finally brought in the all-new Subaru Forester standing on the brand’s new global platform and reinforced with EyeSight Technology. With all that in mind, perhaps this would the perfect time to do a face-off, let’s see if this all-new model can carry the legacy of its predecessor.
Many might argue that there are indeed very minimal changes in terms of styling cues, some might even confuse it for an SJ Forester, given its almost identical frontend. Although, the overall execution is more clean and mature than its predecessor.
Notably, its rear has been completely restyled with its sort of crab claw like tail lamps, which gives the Forester a rather distinctive yet stylish look and its rear bumper which also supports a different layout from its predecessor. In terms of dimensions, the all-new model is 15mm longer, 20mm wider, and has a 30mm longer wheelbase than its predecessor.
This is perhaps where Subaru spent most of their time during the pre-production stage of this vehicle. The difference is day and night, perhaps the latest Forester steps up in terms of interior craftsmanship, all thanks to the better materials used. It also offers more space than before given its larger dimensions which translate into a cavernous cabin.
In terms of standard features, the all-new Forester now comes with an electronic parking brake and a high-grade multifunction display across all of its variants, and, of course, the EyeSight suite of safety technology for the mid- and top-range variants.
Many grieved upon the death of the Forester’s turbocharged Boxer engine, given its extensive capability in terms of power delivery. Back then, buyers can opt between two engine choices mainly consisting of a 2.0-liter non-turbo flat-four and the 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-four Boxer engine. Today, the latest Forester comes with only one engine choice which is a new direct injected 2.0-liter flat-four, producing a healthy 156 horsepower and 196 Nm of torque. Notably, those numbers overtake the power figures of the old 2.0-liter non-turbo flat-four found on its predecessor.
This particular feature was introduced on the SJ Forester, X-MODE brings the Forester’s terrain capabilities a step further, giving you that added sense of confidence while tackling challenging obstacles ahead. Apart from the standard X-MODE, which is still available on the base and mid variants of the 2019 Forester, the top trim is then blessed with the so-called special X-MODE providing easier handling when crossing through mud trails or unexpected floods.
After a thorough assessment of several areas of the 2019 Forester, it’s safe to say that Subaru really did its homework right. Despite the minimal changes in terms of exterior styling and the loss of the loved turbocharged engine, the brand managed to maintain the true DNA of its bestseller for being a practical choice among buyers. Especially now that you get more standard equipment and the famous EyeSight Technology for a not so premium price tag.
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