The 2019 Subaru Forester is completely new for this model year. Seeing a revamp from the ground up, the five-seat crossover gets more standard equipment, a better look, and a much better drive quality. Not changed is the well-vetted 2.5L four-cylinder engine that helps make the entire Subaru lineup top rated for reliability. Nor is the Forester’s sandal wearing, granola-eating, outdoors-getting persona changed. I rated the 2019 Forester with a solid “A” over at iSeeCars.com and top billing at GuysGab.com.
For the 2019 model year, Subaru made the all-new Forester not only better-looking, with a more aggressive front grille and better lines for a stronger curb presence, but also added the EyeSight safety system as standard. Interior roominess is also improved, as are the drive dynamics of the Forester with a bit more tightness in the steering and chassis for better road-going rigidity. That translates into a more comfortable ride with more driver engagement, something the Forester lacked before.
Powering the Forester is the same 2.5-liter boxer (opposed piston) four-cylinder that’s operated the model for decades. Found throughout the Subaru lineup, this boxer-4 is a solid little goer with an immense amount of reliability. An opposed-piston engine, compared to a V-shaped or inline (straight) engine, offers good balance and thus has less rattle and shake, which means less wear on components. Subaru has managed to not only perfect this engine design, but to make it efficient as well.
Inside, technology in the 2019 Subaru Forester is pretty good as well. A 6.5-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto are standard. An upgrade, which comes in some trim levels or is optional is others, goes to a larger 8-inch display that has more tech access and goodies.
Safety is another high point for most Subaru vehicles, including the 2019 Forester. With the EyeSight system as standard, the Forester now comes with adaptive cruise control and other driver convenience items as well as forward impact warning and crash mitigation. The Forester scored tops in all crash tests by the NHTSA and IIHS.
How Useful Is the 2019 Subaru Forester As a Family Hauler?
The 2019 Subaru Forester nailed its interior design. Ergonomics are really well done and the roomy, open cabin is a boon. Even with all of its spaciousness and large windows, though, the 2019 Forester is quiet on the road.
Comfort levels are good with seating for four being very well done and a fifth (added to the middle of the back bench) being optional in a pinch. Three kids across is an OK fit, but not great, and three adults will be squeezed. That’s the nature of a compact crossover.
Cargo space is really good in the 2019 Forester with 35.4 cubic feet available behind the back seat. That seat bench is split-fold by default and drops to open up 76.1 total cubic feet of cargo space. That’s basically a living room loveseat, for those wondering. We’d forget getting the optional panoramic sunroof, though, as it impedes loading space and headroom by an inch or so.
Expected Reliability/Dependability and Value
As a brand, Subaru enjoys a solid reputation for reliability. The Forester is all-new, so it’s difficult to gauge dependability at this point, but the model has historically enjoyed high reliability returns.
Which Version of the 2019 Forester Would We Buy?
There are five trim levels to the 2019 Subaru Forester and each has its own strengths. The best value seems to be in the Premium and Sport packages. These are well-equipped, offer access to some optional add-ons, and have good value-pricing compared to the higher-end trims. Note that the Premium trim cannot upgrade to the larger infotainment screen whereas the Sport can.
Really, though, any Forester that fits your budget is a good buy.
That’s because the Forester comes with all-wheel drive as standard and has such a high resale value down the line. So most any purchase option will be a good one for the longer term. Fuel economy is also realistic and good in the 2019 Forester, which adds to its value.
Radio Setting and Kid Approvals
This particular Subaru just seems to fit right in with the Coffee House on SiriusXM channel 14. The kids weren’t as into this music as the Forester was, but the vibe was right.
A Note on Our Process: Reviews here are based on Aaron’s reviews found around the Web. The goal here is to forego the usual “horsepower and capability” jargon of most automotive reviews and instead focus on how well the vehicle is as a regular family hauler for a single dad. Links to full, formal reviews are included in this review in order to provide more information should you wish to have it.