When it comes to SUVs, most of the time people tend to think about Toyota or Honda or even Ford’s lineup of SUVs.

But one of the more overlooked options is Subaru and their Forester which has been around since 1997 and has gotten just as good as some of the top-selling SUVs today.

Design

The 2019 Subaru Forester has a rugged exterior and can easily go on- and off-roading with easy. While the exterior of the Subaru Forester is rugged, it’s the complete opposite on the inside of the vehicle.

The seats and interior finish is made from leather that makes it feel more premium. The trunk has lots of space and there are lots of legroom and headspace in both the front and rear seats.

The 2019 Forester is powered by the 2.5L Dual Overhead Cam (DOHC), 16-valve, horizontally opposed, 4-cylinder SUBARU BOXER engine, Electronic Throttle Control and Active Valve Control System.

The Forester comes with an 8-inch infotainment screen for Subaru’s Starlink system. In front of the shifter are a USB port and AUX input The back seat passengers also get two USB ports.

In terms of Driver-Assist Technology, the Forester comes with the following:

  • DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System
  • EyeSight: Pre-collision Braking
  • Pre-collision Brake Assist
  • Pre-collision Throttle Management
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Lane Sway Warning, Lead Vehicle
  • Start Alert, Lane Keep Assist
  • Reverse Automatic Braking
  • Proximity Key with push-button start
  • High Beam Assist
  • Subaru Rear/Side Vehicle Detection (SRVD)

Subaru’s EyeSight system is available on the Touring trimming and above. The system is basically acting like a second pair of eyes (via two cameras) for you and watching the road ahead.

I found the EyeSight system to work well and works in conjunction with Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-collision Braking, Pre-collision Throttle Management, Lane Departure and Sway Warning.

The vehicle also came with a Harman Kardon 8-speaker system with a 440 watt 8-channel amp which sounds great and can get very loud even at 50% of the max volume.

The 2019 Forester starts at $27,995 CAD for the 2.5i trim. The model I tested was the Premier with EyeSight which costs $39,495 CAD and $41,220 CAD after freight and fees.

Software & Connectivity

The 2019 Subaru Forester Premier has an 8-inch infotainment system which is powered by Subaru’s Starlink. The main homescreen is divided up into a few apps including Phone, Map, Radio, Apps, Subaru Starlink and Media.

When you connect your Android phone or iPhone, then an Android Auto or Apple CarPlay icon will appear. The Starlink maps are powered by TomTom which is easy to read and use.

Getting around the system is easy and everything is just one button press away. There are voice controls but I found myself not using that much.

Apart from that, there isn’t much to the Starlink system, There is a companion app for your smartphone so you can unlock/lock and start your vehicle from the app but I didn’t get a chance to test it out.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the 2019 Subaru Forester is a great SUV that comes with lots of safety features and good tech inside.

Pros

  • Comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • Starlink Infotainment System is easy to navigate
  • EyeSight system keeps you safe and eyes on the road
  • Nice interior with soft-touch materials

Cons

  • No Lane Keep Assist with automatic steering
  • Loud engine noise
  • The infotainment system is fairly barebones

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