Subaru Forester: Best Car To Buy 2019 nominee

October 23, 2018

At first glance, the 2019 Subaru Forester doesn't seem like it should be a nominee for our Best Car to Buy 2019. It looks a whole lot like last year's model, which isn't much different from the Forester that won our top award back in 2014.

The difference, as they say, is in the details.

MORE: Read our 2019 Subaru Forester review

The redesigned 2019 Forester has a far more comfortable, plush interior that builds on everything we liked about the outgoing model. It's clear that Subaru paid attention to the small stuff such as surface detailing and quality materials. Storage for small items is plentiful, correcting a major issue with last year's crossover SUV. At the rear, an exceptionally wide liftgate opens to reveal a wide, flat cargo area as spacious as an urban loft.

MORE: Follow all our Best Car To Buy 2019 news as we name a winner

Subaru cut the slow-selling, thirsty turbocharged Forester in favor of a single powertrain that's high on value and fuel efficiency, if not driving thrills. Its ride is comfortable and controlled, with steering that's well-weighted and provides decent feedback for a crossover SUV. Nearly 9 inches of ground clearance and a standard off-road traction control mode enable the Forester to go deeper into the woods than nearly any other crossover SUV, too.

2019 Subaru Forester

2019 Subaru Forester

2019 Subaru Forester

2019 Subaru Forester

2019 Subaru Forester

2019 Subaru Forester

2019 Subaru Forester

2019 Subaru Forester

Like most other Subarus, the Forester comes standard with all-wheel drive—and there's no price or fuel-consumption penalty. A well-equipped Forester Premium with features such as an enormous moonroof, power liftgate, and heated seats costs about $29,500.

Every Forester leaves the factory with an especially high level of active safety tech standard. There's no need to hunt down the right Forester to get automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control. Step up to the Forester Touring at about $35,000 and Subaru employs iPhone-like facial recognition tech to monitor the driver's attentiveness and to set the memory driver's seat and radio presets. Look down to send a text and the system admonishes your bad behavior.

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