2025 Subaru Forester Channels Old and New Into One Distinct Package For Families and Trail Warriors

While the Subaru Impreza, WRX, and, the BRZ often take the bulk of the spotlight in the eyes of the press, it can be easy to forget about the Subaru Forester. The Forester has been a popular choice among family buyers for several decades now and the Forester shoulders a large slice of the load in regards to Subaru’s broader sales. Subaru is not looking to change that too much with the 2025 Subaru Forester which blends old carryover bits with welcome revisions to sharpen its role in the SUV segment.


Familiarity Dominates Updates

The 2025 Subaru Forester is still underpinned by the company’s Subaru Global Modular platform but the exterior styling has been revamped with some of the new duds being cribbed from existing Subaru models. The wheel cladding is borrowed from the WRX while the revamped front fascia gets more DNA from the bigger Ascent. The front-end also gets a faux-lightbar with a large black piece that helps connect the headlights together. The door openings are bigger and squarer than before and front-mounted outlets help reduce front-end lift. All Forester models will come standard with roof rails and body cladding but the color of these pieces will depend on the trim level selected with Sport models getting splashes of Copper while range-topping Touring models get gloss black/silver accents.

The copper accents also extend to the wheels and the rear end gets new taillights that are also joined together by a faux lightbar. The rear end here is perhaps the boldest we have seen yet on the Forester and is a departure from older models which had a more conservative look. The end result here is styling that’s bolder and crisper but still manages to not rock the boat too much in the eyes of Forester loyalists.

Meanwhile, the interior also gets revamped and nearly all Forester models now get an 11.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system that comes with bundled wireless phone mirroring software. The lone exception is the base Forester which gets a pair of smaller 7.0-inch screens to cover the same functions. The dashboard is moved up to help enhance knee room and while soft plastic pieces are still used, these pieces extend to the knee bolsters which is a nod to Subaru’s customer studies that showed many Forester buyers go off-road during the rigors of daily use. The cargo area has been expanded and Forester buyers can now haul up to 29.6 cubic feet of stuff with the space expanding to 74.4 cubic feet when the second-row seat is folded down. The cargo area also has screw-in mounting points for accessories and the power liftgate now gets a kick sensor.


Forester Performance Is Part Carryover Part Refresh

Performance for the 2025 Subaru Forester is a mixture of carryover and new components with the model retaining the familiar 2.5-liter flat-four that now makes 180 hp (a slight loss in power over the outgoing model) but it gains two extra lb-ft of torque for a revised total of 178 lb-ft. A CVT is still standard but new software revisions promote faster shifts and allows active torque vectoring on the rear wheels.

Subaru’s X Mode system is standard on nearly all Forester trims (base model excluded) and helps sharpen the SUV’s behavior when tasked with trail running. All of these upgrades are also paired with changes in the way Subaru builds the Forester itself with the SUV now featuring full inner frame construction. What that means is that the unibody’s side panels are attached to the floor first at the production line before the rest of the Forester comes together. This is paired with other new construction techniques that allowed Subaru to use more structural adhesive and stronger welds which helped enhance rigidity and improve access to key assembly points.

The Forester also gets the latest iteration of Subaru’s EyeSight system with the existing cameras and software being joined by a new mono camera that allows the system to process more information while also getting an enhanced view of its surroundings which helps improve pedestrian and cyclist detection.


When Can I Buy One?

The 2025 Subaru Forester will begin making its way to Subaru showrooms this spring. The company has not released official pricing just yet, but with this being a refresh versus an all-out update of the Forester, look for changes to the pricing ladder to be minimal versus what we see now. Buyers will be able to choose from five trim levels; Base, Premium, Sport, Limited, and Touring. While the Wilderness trim was not revealed this time around, look for it to eventually appear later to appeal to trail warriors.


Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.

Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.

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