Putting a more contemporary spin on what has always been a popular model in its lineup, the all-new 2014 Subaru Forester made its first public appearance in Los Angeles. Beyond gaining new sense of style, this comprehensive recasting endows the 2014 Forester with the enviable qualities of being roomier and more comfortable while offering better performance and economy than the existing model as well as a host of new upscale features.
Available in base 2.5i/2.5i Premium/2.5i Limited/2.5i Touring and 2.0XT Premium/2.0XT Touring variants, all members of the Forester family ride on a new platform that's slightly longer and wider but benefits most from an 0.9-inch stretch in wheelbase. While still unmistakably Subaru, the Forester's new exterior design adds a new sense of style to the mix with the more enthusiast-oriented 2.0XT versions getting an even edgier front fascia treatment to go along with a sport-tuned suspension and larger brakes.
Standard engine in the new Forester will continue to be the existing 170-horsepower/2.5-liter naturally aspirated flat-4. However, the automaker's new 2.0-liter turbocharged/direct-injected "boxer" 4-cylinder that makes 250 horses will replace the current 2.5-liter/224-horse T-charged engine as an option. The base engine can be backed with a 6-speed manual transmission or optional Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission) automatic but the turbo engine gets a high-torque CVT with 6-speed and 8-speed manual modes, an SI-DRIVE performance control system with Intelligent/Sport/Sport Sharp driving modes and Hill Descent Control.
As in the past, all versions of the 2014 Subaru Forester will feature Subie's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, with 6-speed models using Continuous AWD with a viscous-coupling locking center differential and CVT-equipped Foresters getting an Active Torque Split AWD with an electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch. Fuel economy has been upped on all Forester drivetrain configurations, with the Forester 2.5i/CVT combo leading the pack thanks to its 24/32/27 mpg city/highway/combined EPA numbers.
Equally deserving of design kudos, the Forester's remade inner sanctum is even better tailored and finished while offering a bevy of premium touches including a rear-vision camera, touch-screen navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity, an 8-speaker/440-watt harman/kardon audio system, power rear liftgate, Keyless Access and Start and Subaru's EyeSight driver assist system that integrates Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking and Vehicle Lane Departure Warning as standard or optional features. While the Forester's front buckets are still the preferred perches, rear-seat legroom has been upped to an impressive 41.7 inches for 2014 and flat-folding the 60/40-split backs opens up a huge 74.7 cu ft cargo bay.
The 2014 Subaru Forester will be arriving in dealerships next spring. Pricing will be announced closer to the on sale date.