2019 Subaru Forester Review: Lots Of Love, But No Fun

The new Subaru is refined, but is it any fun?

My time in the 2019 Subaru Forester was just enough to get a real feel for how it behaved on the highway, suburban streets and backroads. I have to say, it was an extremely comfortable ride. This is an all-new crossover that Subaru aimed squarely at the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

I owned a 1999 Subaru Forester for five years, and I loved it. It was an excellent Colorado car and it put up with a ton of abuse. Unfortunately, while my old car was fun to drive, despite being a bit underpowered, the modern 2019 Subaru Forester just…isn’t.

2019 Subaru Forester
The 2019 Subaru Forester Touring. [Photo: TFLcar]

While this new one does have a 2.5-liter horizontally-opposed Boxer engine, like the first generation I owned, it’s an entirely different unit. This one makes 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque. It’s hooked up to a mellow continuously variable transmission (CVT). Sadly, that’s the only way this car comes anymore, as there is no manual transmission option.

Subaru did away with the six-speed, and ditched the turbocharged engine as well. However, while not particularly dynamic, the engine and transmission combination makes for an incredibly smooth operator. In regular driving, the Forester is relaxed, surefooted and extremely smooth even on the nastiest roads.

2019 Subaru Forester
[Photo: TFLcar]

Comfort and Convenience

The seats in the top-of-the-line Touring model were extremely comfortable. More than that, the rest of the interior in the 2019 Subaru Forester is a vast improvement over the previous model. Ergonomics along with fit and finish make it competitive with many of the big hitters.

It can still tow 1,500 pounds and it has trailer stability assist which can read the trailer’s sway and correct negative movement by triggering the car’s brakes. All 2019 Subaru Forester models now come standard with Subaru’s lauded EyeSight driver assistance safety technology.

(Photo: Nathan Leach-Proffer)

Its chassis and suspension setup were the most notable improvement. While it does lean in corners, the suspension and ease of control are impressive. It doesn’t like to be hurried, but it will go where you point it using its AWD system to assist when things get out of hand.

The 2019 Subaru Forester is an easy car to live with

Despite not being a fun car, it’s an exceedingly easy car to drive. Like its predecessors, the 2019 Subaru Forester has big windows, a fairly short hood and somewhat thin pillars. Outward visibility is outstanding and it may be one of the easiest cars to park.

[Photo: Nathan Leach-Proffer]

Subaru managed to keep the Forester’s family resemblance to the past, some feel it’s a bit vanilla. I still think the third generation was the best looking of the lot. Still, I have to give it to Subaru for coming up with an outstanding green color.

All in all, I was impressed with the product Subaru built. I think it’s a solid crossover for people who are looking for less driving brio than the Mazda CX-5. In the video above, I get a chance to stretch the 2019 Subaru Forester Touring on some back roads. This was during the Rocky Mountain Redline Rally. The event allows journalists to drive various cars through some of Colorado’s most scenic roads.