At the 2023 Los Angeles Auto Show, Subaru showed off the 2025 Forester for the first time. Big claims of “all-newness” are made all the time, but the 2025 Subaru Forester does have new sheet metal, a stiffer frame, and a bigger infotainment screen inside. When it hits the market, there will be five trim levels to choose from: base, Premium, Sport, Limited, and Touring. A Wilderness trim level and a hybrid choice are likely to be added one day.
The Forester looks more ready for action from the outside thanks to body pieces that are smoothed around the headlights and raised over the wheel arches. The new grille has longer edges that make the arrow-shaped LED headlights stand out more. The Forester’s interior stays upright, though, so there is still room for your head and people can recognize the brand. Even though the Forester is boxy, it has some aerodynamic tricks on its flat sides. For example, there is a new air vent at the back of the wheel opening that moves air out of the wheel well and lowers lift at high speeds.
Subaru’s Global Platform is under the Forester’s new sheetmetal. For 2025, it’s 10 percent stronger thanks to an inner frame that has more welds and more structural adhesive. They say that the new chassis will make the Forester’s ride firmer and easier to handle. They also say that it will be quieter. The Forester should be a lot quieter inside thanks to extra insulation inside and outside the car.
The 2.5-liter boxer engine from Subaru is under the hood. We’re two ponies less than the old type, but you probably won’t notice. It has 180 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque, and the peak torque is at a lower rpm than before. This means that even though it has less power, it should feel more agile. The flat-four engine is paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that has a manual “shift” setting with paddles on the steering wheel for higher trims. The Forester comes with torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, hill descent control, and a version of the WRX’s dual-pinion electronic power steering that is meant to make the ride feel tighter and more linked on and off-road.
Base and Premium trims have 17-inch wheels, Limited has 18-inch wheels, and Sport and Touring both have 19-inch wheels, with a new bronze finish on the Sport. The Forester has a ground clearance of 8.7 inches.
Inside, it’s still easy to get to. Most of the climate and entertainment settings are on a new center screen. The surfaces are softened where people will touch them the most, but they still have Subaru’s wipe-clean and scratch-resistant materials. When the back seats are folded down, they make 74 cubic feet of space for goods. You can now open the door by swiping your foot under the bumper, and the cargo area now has eight more tie-down points. Roof rails are useful whether they are high or sunk into the roof. This new seat is better for the driver because it supports their hips and lower back more, and the top part is lowered so they can see better into the back. Automatic temperature control for two zones is standard, and the Touring trim now has front seats that are both heated and cooled.
All new cars try to get more standard tech, and the Forester is no different. The base model comes with a 7.0-inch touchscreen, but better trims come with an 11.6-inch screen that can wirelessly mirror your phone. Subaru’s EyeSight driver-assist technologies have also been improved so they work faster and better in a variety of situations. The Forester can now better tell the difference between cyclists and walkers and can stop in an emergency. An extra 360-degree camera view is now available so the driver can see more of what’s going on around them.
The 2025 Forester should start showing up at dealerships in the spring of 2024. We don’t know the prices yet, but we think they’ll go up a lot from the 2024 Forester’s $28,390 to $38,690 range.