We drive the new Subaru Forester 2.0i-S ES

New design, new tech, more space and more safety…

Subaru’s fifth-generation 2019 Forester entered our local market with intentions to deliver more confidence, practicality and enjoyment to customers in our competitive SUV market.

In a nutshell, the new Forester now has a new design, features the latest generation EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, is more spacious, more safe and is priced even lower than its predecessor. We’ve just spent a week with the adventure-seeking Forester, and here’s what we thought of it…

Improved, sporty design

While it improves on its previous design, the Forester still maintains the essence of its adventurous and sporty exterior personality. There’s a slight increase in width, length, as well as its wheelbase and its overall stance is more sturdy and robust, but other than that its overall transformation isn’t too dramatic.

A new series of 17 and 18-inch alloy wheel designs has also been created for the Forester, finished in silver or high-gloss black metallic and to complement these wheels, there are three brand new colours specific to the new Forester: Jasper Green Metallic, Horizon Blue Pearl and Crimson Red Pearl.


View this post on Instagram


This week we’re testing Subaru’s new 2.0i-S ES Forester. Pricing starts at R499 000. Review coming soon! @subaru_sa

A post shared by Women On Wheels (@womenwheels) on

Space and comfort for days

Increased dimensions means more space and comfort for the Forester’s occupants with loads of head and legroom to keep driver and passengers happy in traffic and long distance commutes. As someone with loads of friends with kids, wide-opening back doors are something we notice almost immediately, so the fact that the new Forester was accommodating to this ticks a big family-friendly box. There’s also loads of storage compartments for things like phones and cups and sunglasses, while boot space offers enough capacity for the whole family’s luggage. The rear makes a pair of USB ports available to rear passengers in addition to the 2 USB ports up front and rear air-conditioning vents for air flow to rear passengers.

Super safe

Subaru is known for its top-class safety systems and features. The previous generation Forester has been awarded 5* safety ratings from all of the most reputable agencies across the world including being rated highest by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for 12 years running.

The new Forester is no exception. Premium Forester models come standard with EyeSight driver assist safety system and earns JNCAP’s top safety rating of Advanced Safety Vehicle Triple Plus (ASV +++) conducted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport (MLIT) and the National Agency for Automotive Safety & Victims’ Aid (NASVA) in Japan.

The new Forester now comes with an automatic mirror tilt-down function on the premium spec model when the driver engages reverse gear. This assists with viewing blind-spots while reversing and parking. Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Reverse cameras also complement the view of the vehicle’s rear. 7 airbags now come as standard and the Forester’s Adaptive Cruise Control really is a pleasure to use on the open road.

Lowered pricing

For the range-topping unit, the Forester 2.0i-S ES is priced even lower than its outgoing model while every model in the new Forester range comes with a 5 year/150 000 km warranty and 3 year/75 000 km maintenance plan. So there’s a lot of value-for-money from this family SUV offering, particularly if you consider the top-specced list of standard features and excellent off road drive qualities, which we thoroughly enjoyed during our test drive.

Range Pricing

  • The 2.0i CVT (Base Spec) retails at R429 000.
  • The 2.0i-L ES CVT (Medium Spec) retails at R469 000.
  • 2.0i-S ES CVT (High Spec) retails at R499 000.