2014 Subaru Forester images and details revealed

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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Next to the compact Impreza, there's no more important vehicle to Subaru's North American operations than the Forester. Therefore, ahead of its upcoming debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, the Japanese automaker has released two photos and some preliminary information about the new fourth-generation model.

The new Forester will get a more SUV-like design with a bolder, deeper grille and more angular headlamp clusters that sweep back farther into the front fenders and sculpted hood. The look is more aggressive, and therefore should be more appealing to men. Additionally, the turbocharged version gets its own lower front fascia to distinguish it from its less expensive sibling, although fans of the current hood scoop will need to learn to live without, as it doesn't get the cut for the crossover's next generation. No images of the new Forester's rear design have been released, so we'll have to wait to make comment.

Now that the cat is out of the bag, yes it's true that the 2014 Forester will once again be available with two different engines. Base models will get the same 2.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder in Subaru's trademark horizontally opposed "boxer" configuration that is currently available in the Forester. The entry-level engine continues to make 170-horsepower and 174 lb-ft of torque, which is very strong for the class. Stronger still, a 2.0-litre direct-injection turbocharged four-cylinder replaces the old 2.5-litre turbo, with output increasing from 224-horsepower to 250, and torque upped from 226 pound-feet to 258. This will be competitive with rival V6 models, albeit without the fuel economy penalty. Such was the basic concept with the outgoing 2.5-litre turbo, but Subaru promises better fuel economy to go along with the extra performance.

Likewise, Subaru says its base engine will get better mileage too, mostly due to a new exclusive 6-speed manual gearbox and updated "high-torque" Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) that will include "6-speed and 8-speed manual modes and Hill Descent Control," standard with the turbo. Of course, Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive will be standard on all trim levels. Expect official EPA numbers closer to the model's release.

Along with the updated powertrains and new skin, the 2014 Forester will also get a revised suspension system that boasts 221 mm (8.7 inches) of ground clearance, making it quite capable of clearing the rough stuff on the way to the family cottage. New 17-inch alloy wheels feature a Y-shaped 5-spoke design that's copied over to the turbocharged model, albeit in a sportier fashion featuring black painted insets and an 18-inch diameter. All-season tire sizes will measure 225/60R17 and 225/55R18, respectively.

While the Forester's size remains virtually the same, Subaru says the 2014 model will have a roomier interior that will include more rear seat legroom and a larger cargo area. Interior updates will include "smartphone integration, navigation, rear view camera and harman/kardon premium audio amplifier and speakers," says a press release.

As one of the Japanese brand's bestselling models over the past 15 years that it's been available, Subaru hopes that its redesign will hit the mark when it goes on sale next year. Before that, stay tuned for more detailed coverage when it arrives in LA.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Crossover, SUV, Subaru, 2014, Forester, $20,000 - $29,999, $30,000 - $39,999, Compact,

Organizations: Subaru

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