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Subaru unveils 2025 Forester SUV with updated design and improved performance – but same gas-powered drivetrain

The new Subaru Forester is not an EV

2025 Subaru Forester front right three-quarter view parked on pavement with trees in the background.
Courtesy Subaru / Subaru of America

Subaru of America introduced the 2025 Subaru Forester at the 2023 Los Angeles Auto Show. The debut of the compact SUV’s sixth generation has several upgrades and new features, but it lacks one element many fans hoped for an electric engine. Some may find irony in Subaru showing the world a flying car concept shortly before introducing a new generation of one of its most popular cars without a hint of electrification.

No EV here, direct view of open hood showing the 2025 Subaru Forester ICE engine
Courtesy Subaru / Subaru of America

2025 Subaru Forester SUV will be gas-powered

The new Forester will be powered by a familiar internal combustion engine (ICE), the 2.5-liter Subaru Boxer engine. There’s no battery electric vehicle (BEV) version, not even a hybrid option. All 2025 Foresters will get power from the 4-cylinder 180-horsepower motor that maxes out at 178 pound-feet of torque.

There’s no manual transmission available for the new Forester. All trim levels will have a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Fancier trims will also have paddle shifters on the steering wheel to move up and down through eight preset ratios for drivers who want simulated direct control of the gear ratios.

2025 Subaru Forester with new graphic badging for Symmetrical AWD.
Courtesy Subaru / Subaru of America

2025 Subaru Forester’s AWD system

Subaru didn’t drop the ball with its Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, one of the significant reasons the Forester is a consistent presence on lists of best SUVs. Subaru has sold more than 2.6 Foresters in the U.S., Subaru says. The latest version of Subaru’s AWD has faster response times, more agile handling, and greater driver control both on and off the road.

2025 Subaru Forester rear view wiht hatch open showing flat floor from behind first row seats.
Courtesy Subaru / Subaru of America

2025 Subaru Forester SUV’s exterior features

Subaru restyled the Forester’s exterior, with design elements chosen to emphasize the Forester’s strength, height, and ground clearance. Steeper rear glass angles increase the SUV’s cargo capacity from the 2023 Forester’s 26.9 cubic feet and 69.1 cubic feet behind the second and first rows of seats, respectively, to 29.6 cubic feet behind the 2025 model’s second row and 74.4 cubic feet aft of the first row of seats.

2025 Subaru Forester interior view with camera looking down from in back of the driver seat with large console display in the center.
Courtesy Subaru / Subaru of America

2025 Subaru Forester SUV’s interior features

Subaru is following the trend of showcasing infotainment displays in the console center stack. The Forester base model has dual 7.0-inch-diagonal measure high-resolution touchscreen displays, but the other trims feature an 11.6-inch-diagonal display.

The larger display includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, audio controls, interior climate control, comfort settings, Bluetooth hands-free phone and media streaming, and the rear vision camera. Trial period subscriptions to SiriusXM All-Access Radio and SiriusXM Travel Link are also included.

Foresters with Subaru’s STARLINK Multimedia Navigation have a 3-year free subscription to voice-activated navigation from TomTom and SiriusXM Travellink. This system also includes integrated What3Worlds (W3W)  so drivers or passengers can find specific locations with the associated three-word codes. Wireless charging will be included with the larger display and the Multimedia Navigation system.

2025 Subaru Forester front left wheel, tire, and wheel well cladding.
Courtesy Subaru / Subaru of America

2025 Subaru Forester SUV safety features

The 2025 Subaru Foresters will all have the latest version of Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology. Subaru says the new version runs even quicker and smoother than earlier versions. The system now benefits from a wider field of view, an electric brake booster, and updated software.

Benefits of the new technology include faster pedestrian and cyclist identification. In the latest iteration, the system will employ Emergency Stop Assist if a driver doesn’t respond to the  Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control system warnings. If Emergency Stop Assist takes over, the feature will stop the car, turn on the hazard blinkers, unlock the doors, and notify Starlink Connected Services to call for emergency assistance.

New for 2025, an optional Surround View Monitor will use four of the car’s cameras to create a 360-degree overhead view of the car and the immediate surroundings.

2025 Subaru Forester in light brown color front right three-quarter view parked on lawn with trees in the background
Courtesy Subaru / Subaru of America

Subaru will announce the pricing for 2025 Subaru Forester trims and options closer to the spring of 2024 when the company will begin shipping the Forester to U.S. dealerships.

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Bruce Brown
Digital Trends Contributing Editor Bruce Brown is a member of the Smart Homes and Cars teams. He also writes technology news…
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