The 2025 Subaru Forester, showcased at the L.A. Auto Show, boasts updated styling and tech enhancements, with the anticipation of a new hybrid model joining the lineup soon. While labeled as “all-new,” the Forester maintains some key elements from its predecessor, such as the Subaru Global Platform and a 2.5-liter boxer-four engine. The dimensions are nearly identical, with a slight increase in length and width, and a modest expansion in cargo space.
Despite these similarities, the exterior design has undergone notable changes. The grille is larger and integrated with the headlights, featuring fewer elements for a cleaner look. The upper trim levels exhibit gloss black trim and bronze accents, adding a touch of sophistication. Fender-wrapping plastic trim, reminiscent of the WRX, contributes to a more dynamic appearance, along with a more upright liftgate for improved cargo space.
Noteworthy changes extend to the roof rails, with the Sport and Touring trim levels adopting flush-mounted rails for style and aerodynamics. This shift in design reflects Subaru’s strategy to cater to different buyer preferences rather than following a traditional ladder-type trim level structure.
Inside, the Forester introduces new features like an 11.6-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen, wireless phone charger, ventilated seats, and hands-free power liftgate. The interior closely resembles other models in the Subaru lineup, with a focus on user-friendly technology and improved seat design for better visibility.
Mechanically, the Forester benefits from a reinforced inner frame construction, employing stronger welding techniques and additional structural adhesive for enhanced body rigidity and reduced weight. The steering system, influenced by the WRX, contributes to improved handling. However, the engine remains a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated boxer-four, delivering 180 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque, slightly less than the previous model.
Excitingly, Subaru announces the upcoming hybrid variant, set to launch one year after the gasoline model. The standard all-wheel-drive system has been revised for better on- and off-road performance, including an X-Mode off-road driving mode on certain trims.
Safety remains a top priority, with Subaru anticipating the Forester to retain its IIHS Top Safety Pick status for 2025. The latest version of Subaru’s EyeSight driver assistance suite includes improvements for smoother reactions under various conditions. A notable addition to safety features is Emergency Stop Assist, designed to bring the vehicle to a stop, activate hazard lights, and unlock doors if the driver becomes unresponsive while using adaptive cruise control.
The 2025 Subaru Forester is expected to hit dealerships next spring, with the hybrid variant following a year later. Subaru plans to release four new all-electric models by 2026 and an additional four by 2028. Pricing details will be announced closer to the release date.