The 2019 Subaru Forester has been unveiled today at the New York motor show, ahead of its Australian debut in September this year. The new model will be powered by a single engine with the turbocharged XT and all manual variants dropped.

The fifth-generation Subaru Forester is based on the Japanese company’s new ‘Subaru Global Platform’ (SGP), which also underpins the Impreza and XV. It now measures 4625mm in length, 1815mm in width and sits 1730mm high. The Forester claims a ground clearance of 220mm.

Power comes from an updated 2.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine (FA25), which the company claims is at least 90 per cent new. It delivers 136kW of power and 239Nm of torque, which is sent to all four wheels (available in 225/60 R17 or 225/55 R18 sizes) via a continuously-variable transmission.

Apart from its updated exterior and interior design, the new Forester marks the first vehicle from Subaru to include a driver monitoring system. The camera-based technology can detect signs of drowsiness or distraction and alert the driver. It can also automatically adjust driver settings for seat position, door mirror angles, and air-conditioning preferences based on facial recognition for up to five drivers.

According to Subaru, the new Forester has wider rear door openings and a steep C-pillar angle that should make getting in and out of the vehicle for rear occupants much easier than before.

The larger wheelbase sees the Forester offer up more legroom in the second row. Rear occupants will also have access to USB charging ports, as will the front row, that can also make use of Apple CarPlay or Android Auto thanks to the new 8.0-inch infotainment screen with satellite navigation.

Subaru has also updated its air-conditioning controls which allow more precise settings that also take into account exactly how many occupants are in the vehicle

Although it remains to be crash tested, Subaru believes it will achieve the maximum five-star safety rating thanks to its new platform that makes greater use of high-tensile steel panel materials as well as a full suite of active and passive safety features.

With seven airbags (in the driver’s seat and front passenger seat, SRS knee airbag for the driver, side airbags, and side curtain airbags), along with the company’s EyeSight monitoring system that includes autonomous emergency braking as standard across the entire range, we suspect a five-star rating will simply be a formality.

Additional safety features include reverse autonomous emergency braking, that can help reduce rearward accidents by applying the brakes if an obstacle is detected when the car is reversing. There’s also the addition of rear vehicle detection that can detect vehicles approaching from the rear in the crucial moments before a rear-ending.

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2019 Subaru Forester Specifications (US)

Body size4625mm long × 1815mm wide × 1730mm tall
Wheelbase: 2,670 mm
Minimum ground clearance: 220 mm
Engine: FA25 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder DOHC 16 valve AVCS direct injection engine
Displacement: 2498 cc
Bore x stroke: 94 × 90 mm
Power: 136 Kilowatts / 5,800 rpm
Torque: 239 Newton metres / 4,400 rpm
Fuel tank capacity: 63 L
Fuel type: 87AKI
Transmission: Lineartronic
Drive system: Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
Tyre size: 225/60 R17, 225/55 R18
Passenger capacity: Five seats

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