I’m always excited to get behind the wheel of a Subaru SUV. This week I bring you the all-new 2019 Subaru Forester Sport.
2019 Subaru Forester Sport
Let’s talk about what is new for this model. First, it is built on the new Subaru Global Platform, an improved chassis that will spread eventually to every Subaru. It improves ride, handling, and quietness. The 2019 is 1.2-inches longer for increased back seat room.
Also new, the turbo is gone on the 2.5-liter Boxer 4- cylinder engine, yet horsepower increased to 182-horses. There is also an upgraded Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that you can shift from paddles on the steering wheel.
Also new is the Sport package I bring you today. It slots between the Premium and the Limited models. The front and rear of the Subaru are redone and you’ll see 18” wheels and orange accents around the exterior of the vehicle.
The theme of orange accents continues when you get behind the wheel. You’ll see it around the center console and air conditioner vents. Orange stitching outlines the seats and dashboard. Orange on black sounds a little strange, but it really works. The cloth seats look great and the door panels look super.
You will notice just how comfortable the power driver’s seat is, and it has power lumbar support.
The dash is bright and colorful and there is a driver information readout in the middle. This is operated from the steering wheel, which is quite busy with a lot of buttons, including radio controls and cruise control among other things.
On the center console, you’ll find the X-Mode switch for those who want to test the amazing symmetrical all-wheel drive system off the road or in bad weather. You can also activate the automatic vehicle hold (AVH), which allows you to take your foot off the brake when you come to a stop.
The heart of the inside operations is the Starlink system, which is an easy-to-use 8-inch touchscreen. This is where you operate the Bluetooth, Apple Car Play and Android Auto, the Harmon Kardon sound system which includes HD radio, CD player and Sirius XM. You get real-time info on the Travel Link and there are several apps like Aha and Pandora.
Above that is another driver info center operated from the steering wheel. You can choose from 7 different screens featuring things like time & temp, fuel economy data, and the local forecast.
Also from the steering wheel, you can activate the Si drive for enhanced throttle control and a sharper driver experience. This feature makes the SUV a lot of fun!
Around the rearview mirror you’ll find the EyeSight Safety System, something I talk about on the radio all the time because, to me, it is the best one out there. You can’t see it from inside, but outside you see two cameras mounted high on the windshield.
The cameras monitor traffic movement, optimize cruise control, and warns you and corrects you when you sway outside your lane. The Automatic Pre-Collision Braking feature can even apply full braking force and bring you to a complete stop in emergency situations. Eyesight is standard equipment for 2019 on most Subarus.
Rear Seat Room and Cargo Space
Back seat leg and headroom are surprisingly good and there are air conditioner vents, a fold-down armrest, and two USB ports for the backseat occupants.
Cargo area was widened for 2019 and with the rear seats down, there is a massive amount of storage.
Standard Features and Options
Notable standard features include LED headlights and fog lights, rear camera with rear automatic braking, a Wi-FI hotspot, pushbutton start, panoramic power moonroof, and keyless entry. It has start/stop that can be disabled.
Just a couple of options include the StarLink system, upgraded stereo, blind-spot detection, and a power lift gate. This model does not come with a navigation system.
Ride and Drive
I admit a bias toward Subaru, especially the SUVs, primarily because of the Eyesight System and the symmetrical all-wheel drive system.
Moreover, the ride and drive is spectacular and the all-around visibility is great. With 8.7-inches of ground clearance, the Forester is a serious off-roader, as well as a joyful daily driver. Acceleration is lacking a little for me, but for most it will be fine.
Fuel Economy and What You’ll Pay
Fuel economy is great at 26 city and 33 highway, and total MSRP was surprisingly low by today’s standards at $31,815.