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NEW & NOTABLE
There is a reason that over the last 10 years Subaru sales are up more than 200 percent. You don’t achieve that level of growth without touching a nerve for the consumer and in the case of Subaru, they seem to be delivering exactly what many U.S. consumers are looking for: Distinction and Traction. The big news for 2019 is the official introduction of the 3-row Ascent SUV, which may have been the missing link in an otherwise-superb lineup. The 2019 lineup changes are not necessarily deep, but they are impressive with a next-generation Forester revamp.
After years of missing an enormous piece of the consumer puzzle, Subaru finally has added a true SUV. This mid-size family mover offers seating for eight passengers and it has integrated enormous flexibility into the cabin with 47.5 cubic feet of cargo space. Look for an impressive standard touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 6 USB ports for some trim levels, and great standard electronic safety features that include automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. Under the hood, the Ascent features Subaru’s reliable 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer 4-cylinder engine with 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. Of course, Subaru’s tried-and-true symmetrical all-wheel drive is standard for every trim level. The Ascent is only available with a continuously variable transmission that aids with fuel economy.
So, the Forester has been completely revamped for 2019, and it was time for a change. Forester is the second-best selling Subaru in the U.S. and there was not a lot of messin’ with success. This Gen-5 Forester looks a lot like its predecessor, but it benefits from some WRX enhancements like a brake-based torque-vectoring system and Subaru Intelligent Drive throttle control. Most impressive in the tech field is the addition of a facial-recognition camera for the Touring trim, which monitors driver focus on road. Look for all trim levels to get standard automatic emergency braking, forward-collision alert, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control. The Forester’s 2.5-L flat-four offers 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. The new Forester gains 12 horsepower over the old model, though it still will not be offered with a turbocharged engine or a manual transmission.
Impreza, Outback, Crosstrek, Legacy, BRZ
This auto review was researched and written by SteinPro Content Services and provided to the Sun-Times for publication