Rear three-quarter view of a 2025 Subaru Forester parked on grass with a large tree in the background.

A previous version of this story incorrectly identified comments made by Subaru Corporation President and CEO Atsushi Osaki about the 2025 Subaru Forester at the LA Auto Show. The CEO confirmed a hybrid version would arrive about a year after the conventionally powered Forester goes on sale in Spring 2024.

When it launched in 1997, the Subaru Forester was a revolution, providing the capability and versatility of a large SUV with the efficiency and driving characteristics of a car. Marry that form factor with the SUBARU BOXER® engine and all-wheel drive and it makes sense that the Forester would be a perennial sales leader for the brand.

On November 16, 2023, Subaru introduced the all-new sixth-generation 2025 Forester at the Los Angeles Auto Show, unveiling a sharper, more modern design, chassis upgrades, an increase in cargo space and the 11.6-inch SUBARU STARLINK® Multimedia1 Plus infotainment system, along with significant improvements in safety technology.

“That first Subaru Forester ... really changed what customers and consumers expected from an SUV,” says Jeff Walters, Subaru of America President and COO. “It helped define one of the largest segments in the industry today.” The all-new 2025 Subaru Forester is intended to continue that legacy, showcasing the advanced safety technologies, reliability and go-anywhere toughness that consumers expect from a Subaru SUV.

Fun Design and Greater Utility Inside

The Forester has always been about utility, and that’s still its most defining characteristic. But Subaru designers went to great lengths to include pleasing and fun design elements inside. The dash and door panels have a diamond effect, which adds a sense of luxury, while playful icons sprinkled throughout the interior – including a lantern, telescope, compass and more – bring the fun.

There are significant seat upgrades to consider: First, the seats are solid mounted to the chassis, helping to reduce body movement and improve ride comfort, which carries through from the seats on the Crosstrek, something we noticed on a Crosstrek Wilderness challenge in Utah.

Improvements in the chassis resulted in 10% greater torsional rigidity, which translates to improved vehicle strength, plus sound and vibration absorption improvements help to reduce bothersome frequencies inside. The noise intrusion from the roof panel alone was reduced by 39%.

Subaru owners use their Forester for everything from nights on the town to hauling firewood, so the interior panels and materials are constructed to take it. Textured panels help resist scuffs and scratches while the dark roof trim shows less damage from hauling cargo. Access to the cargo area is improved with an extra-wide rear gate opening. The rear gate lamp is standard, and there’s also a new kick sensor for hands-free rear gate operation on select trim levels.

Slimmer shoulder areas in the front seats make it easier to see and attend to kids and pets in the rear seat. The Forester was one of the first SUVs in its class to offer heated seats, and for the sixth generation, coverage of the front seat heaters expands for greater comfort. For the first time, the Forester Touring also adds ventilated seats for the driver and front passenger.

The 11.6-inch STARLINK Multimedia Plus infotainment system in a 2025 Subaru Forester

Technology Abounds

The all-new Forester includes the 11.6-inch SUBARU STARLINK Multimedia1 Plus infotainment system as available equipment. The Forester features wired Apple CarPlay®2 and Android Auto™3 as standard equipment, but select trim levels add wireless functionality along with wireless mobile device charging through Qi technology.

One of the features we love about the Impreza and the Crosstrek is the inclusion of physical buttons for commonly used functions like volume and tuning controls for the audio system and up-and-down buttons for the heating and ventilation system. Those functions carry over to the all-new Forester. Dynamic ventilation focuses airflow to occupied seats in the vehicle not only for better comfort but greater efficiency.

An all-new 360-degree Surround View Monitor and Smart Rear-View Mirror are both available on select Forester trim levels.

Safety Is Prioritized

Like all the Subaru Forester generations that preceded it, the sixth-generation Forester is designed to provide excellent outward visibility. The all-new Forester has taller rear glass and rear quarter windows to provide better rearward visibility.

The entire structure of the Forester – along with the additional front subframe – has been reinforced for better collision absorption. Pedestrian safety is also improved thanks to revisions in the hood and underhood panels.

EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology4 is standard across the Forester line, regardless of trim level. The Forester includes an all-new Emergency Stop Assist feature. If the driver is nonresponsive and doesn’t respond to audible and visual alerts from the Lane Centering feature, the vehicle will stop, activate the hazard lamps and unlock the doors automatically while SUBARU STARLINK® Safety and Security5 places a call to emergency services.

Close-up view of the front grille of a 2025 Subaru Forester

Exterior Advancements

Like the Subaru Crosstrek, the all-new Forester has a bold front grille integrated with the headlights for a more purposeful appearance.

The Forester has always been a “two-box” design, with a large SUV’s proportions. The all-new Forester has a taller rear window for improved visibility and extra-wide rear gate to allow for even more cargo volume inside, reinforcing the vehicle’s utility and value proposition.

Overall, the Forester is 0.6 inches longer tip to tail and 0.5 inches wider than the previous generation.

Mechanical Upgrades

Beginning with the latest WRX, Subaru models have begun adapting Dual-Pinion Electric Power Steering, which provides quicker steering response and more natural steering feel. The system has a variable ratio, which improves handling and stability at speed and reduces effort at low speeds.

Airflow over and around the Forester is improved with elements such as front wheel well air outlets – which improve steering feel and straight-line stability – along with body textures designed to reduce air resistance.

“The Forester is able to combine the capacity and capability of a truck-based SUV with the easy-to-drive nature of car-based SUVs,” Walters told the audience.

Like the Forester you’ve come to know and love, the sixth generation features standard Symmetrical AWD with better power distribution control to improve responsiveness and cornering ability.

Up front, the 2.5-liter four-cylinder SUBARU BOXER engine delivers 180 hp at 5,800 rpm and 178 lb-ft of torque at 3,700 rpm. The Lineartronic® CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) is the standard and only transmission and features the same improved ratio coverage from the Subaru Wilderness trim level.

A close-up shot under the hood of the 2025 Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester Hybrid On the Way

Ahead of the formal walk-around of the 2025 Subaru Forester, Atsushi Osaki, President and CEO of Subaru Corporation, announced that Subaru will debut an all-new Subaru Forester Hybrid. Details about the hybrid weren’t released at the time of the auto show other than to note that it’s the first-ever hybrid Forester that will be available about a year after the conventionally powered Forester goes on sale.

The all-new Forester is expected in showrooms in Spring 2024.

1 Compatible smartphone and application required. For applications to operate, latest version of each application required. Data provided by smartphone is displayed on head unit screen. Some state laws prohibit the operation of handheld electronic devices while operating a vehicle. Smartphone apps should only be launched when vehicle is safely parked. Your wireless carriers rates may apply. 2 Apple CarPlay® is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. 3 Android Auto is a trademark of Google, Inc. 4 EyeSight is a driver-assist system that may not operate optimally under all driving conditions. The driver is always responsible for safe and attentive driving. System effectiveness depends on many factors, such as vehicle maintenance, weather, and road conditions. See Owner’s Manual for complete details on system operation and limitations. Requires automatic transmission. 5 Activation with subscription required. Includes a three-year trial subscription to Safety Plus services and a six-month trial subscription to Safety and Security Plus services. The Concierge plan can be purchased annually or monthly. A credit card on file will be required for specific packages and for renewal purposes. Features and availability vary by vehicle and trim level. May not be available in all states. See Retailer for details.