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Adventure awaits!

Subaru Forester Review | CarMax

With a history of more than 20 years, the Subaru Forester is a crossover SUV that’s fit to indulge your adventurous side. The Forester is as much at home navigating to the office as it is the uneven terrain of a mountain road. Combining car-like maneuverability, generous ground clearance, and SUV-like versatility, the all-wheel-drive Subaru Forester is a fan favorite among outdoor enthusiasts, pet lovers, and small families alike.

With a go-anywhere ruggedness, the Forester strikes a perfect balance of style and utility, featuring a flat-four engine design that offers quiet performance. Benefiting from a tall roofline, the Subaru Forester has slightly more cargo capacity than the Subaru Outback, and provides a higher seating position that you’ll love in your next SUV.

Here's what you'll learn in this 2019 Forester review:

Key Specs & Features (2019)

Subaru Forester Review: Engine | CarMax
  • Standard four-cylinder engine
  • Symmetrical all-wheel drive (AWD)
  • 8.7 inches of ground clearance
  • Standard EyeSight Driver Assist Technology
  • 76.1 cubic feet of cargo volume

5 Reasons to Buy

1. Eye-tracking tech

The EyeSight Driver Assist Suite is standard on all 2019 Subaru Foresters and includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, forward collision mitigation, and DriverFocus. DriverFocus is designed to monitor the eyes of the driver to determine if the driver is falling asleep.

Subaru Forester Review: Tech Dash | CarMax

2. Hands-free

Excluding the base-model Forester, 2019 Subaru Foresters are available with SUBARU STARLINK™. When equipped with STARLINK, the Forester is designed to notify emergency responders if an airbag deploys, allow you to call for assistance, start the Forester remotely from your phone, and even help you make a dinner reservation.

Subaru Forester Review: Front Seats | CarMax

3. Off-road capabilities

All Subaru Forester models come equipped with symmetrical all-wheel drive. This AWD system optimizes the distribution of power to individual wheels on the vehicle and is designed to stabilize the vehicle in tough road conditions. The Subaru Forester's AWD makes it an excellent choice for almost any climate.

4. Great for driving in rural areas

LED-equipped headlights that actively track the direction the Forester is turning are available on both Limited and Touring trim models of the 2019 Forester. In addition, the available High Beam Assist will automatically adjust to oncoming traffic making Steering Responsive Headlight-equipped Foresters a popular choice in heavily wooded areas populated by wildlife.

5. Ready for adventure

For 2019 the Subaru Forester has plenty of room for your family or friends and all their gear, no matter what adventure you're going on. The rear-gate opening is wider than in previous generations and provides entry to up to 76.1 cubic feet of cargo space. With a convenient 60/40 split-folding rear seat, the Forester can haul a wide variety of luggage, sports equipment, or outdoor gear.

Subaru Forester Review: Backseat | CarMax

A power rear gate is also standard on Limited and Touring models and available as an option on the Premium and Subaru Forester Sport trim packages.

Subaru Forester Review: Trunk Cargo | CarMax

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What You Need to Know

Available paint color options

  • Crystal Black Silica
  • Crystal White Pearl
  • Crimson Red Pearl
  • Dark Gray Metallic
  • Horizon Blue Pearl
  • Ice Silver Metallic
  • Jasper Green Metallic
  • Sepia Bronze Metallic

Available interior colors and materials

  • Black Cloth
  • Black Leather
  • Gray Cloth
  • Gray Leather
  • Gray Sport Cloth (Subaru Forester Sport)
  • Saddle Brown

Available Trim Packages

Subaru Forester

  • Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
  • Standard EyeSight Driver Assist Technology
  • SUBARU STARLINK Multimedia with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™
  • LED headlights

Subaru Forester Premium

  • 10-way power driver seat
  • 17-in alloy wheels
  • Power-tilt/sliding panoramic moonroof
  • 4G LTE WiFi capability

Subaru Forester Sport

  • 18-inch black-finish alloy wheels
  • Keyless Access with Push-Button Start
  • SI-DRIVE engine management system
  • All-Weather Package with heated front seats
  • Unique orange exterior accents and badging

Subaru Forester Limited

  • Leather-trimmed upholstery
  • Blind-Spot Detection/Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Dual-Zone automatic climate control

Subaru Forester Touring

  • Exclusive Saddle-Brown Leather-trimmed upholstery available
  • DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System
  • 10-way power driver seat and eight-way power front passenger seat
  • Power rear gate

Similar Vehicles

Chevrolet Equinox

The Chevrolet Equinox has been one of America's best-selling crossover SUV's for many years. For 2019, it is available with a range of different engine choices, including turbocharged options and a 1.6L turbodiesel, which will get an EPA-estimated 39 mpg on the highway in FWD configuration.1

The Equinox is available in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations for those looking for all-weather performance. Available trim packages on the 2018 and newer Chevrolet Equinox include the L, LS, LT, and Premium. Opting for the Premium trim package will get you a power liftgate and wireless device charging.

Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V is another option for those that require all-wheel drive. Regardless of the trim package, all Honda CR-Vs come standard with all-wheel drive and have plenty of room inside for all your gear too. Two engine options are available on the Honda, the 2.4L four-cylinder engine that produces 184 hp (included with the base LX trim on all 2016 models onward) and the 190-hp turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder engine (also on 2016 models onward). Similar to the Forester, the CR-V is available with Honda's SENSING intelligent driving aids.

Toyota Rav4

The Toyota Rav4 is also newly designed for 2019 and comes with the rugged good looks that have become standard for recent Toyota products. The Rav4 comes with a robust 2.5L four-cylinder engine that produces 203 hp as standard while the 2019 2.5L Rav4 hybrid churns out 219 hp and can achieve an EPA-estimated 41 mpg in the city.1 Specific trim packages beyond the standard trim include XSE Hybrid, Adventure, and Limited.

The Bottom Line

The 2019 Subaru Forester is a capable crossover SUV that could be perfect for you if you love to spend time outdoors and need the room to bring your friends and their belongings. Packed with technology and creature comforts, you can't go wrong with this versatile and practical ride.

To find out more, check out these related articles.

1Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates when vehicles sold as new. Fuel economy figures may vary depending on factors like model year, specific trim level, transmission type, engine size, and drive-train. See fueleconomy.gov for details.
Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.