From the start, the Subaru Forester was built SUV tough, with car handling. Let’s follow the Forester through the years from an idea to an icon.
The Subaru Forester, introduced at the 1995 Tokyo Auto Show, arrived at Subaru dealerships in the United States back in 1997. For five generations, it has delighted owners with its untypical SUV design while still offering all of that SUV space. The original Foresters were based on a car chassis but incorporated the rugged, boxy characteristic that has distinguished it and each of the following generations.
The first-generation Subaru Forester was designed to as a crossover with a sedan’s ease of entry. Sharing its platform with the Impreza, the Forester also shared trim levels as they were Standard, Premium, Sport, Limited, and Touring. From the beginning, the Forester has had a standard all-wheel drive.
For the second generation, Subaru introduced the new Forester at the 2002 Chicago Auto show. Weight savings, engine power, and handling refinements were the focus of this new generation.
Subaru’s third-generation Forester moved away from its station wagon shape into more of a crossover SUV format. The 2009 Subaru Forester launched at the 2009 North American Auto Show. Styled by Subaru’s Chief Designer Mamoru Ishii, the Foresters wheelbase increased 3.5 inches, grew longer, wider, and higher. Its larger size and the sloping roofline put it solidly into the crossover segment.
The fourth-generation Subaru Forester, introduced at the 2013 New York International Auto Show, was completely redesigned. Its maximum cargo area increased to 74.7 cubic feet and interior passenger space allowed for increased legroom and improved seating. The interior also received improved ergonomics with an updated dashboard that included more prominent infotainment and climate controls.
Subaru introduced the fifth-generation 2019 Forester at the New York International Auto Show in March 2018. Even though fitted with Subaru’s branded Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, the new design and features moved the Forester towards refinement of comfort and quality of material fit and finish to compete against the competition.