► New Subaru Forester shown off at LA Auto Show
► Retains impressive off-road credentials
► Promises more maturity, greater safety and eventually hybrid power
The wraps have come off Subaru’s latest Forester, which the firm unveiled at the LA Auto Show last week. The sixth generation of Forester doesn’t mess with the tried-and-tested formula – it’s still an unapologetically boxy family SUV, both in silhouette and in the flat-four engine that sits under the bonnet.
The Forester sells in minuscule numbers in the UK, as with all Subarus – but it’s wildly popular in the US, with 2.6 million cars sold over there. It’s no surprise, then, that Subaru chose to reveal its new car at the LA Auto Show rather than a European or Japanese motor show.
The Forester’s familiar five-door shape gets a new hexagonal grille flanked by sharp headlights, giving it a very similar front end to Ford’s old (non-electric) Explorer. Copper detailing on the wheels and cladding around the lower part of the body add some visual interest, while the rear sees a full-width element joining the taillights.
Inside, it’s business as usual – Subaru’s retained physical gauges, but the 11.6-inch Starlink infotainment system contains the climate controls and vehicle settings. Cheaper models will make do with twin 7.0-inch screens instead.
Under the skin, there’s a stiffer platform and Subaru’s storied symmetrical all-wheel drive system. Combined with X-Mode off-road settings, the Forester should retain a high degree of capability on the rough stuff. Subaru buyers worldwide expect no less.
For the US, the Forester will get a 2.5-litre flat-four ‘Boxer’ engine producing 180bhp and 178lb ft – just about adequate for such a large vehicle. However, a full hybrid model is on the cards, and it’s this that we’d expect to be the sole offering for the UK market when Subaru launches the Forester here next year. Current UK Foresters get a faintly hybridised ‘e-Boxer’ as the sole powertrain offering.
We’d expect prices to nudge north of £40,000 when the new Forester arrives in the UK, up from around £38,000 for the current model.