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2014 Subaru Forester has new looks, more content


December 5, 2012

Before the big reveal

Before the big reveal

Image Gallery (41 images)

The Subaru Forester officially moved to its fourth generation at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show. The redesigned crossover packs a new, 250-hp BOXER turbo, more features, more space and a restyled body.

Subaru has stretched the new Forester out to create a roomier interior for families and large hauls. Compared to the current Forester, the 2014 is 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) longer and a little over half an inch (1.2 cm) wider. With a little shuffling, the interior grows larger than those numbers might suggest. Leg room in the rear seat increases to 41.7 inches (106 cm), up from 38 inches (97 cm) in the current model. The dreaded rear-center seat position is made more comfortable with a lowered center tunnel and shortened center console. Maximum cargo capacity grows to 74.7 cubic feet (2,115 liters), from 68.3 cubic feet (1,934 liters).

To complement its slight growth, the Forester gets some new styling. It stares at the road ahead with a set of restyled "hawkeye" headlights. The front-end sees a redesign, which includes the taller hexagonal grille, and the A pillar is pushed forward. The 2.0XT model gets a more aggressive sport bumper, a one-piece mesh grille and under-hood ducting in place of the hood scoop.

There's also more power lurking under the 2014 Forester's aluminum hood, at least when it comes to 2.0XT models. Power is up to 250 hp (from 224 hp) thanks to a new turbocharged version of the 2.0-liter BOXER engine used in the BRZ sports car. That 4-cylinder engine uses a combination of direct fuel injection, high compression (10.6:1), Subaru Dual Active Valve Control System (D-AVCS) and turbocharging with an intercooler. The 2.0XT models come standard with a high-torque CVT transmission with paddle switches.

Forester 2.5i models carry the 170-hp 2.5-liter BOXER engine over from the outgoing Forester. Transmission options on the 2.5i include a new 6-speed manual and Lineartronic CVT. When equipped with the CVT, the 2.5i will offer up to a Subaru-estimated 27 mpg (8.7 L/100km) combined (32 mpg (7.4 L/100km) on the highway).

The 2014 Forester line also benefits from new safety features and technologies. Standard Symmetrical All Wheel Drive is complemented by a new X-Mode feature on all 2.0XT and higher-trim 2.5i models. It enhances control on slippery surfaces and steep inclines by optimizing control of the engine, transmission shift pattern, Active AWD front/rear clutching force, brakes, VDC and other critical systems. Hill Descent Control helps maintain a constant speed on descents, increasing driver confidence and control.

New equipment includes anti-whiplash front seats, new Electric Power Assisted Steering, a driver’s knee airbag, Brake Override and an impact-sensing fuel system cutoff. The EyeSight system that debuted on 2013 Legacy and Outback models is now available as an option. EyeSight uses a stereo camera system to deliver the driver assistance functions of Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking and Vehicle Lane Departure Warning. A power rear liftgate is available as an option.

Depending upon trim level, the 2014 Forester's interior is outfitted with such amenities as a color multi-functional display, touchscreen navigation with smartphone integration, rear-view camera system, instrument cluster with LCD display, leather-trimmed seats and a 440-watt, 8-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system

The 2014 Forester will hit the North American market in the spring of next year. The 2.5i will come in base, Premium, Limited and Touring trim, and the 2.0XT will come in Premium and Touring.

Source: Subaru

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work. All articles by C.C. Weiss

Nice car. Yet once again what is missing is the Diesel engine option for North America. Subaru has an awesome direct-injection Diesel and has been selling it in Europe since 2008.

I know all the reasons they tell the press: "low-sulphur Diesel availability" - not true for the most part any more. "Dealership staff not trained properly" - that one gets me angry. I was actually talking to a sales person at a dealership and they did not have anyone going to be trained, and not even anything scheduled for that. They are not intending to do it. And true enough, if there's no mechanic at the dealership who knows about Diesels, they can't sell them.

Clearly, people on this continent are set to be milked for their $$ to buy gasoline for a while. And looking at dumb ads promoting 30mpg cars as "fuel efficient". Laughable.

The same is true for Ford, General Motors, Toyota and all the others who have the most wonderful small-displacement Diesel engines up and running in Europe but just won't offer them here.

Let's all buy VW TDI's. That'll wake 'em up.


Torque figures? Fuel consumption of the XT? 27MPG for the standard is far from impressive. Nice look Subaru, shame it's not more frugal.


I agree with BeWalt. It is a pity that the consumer is apparently demanding larger vehicles, instead of more economic vehicles.


Why are all the designers sloping up the rear side windows? We need to see more when backing up, not less? I guess it's a bit of monkey see monkey do.

One of the sacred design principles of off road vehicles is great all round visibility. Even Range Rover seems to be forgetting their 'command seating' position. This visibility is great everywhere especially when parking in tight spots.

We need to build on what the earlier generations did. They knew what they were doing.

David Armour

Correct me if I'm wrong,but don't know any other AWD that gets 32 mpg on the highway?

As for diesels how long does it take for payback after spending $3,000 extra and paying 50 cents more a gallon? In Europe fuel is at least twice the cost. Other drawbacks is they take forever to warm up and harder to start in cold climates.

Only 5% of VW's imported are diesels. Americans just won't buy them and with some good reasons.


Cars in Europe get ridiculous gas mileage. They aren't available in the U.S. because of the whole oil companies/auto maker in bed together situation here in the U.S., not to mention there's no real market for the diesels that get that mileage here. It's a niche market at best, and it would cost companies more money for ads, changes in model line-ups, dealer materials, etc. It would be like adding a new model to the line-up and all the hassle and havoc that causes, but on a mass scale. In the end, it's not worth the cost to pay off ratio, if you really think about it. But that's what it's all about, isn't it? The almighty dollar. But at any rate, I could be WAY off with this thought. Oh and by the way, 27 mpg highway is the rating for the current Forester with the regular automatic transmission. An AVERAGE of 27 and 32 Hwy for the 2014 is a pretty decent improvement....

Jake Kerlin


You are living in the 80's. Modern diesels start in all weather, warm up as fast as gas powered vehicles and last forever. They don't need emission testing (in my state anyway) so that saves me $75 a year right there. Diesel can also be stored indefinitely, so if (or when) we get a supply disruption, I'll be able to go anywhere within a 350 mile radius without needing fuel...

Ron Stidmon

Subaru is a fantastic car I've had 2 of them one now is 21 years old and guess what! it has about the same fuel consumption! hahahaaha. It's that good old "all wheel drive" great for handling really,really, crap for fuel consumption. But I still love them 310,000 kms (193,750 ancient units) and still going strong.


if I follow the money, the corporation that profit from selling the gasoline will loose about 30% in income because diesel engines burn less and down on a road when they switch to produce more diesel the price of it should drop too. All that explanations are just politics witch puts America behind even Mexico and other poor country. Why Mercedes and Volkswagen can sell diesels here and Mazda can not, (having the best so far small engine that meets the environmental standards and is cheaper than Mercedes because don't need an extra burner, extra tank for UREA witch freeze up in cold weather and will leave some very small particles in your lungs from breathing that exhaust. Will you that easy give up your 30% earnings?


Subaru should have left the old model alone because it at least looked like what one would expect a Subaru to look like. They should leave the model wrapped with a sticker on it with the $5k discount offer to buy it sight unseen. Front end looks like an angry scarab with lines going everywhere. Suburu should have looked at the Buick Enclave or more squared BMW cross-over for proper cues. A giant Escalade looks properly proportioned. Even the usually conservative and clumsy Honda Crosstour with its giant yaw is more stylish. Take it to the stylists at Hyundai and call this one a 2013.5 version, instead.



As someone else pointed out, visibility is important and I cannot understand why Subaru has to join the main stream of attempts to make the vehicle look "sleek" by doing things with the rear side windows.

What is the point of the more aggressive looking hood? Reminds me of some of the pickup trucks that try to mimic the bold look of a Freightliner or Peterbilt. A flat four has a lower profile. Why not a front design with a lower hood, understated grill?

I have to drive the CVT, apparently these are getting better and I might accept it. The news that the turbo can also function on regular gas, although not deliver much power, is interesting. I wish Subaru had decided to go with direct injection in the larger engine.

Loved my 2008 Forester, sold it to a favorite niece. The automatic transmission was awful, and it lacked power. It was slightly larger than the earlier version, but I put up with that. Just don't like the evolution I am seeing.


BMW X5 diesel is well loved here.with eco credits when you can get nearly 10k off MSRP it makes up for a little difference in fuel.

Steve Nelson

I also think it is a shame Subaru doesn't bring the diesel to the U.S. The fuel mileage is a bonus, but the main reason I would buy a diesel is the torque/towing capacity. My utility trailer empty is close to 1,000.bs, and my pop-up camer is around 2,200lbs. The diesel option would be nice.

Michael Clark
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