Fresh or phoned in?
Subaru isn’t known for taking big styling risks with its products, so when the automaker took the wraps off the 2019 Subaru Forester at the New York auto show, we weren’t surprised that the crossover looked very similar to the outgoing one—just a little disappointed. But that doesn’t mean the new model isn’t an attractive car. Below, we take a closer look at the 2019 Forester’s design changes. Is it an improvement over the previous generation? You be the judge.
At first glance, it’s difficult to tell what’s different about the 2019 Forester’s front end. But look closer and you’ll notice a few styling cues that separate it from the vehicle it replaces. The new headlights are similar in shape to the old model’s lamps, continuing to be swept back across the fenders. However, the C-shaped LED accents within the housings are slightly different, with the light piping now running all the way across the top and extending beyond the innermost edge of the lamp. The inverted trapezoid grille is now larger with revised slats and an updated chrome horizontal bar. There’s a new Sport trim for 2019 that gets a unique grille with a gloss black frame and dark-finished slats and cross bar. The whole front end is slightly more upright, coming to less of a point when viewed from the side.
From that vantage point, a few more differences stand out. The beltline kicks up at a sharper angle aft of the C-pillar, giving the Forester a tapered, more interesting greenhouse shape. This is accentuated by a character line just below the beltline, which travels across the doors and rises sharply to join the bottom edge of the window frame. In addition to the revised body lines, you’ll get orange accents on the rocker panels if you choose the Sport trim.
The rear of the Forester is where the most obvious exterior changes take place. The 2019 model receives C-shaped taillights very loosely inspired by the units on the 2016 Subaru VIZIV-7 concept. The rear lamps are also more horizontally oriented than before, spreading across the liftgate to give it a totally different look. Sport models get a black trim piece that fills the space below the rear glass and the notches in the taillights, as well as more orange trim on the lower rear valance.
But it’s the interior that sees the most noticeable updates. For 2019, a 6.5-inch touchscreen comes standard and has shifted up in the center stack thanks to HVAC vents that have been moved to its flanks. The dash is more contoured than before, and the outermost vents have been reshaped from basic rectangles to sharper-looking, vaguely trapezoidal designs. Sport models get a black and gray interior with bright metallic orange trim pieces and orange contrast stitching, which help lend the cabin a unique look.
What do you think of the 2019 Subaru Forester? Has its styling been sufficiently enhanced or did Subaru not go far enough? Tell us in the comments on Facebook.