It seems like only yesterday when the Subaru Forester entered its current generation, perhaps because Subaru has never really taken to drastic redesigns of its compact crossover. One model was like the one that preceded it, only with more refinement and subtle tweaks.
Yet now, Subaru is bringing forth yet another Forester—the fourth generation—to climb small hills and ford puddles after a rainy day. It is a crossover after all, not some sort of go-anywhere beast. Before making its debut at the end of this month at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, Subaru has decided to spill some beans as to what’s going to be under its hood.
For starters, Subaru says it’ll be carrying over the 2.5-liter flat-4 engine that made its debut midway through the current generation’s model cycle. Like in the current Forester, it’ll produce 170 horsepower, but it will come paired to either a six-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable automatic transmission, replacing the five-speed manual and the ancient four-speed automatic transmissions that have origins back to 1988. Albeit refined since then, my first car, a 1993 Subaru Impreza, had the same four-speed auto that’s in the current Forester.
Thank goodness for technological progress.
Upgrading from that, Subaru is ditching its old turbocharged 2.5-liter flat-4 from the current Forester for an all-new design, a 2.0-liter flat-four with 250 horsepower. That’s up 26 horses over the outgoing Forester 2.5XT’s engine. It’s also expected to be the engine that will find time in the next Subaru WRX and potentially a future version of the Subaru BRZ sports coupe.
Like the current Forester, the new one is expected to continue with standard all-wheel drive. Taking on styling cues from the Impreza and Legacy, the 2014 Forester grows several inches in length and overall size, gaining much-needed space within its interior. Yet, it remains remarkably faithful to the original rugged crossover that started it all in 1998, retaining the chunky, upright shape that made it so user-friendly.
We’ll have a full report on the 2014 Subaru Forester when we see it in the sheetmetal at the end of this month in Los Angeles.