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Subaru Debuts Next-Gen 2025 Forester: Are the Updates Enough to Fend off RAV4 & Ford Bronco Sport?

For many years Subaru was one of the more quirky automakers out there. Known for their capable AWD tech and unusual flat-four engines, the Subaru of old went outside the box with cars like the Brat, the WRX and the Baja. 

Bronco Sport vs Subaru Forester

And while they still sell the WRX, as well unique offerings like the Crosstrek, the bread and butter for the brand are its larger, CUVs like the Forester.

2025 Subaru Forester White

Subtle Changes

So when it came time to debut the next-generation 2025 Forester, it comes as no surprise that they've taken a pretty conservative approach.

2025 Subaru Forester Rear View

In fact, the new sixth-generation version isn't all that different from the out-going fifth-gen model. It rides on an updated version of the same platform and has nearly the same dimensions all around.

2025 Subaru Forester Side View

The styling, however, has been updated with a new look, enhanced aerodynamics and a bit of influence from the WRX.

2025 Subaru Forester in Mountains

Inside, the Forester now gets the same, large vertical screen used in most other Subaru models. And of course gets a full set of available safety tech. 

2025 Subaru Forester Interior

There are a few improvements under the skin, including a chassis Subaru says is 10% more rigid than before and a steering rack adapted from the aforementioned WRX.

2025 Forester AWD badge

More Power, Please

Unfortunately, those improvements don't expand to the engine. All 2025 Foresters will be powered by the same 2.5L, naturally aspirated boxer four-cylinder that makes 180hp and 178 pound-feet of torque, mated exclusively to a CVT automatic.

2025 Forester Engine Bay

While many enthusiasts were hoping Subaru would bring back the Forester XT with the 2.4L turbo engine from the WRX and Outback, it doesn't look like that's the case for now.

2025 Forester White Rear View

The Forester has been a favorite of weekend off-roaders and entry-level overlanders. And while its off-road capability will be there, it's hard to ignore its lack of power and fuel economy when compared to many rivals. 

CUVs on Nitto Nomad Grappler CUV tires

For example, when compared against a Toyota RAV4 which offers hybrid and PHEV versions, or something like a Ford Bronco Sport with its EcoBoost power, the Subaru boxer is significantly down on power. 

Ford Bronco Sport and Toyota RAV4 on Nitto Nomad Grappler CUV tires

There is some hope though, because not only should there be a ruggedized next-gen Forester Wilderness coming soon (perhaps with that turbo engine finally?), and supposedly a hybrid model in the works as well.

2025 Subaru Forester Off-Roading

The 2025 Forester will hit dealerships next spring.

  • In the meantime, we'll keep dreaming about a possible rebirth of the legendary Forester STI.
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