Thursday, January 24, 2019

The 2019 Subaru Forester Arrives, Under Cuts CR-V, CX-5, X-TRAIL In Price, Features

Motor Image Pilipinas is delivering on a promise that sees the all-new 2019 Forester drop into showrooms starting today. Over its long preview period since August of last year, a lot of ground has already been covered so we’re providing you with all the links here:
You can read those first to get the nerdy facts out of the way, or you can scroll down below for, what we presume you’re here for: the 2019 Forester Philippine model specs and prices.

Okay, let’s get started.

The Mechanicals
  • It’s been well-documented in the past that for the 2019 “SK” series, the turbocharger is nowhere to be found. Motor Image Pilipinas may be offering three variants of the Forester, but all of them share the same 2.0-liter direct-injected normally-aspirated Boxer-4 motor. The engine, codenamed FB20, makes 156 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 196 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm.
  • All models get the SI-Drive which offers two switchable driving modes for a more economical or sporty driving.
  • The Forester now migrates to the new Subaru Global Platform. It’s got independent suspension all around with front MacPherson Struts and rear Double Wishbones. Subaru’s trademark Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is standard.
  • All models feature ventilated disc brakes at all four corners as well as a Lineartronic CVT with paddle shifters.
  • Active Grille Shutters are standard.

The Looks
  • Front and rear fog lights are standard equipment, but only the 2.0i-S gets standard front LED fog lights.
  • The three variants: the 2.0i-L, 2.0i-L with EyeSight (ES), and 2.0i-S with EyeSight (ES) are immediately distinguishable by their daytime running lights. The 2.0i-L gets halogen DRLs, while the both 2.0i-L ES and 2.0i-S ES get LED DRLs. Further differentiating the 2.0i-S ES model is the standard 18-inch alloy wheels (225/55R18) compared to the others which run 225/60R17s.
  • Power-folding side mirrors with LED turn signal indicators are standard, but only the 2.0i-S ES offers a large power sliding glass sunroof.
The Safety
  • As with all Subaru models, the Forester has a full compliment of safety features such as 7 airbags, ABS with EBD, and electronic stability control. However, the 20i-L does not have the Subaru EyeSight driver assist system.
The Convenience

Going through the spec sheets, the 2019 Forester is one loaded SUV for its price. For the base 2.0i-L, you get the following features:
  • 60/40 Split-Folding Rear Seats
  • Audio System with 8-inch Display and Navigation (No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto)
  • Automatic Headlights
  • Bluetooth Hands-Free
  • Dual Zone Climate Control
  • Electronic Parking Brake with Automatic Vehicle Hold
  • High Grade Multi-Function Display
  • Multi-Function Steering Wheel with Cruise Control
  • One Touch Turn Signal
  • PIN Code Keyless Door Access
  • Rain-Sensing Wipers
  • Rear Seat Armrest with Cup Holders
  • Rear Vents
  • Reverse Camera
  • Smart Entry with Push-Button Start/Stop
  • Tilt/Telescopic Steering Wheel
  • USB and Auxiliary Input Jack

Moving up, the 2.0i-L with EyeSight gets even more goodies:
  • Blind-spot Detection
  • EyeSight Driver Assist Technology
  • Heated Door Mirrors
  • High Beam Assist
  • Leather Seats
  • Power Driver’s Seat with Memory
  • Power Passenger’s Seat
  • Power Tailgate with Memory Function
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Steering Responsive Headlights
Finally, we get to the 2.0i-S EyeSight which adds everything that the 2.0i-L and 2.0i-L EyeSight has and adds the following:
  • Aluminum Pedals
  • Power-Sliding Large Glass Sunroof
  • Special X-MODE

The Price

Okay, this is the part that every SUV’s been waiting for. How much does the 2019 Forester cost? Well, you’ll be surprised that despite the increase in standard features, Subaru has opted to keep the price reasonably stable. The 2.0i-L is P 1,598,000 (a P 50,000 increase over the previous 2.0i-L), while the 2.0i-L EyeSight is P 1,698,000 and the 2.0i-S EyeSight is P 1,798,000 (a P 30,000 increase over the previous 2.0i-Premium).

Comparing this to other compact crossovers, the 2019 Forester is now more affordable than the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Nissan X-TRAIL, and Toyota RAV4.


  1. It should be cheaper.
    The 2.0 engine is a carry over.
    Not the newer 2.5li from other market.

    1. Actually, no.

      The specs may seem the same, but the FB20 in the 2019 Forester is the new engine with direct injection. Previously, the FB20 engine used EFI.

  2. Where is the e-Boxer and the Sport variant? And what happened to a standard Apple CarPlay?

    1. The 2.0i-S is the the Sport variant. We do not get the X-BREAK (Japan) or Sport variant like the US does.

      We presume that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are accessible via hidden menus, but since it's not in the brochure / spec sheet, we played safe and did not include them.

    2. We have confirmed with Subaru Philippines. The Subaru Forester DOES NOT have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto with this Panasonic head unit. It does have GPS navigation though.

    3. seems backward. do you think they’ll upgrade it later on as other markets have it, right?

    4. Maybe. Let's see. I'm trying to persuade them to at least offer the option.

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  4. They not only discontinued the turbo but the 2.5 liter F4 is not even available as an option.

    Same engine as the smaller and lighter XV.

  5. 2.0i-L with ES price really good.

    I think the sales of XV TOTL will decline.

    1. Yes, I think so as well. The XV in general will have a hard time price-wise compared to Forester.

    2. Hi Is the X mode only on the 2.0i-S EyeSight?

    3. Hi Is the X mode only on the 2.0i-S EyeSight?

    4. All models have X-MODE but the 2.0i-S EyeSight has a special version of X-MODE with additional modes.

  6. The pricing of this Subaru is a gift. We look forward to Subaru Philippines for lower CASA services

  7. Will the Forester Sport with the orange trims be available here in the Philippines?

    1. Nope. So far that's just for the US and Japan markets.

    2. Well that sucks.😩 Thanks. But do you think that if the new Forester sells pretty well, would there be a possibility of releasing the Sport and XBreak variants here in the Philippines?

  8. I have a 2013 Subaru Forester very bad car. Casa maintained but head technician told us they give up and don't know what's wrong with the car. Never buy subaru

    1. Details please. Is it the engine, transmission, electrical? What is the OBD code?

  9. Uly are we really getting the side view monitor? the eyesight cars at launch didn't have the side view monitor button to the right of the shifter.

    1. Subaru Philippines revised the specs. No do not get the Side View Monitor for the initial batch of Foresters. We may see an interim change later on (it usually happens after a year or so).

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  11. Think twice before buying a Subaru! They are not inspecting the cars before rolling out the plant. When a part breaks they tell you the part is consumable and not covered by warranty. We bought a 2017 Forester, a little over 1 year after the control arm bushing of of both sides of the car goes bad. Now they are charging me P10k to replace it because they say it's not covered by warranty. By comparison, our 2009 Montero Sport's control arm bushings has not been replaced up to now. So, think twice about Subaru-it is a poor quality brand with bad after sales warranty.

  12. Hey Uly. Can you please do comparison of cars with active safety? Eyesight is really great. Others?

  13. the "Driver Monitoring System which uses facial recognition technology to detect a sleepy and/or inattentive driver" included in Forester 2.0i-S eyesight variant?

    1. Nope. Subaru says only selected markets have the facial recognition tech. They will roll it out to more markets in the future.


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