- 2014 Subaru Forester grows in size
- New styling borrowed from other Subaru models
- 4-cylinder is standard, turbo four optional
Subaru is rolling out its fully redesigned, fourth-generation Forester SUV at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show. The automaker recently revealed the updated Forester ahead of the show, releasing several photos and announcing preliminary information, such as available equipment and powertrain details.
On the outside, the Forester gains several new Subaru design cues, including a kinked D-pillar from the Outback and a new grille reminiscent of the remainder of the brand's model range. Like the latest Outback, the Forester grows in size, adding around an inch to its wheelbase and 1.5 inches to length. While those figures are small, Subaru says better packaging makes for a roomier cabin with more rear seat room and a bigger cargo area.
Under the hood, the Forester offers two options. The standard engine is a 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter flat four, which is carried over largely unchanged from the 2013 model. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard, while a new continuously variable automatic replaces last year's outdated 4-speed for improved fuel efficiency. According to Subaru, drivers who prefer the feel of gears to the CVT can lock in real gear ratios using the system's standard manual shift gate.
In addition to its standard 2.5-liter flat four, the 2014 Forester also offers a turbocharged variant. According to Subaru, the 2.0-liter turbocharged flat four will produce 250 hp and 258 lb-ft in the latest model--an increase of 26 hp and more than 30 lb-ft over last year's turbocharged 2.5 XT. The turbocharged Forester will gain sporty touches--including unique alloy wheels, a more aggressive front bumper and restyled fog lights--but it loses its characteristic hood scoop, which has been a hallmark of the sporty crossover since its 2004 debut. Like the base-level Forester, the turbo model will offer drivers a choice between a standard 6-speed manual and an optional CVT automatic.
Subaru also detailed the 2014 Forester's options list, which includes a reversing camera, Bluetooth and a navigation system--much like today's Forester. The most important new feature is a Harmon/Kardon audio system, which is sure to please audiophiles interested in the compact crossover.
We'll learn more about the 2014 Forester, including its pricing and release date, closer to its arrival at the LA Auto Show later this month. In the meantime, we're speculating that the SUV will go on sale this spring with a starting price similar to today's model in the low-$20,000 range.
What it means to you: If you're looking for a compact crossover, stay tuned for our LA Auto Show coverage to decide if the 2014 Subaru Forester is worth a second glance.