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The driving force

The driving force

From the very beginning, Subaru vehicles have provided drivers with a uniquely confident experience behind the wheel. The core technology that drives this feeling: the low-profile SUBARU BOXER engine, world-renowned AWD system, fully independent suspension system and lightweight, ultra-rigid chassis. Here, the result is the 2018 Subaru Forester, an honest-to-goodness SUV with completely unique qualities for an SUV, including superb handling and stability, impressive efficiency and dynamic all-road/all-weather performance.

The world-renowned SUBARU BOXER engine

The Subaru Forester is available with the choice of two lightweight, high-performing SUBARU BOXER engines - a 2.5L naturally aspirated 4-cylinder or a 2.0L direct-injection twin-scroll turbocharged 4-cylinder. The former delivers incredible controllability, surprising acceleration and stellar fuel efficiency. This engine is also equipped with Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV) equipment that reduces smog-forming emissions to near zero without any impact on response or driveability. Meanwhile, the turbocharged engine boasts stunning acceleration and surprising fuel economy that exceeds that of more expensive luxury vehicles. The turbocharged Forester also features the SI-DRIVE engine management system with three driver-selectable settings for maximum control.

2018 Subaru Forester The world-renowned SUBARU BOXER engine
2018 Subaru Forester 2.5L 4-cylinder SUBARU BOXER

2.5L 4-cylinder

Dual Overhead Cam

170 hp @ 5800 rpm

174 lb-ft @ 4100 rpm

Active Valve Control System

Meets PZEV standards

Fuel Economy†

Manual Transmission (6MT)


City / Hwy

(L/100 km)


City / Hwy

(Imperial MPG)

Automatic Transmission (CVT)


City / Hwy

(L/100 km)


City / Hwy

(Imperial MPG)

2018 Subaru Forester 2.0L 4-cylinder SUBARU BOXER

2.0L 4-cylinder turbocharged

Dual Overhead Cam

250 hp @ 5600 rpm

258 lb-ft @ 2000-4800 rpm

Dual Active Valve Control System

Meets LEV2 standards

Fuel Economy†

Automatic Transmission (CVT)


City / Hwy

(L/100 km)


City / Hwy

(Imperial MPG)

2018 Subaru Forester Subaru symmetrical full-time AWD

Transmissions + AWD

The Subaru Forester offers the choice of a 6-speed manual or continuously variable transmission (CVT), each designed to work with different versions of the Subaru symmetrical full-time AWD system to create optimum response to a full range of driving conditions. The AWD systems themselves feature an advanced design for even greater performance in challenging circumstances.

2018 Subaru Forester Superior Visibility

6-speed Manual Transmission (6MT)

The highly engaging 6MT is connected to a viscous-coupling limited-slip centre differential that provides near neutral handling and maximum control for the driver. This transmission also features design improvements over the previous generation that have led to reduced weight, improved fuel efficiency and more precise shifts. More importantly, this transmission creates a sportier, more direct connection between the driver and the vehicle, and the vehicle and the road.

Lineartronic® CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission)

The Subaru Lineartronic® CVT is linked to a multi-plate transfer clutch AWD system that delivers very predictable handling and automatically shifts torque to the back wheels under hard acceleration or in low-traction conditions. Paddle shifters mounted behind the steering wheel and a manual shift mode deliver even more control for the driver (on select models). Quiet, light and surprisingly compact, this advanced transmission helps deliver more direct acceleration, a sportier feel and incredible fuel efficiency - in fact, the Forester is the most efficient compact SUV with full-time AWD1 on the market today.

2018 Subaru Forester Lineartronic<sup>®</sup> CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission)
2018 Subaru Forester X-Mode


On models equipped with the CVT, the X-MODE system brings added capability for any driver and most any road on Earth. With the push of a button, X-MODE takes control of the engine; transmission, AWD system, brakes and other critical components to help you safely navigate through the most treacherous of driving conditions. This system also allows you to tackle the steepest of inclines with greatly increased confidence and control.

2018 Subaru Forester Hill Descent Control

Hill Descent Control

With the X-MODE system activated, Hill Descent Control* helps to automatically maintain a constant speed when travelling down steep declines. This way, the driver can focus exclusively on steering and negotiating curves in the road, while the system handles all the braking and speed control.

* CVT models only.

2018 Subaru Forester Hill Holder

Hill Holder

Standard on models equipped with either the CVT or the 6-speed manual, the Hill Holder System ensures that every getaway on a steep incline is accomplished safely and confidently, free from all concerns of rolling backwards or stalling the engine.

Rock-solid chassis

The Subaru Forester features a lightweight ultra-rigid chassis that deliver superior levels of handling, stability, comfort and quietness. The fully independent suspension system, wide track and impressive ground clearance create rugged capability and a planted feel that sets class standards. The Forester also boasts a quick steering ratio and an incredibly refined ride for a compact SUV, along with exceptional agility, creating a truly engaging experience behind the wheel.

2018 Subaru Forester

Front Suspension

The MacPherson front strut-type suspension system has been optimized for superior control and precision. The springs create incredible dampening force and minimal friction, while the front cross-member creates fantastic rigidity. These features ensure great stability, direct response and impressive ride quality over a wider variety of road surfaces. This set-up, combined with the very wide track and generous ground clearance of 220 mm, also gives the Forester crisp steering, remarkable handling and genuine go-anywhere capability.

Rear Suspension

The springs, stabilizer bars and alignment of the double-wishbone rear suspension system have been optimized to reduce friction and boost dampening force, resulting in a smooth ride and a truly stable feeling, especially in the corners. The finely honed rear bushings and shock absorbers minimize harshness, producing a comfortable ride that manages to soak up bumps easily, yet still give the Forester better response and a genuinely sporty edge. Expertly balancing sporty handling with refinement, this SUV handles rough roads and sharp corners with equal poise and precision.

Learn more about the benefits of Subaru symmetrical full-time AWD, the SUBARU BOXER engine and the most capable suspension system in the business.
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