This all-new crossover from Subaru, inventor of crossovers is their second attempt at a three-row. This time they've done it right, with a useable 8-passenger maximum seating capacity and cargo volume of up to 86.5 cubic feet with all the seats folded. A new chassis delivers strength (always a Subaru trait), handling and safety. A brand new flat-four turbocharged engine uses direct and port fuel injection and burns regular gasoline, making 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. A CVT (continuously variable transmission) directs power to all four wheels through a Subaru All-Wheel-Drive system.
Subaru's EyeSight system is standard on all models, including collision warning, automatic braking, lane departure warning and even adaptive cruise control, so is a backup camera. Rear cross path warning, blind spot warning, and STARLINK Connected Services (A telematics system that can send help if a crash is detected) are standard on Premium, Limited and Touring. Adaptive headlights that can turn to illuminate corners, fog lights, automatic high beams, LED headlights and reverse automatic braking are standard on Limited and Touring. Touring models also have a forward monitor to aid in parking.
Offering a three-row large crossover with only a turbocharged 4-cylinder isn't unheard of: the Mazda CX-9 is also sold that way. The Volkswagen Atlas also offers a four-cylinder turbo, although it is less powerful and only available with front-wheel-drive. The Ascent is significantly larger than its last entry into this class, the Tribeca/B9 Tribeca. The Ascent has 153.5 cubic feet of passenger volume, twenty cubic feet more than the Tribeca. With 86.5 cubic feet of cargo space with all the seats folded it trails the Chevy Traverse but more than doubles the Tribeca's 74.4 cubic feet.
Series.Gray is the newest special model. The Series.Gray is based on BRZ Limited with the performance package. It comes in a special shiny gray that resembles glossy primer with black mirrors.
The BRZ Limited's navigation system can now receive updates over the air.
The Crosstrek was all-new and re-engineered last year. This year it gets a few equipment changes.
Reverse Automatic Braking and High Beam Assist was optional only on Limited and is now standard on Limited.
An improved 6.5-inch Multimedia system is now standard on Crosstrek Premium. Cloud-based navigation is now standard on Premium and Limited, including satellite traffic and satellite radio. Limited still offers a full-featured navigation system.
EyeSight® safety package is now also offered on base models, including adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, lane departure warning, sway warning, and lane keep assist. It requires the CVT (automatic) transmission.
STARLINK now includes remote start and on Limited remote control of the climate control from any distance. It also adds a live assistance feature that can help with navigation, finding restaurants, etc.
Premium and Limited now have a CD player, standard. They also have two USB chargers in the rear seat.
The premiere for this model at the LA Auto Show made sure to include the show-stopper: that tiny red sticker on the front bumper. This is a compliance car for California, a plug-in hybrid eligible for the HOV (high-occupancy vehicle) Lane and meant to help Subaru meat California's requirement for Zero emissions vehicles that is rolling in. A 17-mile all-electric range and a two-hour 240-volt recharge time makes this car barely useful for most commutes, but then the gasoline motor kicks in for a total of 480 miles of range. 36 miles per gallon in the city will help Las Angelenos out. This is a strange AWD hybrid, as the rear wheels are driven mechanically, not by a separate electric motor as in the Rav4 Hybrid, MINI Cooper S E Countryman or Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
Its EPA mileage is 36 city/35 highway on gas and 99 city/80 highway MPGe on electricity. Fuel capacity is about three gallons less: 13.2 gallons.
Rear brakes are upgraded to compensate for the extra 600 pounds of the batteries, now ventilated and 11.2 inches. In addition the electric motors are used for regenerative braking.
Cargo space is diminished by the placement of the battery: 15.9 cubic feet, down from 20.8; 43.1 cubic feet with the rear seats folded, down from 55.3. Rear headroom and hip room are also slightly down. Towing is down by 500 pounds to 1000, still decent.
Equipment will be similar to gasoline only Crosstrek Limited. A manual transmission will not be offered.
"All-new" for 2019, the Forester gets roomier (of course) and safer.
DriverFocus uses facial recognition on Forester Touring models to detect and warn a drowsy or distracted driver and bring his attention back to the road. EyeSight® is standard on every model, including Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Pre-collision Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist and Lead Vehicle Start Alert (lets you know the vehicle in front of you left, hopefully before the guy behind you beeps his horn. This won't work in New York.). Blind Spot Warning, Reverse Automatic Braking, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Steering Responsive Headlights and High Beam Assist will be among the active safety features that are offered as well. The usual dual front, front side seat, driver's knee and full side curtain airbags are all standard.
On the powertrain front, the Forester sadly loses its 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and its 6-speed manual. The vast majority of Foresters are sold with the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and a CVT (continuously variable transmission). Now all of them will be. The 2.5-liter engine adds direct injection and gains 12 horsepower and a couple foot-pounds of torque for totals of 182 and 174, respectively. Automatic start/stop is standard, a trend that is accelerating, so you curmudgeons that don't like your engines turning on and off at their whim need to get some therapy. The fuel mileage rating is up by 1 MPG on the highway: 26 city/33 highway.
SI-DRIVE will allow the Forester's driver to select throttle mapping between "Intelligent" (for thriftiness) and "Sport" (isn't that one obvious?).
Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is, of course, standard.
Ironically, a new Sport model is available, sans turbo. (I'm not fooled, are you fooled? I'm not fooled.) A glossy black "Sport" grille, 18-inch wheels and a roof spoiler attempt to make up for the loss of that sweet turbo power in last year's 2.0XT, but fail. The SI-DRIVE system offers "Intelligent" and "Sport Sharp" modes and the CVT comes with shift paddles so you can move the pulleys around yourself.
EyeSight is now offered on all models; includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking, Collision Warning, Lane Departure, Lane Keep Assist, High-grade instrument cluster and premium tire pressure monitor.
Previously optional, Impreza Limited now has standard Reverse Automatic Braking, Automatic High Beams, Pre-Collision Braking, Front Collision Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, and Lane Keep Assist.
Impreza Sport with the manual transmission gets a short-throw shifter.
Impreza Premium now has two USB ports for the rear passengers to charge their devices.
EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology now standard on all Legacy models, including Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking and Throttle Management, Vehicle Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keep Assist.
Legacy 2.5i Sport now has standard Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Path Warning. Still optional on Premium and standard on Limited and Touring.
Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Warning, Pre-Collision Braking, Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keep Assist are now all standard on all models under the EyeSight® branding.
A new 6-1/2" multimedia center is standard on 2.5i Base. Dual USB outlets in the center console are now standard. The Base 2.5i also gets an improved color secondary display for trip functions.
Series.Gray is the latest limited special edition of the most famous rice rocket in the US. Only 750 WRX Series.Gray WRX models are available, and only with the 6-speed manual transmission. The model offers a gray khaki exterior with exclusive Crystal Black Silica badging and foldable exterior mirrors as well as 18-inch alloy wheels with black finish. It's based on the base STI or the WRX Premium that includes the Performance Package with Ultra-suede-trimmed Recaro seats, 8-way power driver’s seat, JURID front brake pads and moonroof delete. It also adds LED Steering Responsive Headlights, LED fog lights and Keyless Access with Push-Button Start. 250 Series.Gray WRX STI models will also be produced.
EyeSight safety and control systems are standard with the CVT (continuously variable transmission). Why are we reporting this? Nobody buys a WRX without a stick shift. It's more than a half second faster than the CVT. Anyway, previously only available on WRX Limited with the CVT, now you get EyeSight with adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, collision warning and pre-collision braking.
The WRX STI Type RA is no longer offered, but the extra five horsepower it introduced is here to stay on all STI models.
Base models get a new 6-1/2" multimedia system with dual USB outlets. Higher models get a refreshed 7-inch model.