Subaru, the Japanese manufacturer of all things practical, dependable, and inexpensive, no matter the weather, just rolled out the latest details for the 2018 Forester. They also revealed a new trim package, The Black Edition Package, which seems rather snazzy. All in all, this looks to continue the car subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industry’s winning streak since the Forester is Subaru’s best-selling model.
Which is surprising, given the number of Outback station wagons you see in the Pacific Northwest.
Subaru’s 2018 Forester lineup breaks down like this: The 2.5i is available in four trim levels: standard, Premium, Limited, and Touring. All Foresters are at least powered by a 170 horsepower, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder boxer engine. A 6-speed manual is standard with an optional Lineartronic CVT. And yes, if you find automatic transmissions just a little bit creepy, a continuously variable transmission is really going to give you the willies. They do, however, work.
Just don’t ask me how they work.
If you opt for the Forester 2.0XT, which is available in both Premium and Touring trims, you get a 250 horsepower, 2.0-liter intercooled, turbocharged 4-cylinder boxer plant, and obviously, this is the one we like best at 1 Automoblog Towers. All Foresters come standard with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, because, duh, it’s a Subaru. All-wheel drive is what they do. It is, in many ways, what separates them from the likes of Nissan and Toyota and makes them really great rally cars right out of the box. Not that we would encourage you to go rally racing down a lonely logging road at insane velocities in the middle of the night, in a rain storm while your navigator whimpers out route instructions.
Oh no. Not us. We’d never encourage you to do that.
The base level 2018 Foresters start at a reasonable $22,795. The 2018 Forester 2.5i Premium, which Subaru says is “nicely appointed” starts at $25,695. For that, you get a panoramic power moonroof, 17-inch alloy wheels, X- Mode with Hill Descent Control (on models with a CVT), automatic HVAC controls, body color rear roof spoiler, and a 10-way power driver’s seat. There is an All-Weather Package available that includes heated exterior mirrors, heated front seats, and windshield wiper de-icer – that’s standard on Premium and above.
The new Forester 2.5i Black Edition package is essentially an upgrade from the Premium model. The Black Edition comes with a Lineartronic CVT featuring X-Mode, Hill Descent Control, and LED Steering Responsive Headlights. You also get 18-inch black alloy wheels, fog lights with black accent trim (of course), black finish exterior badges and mirrors (natch), and a front grille with a blacked-out wing motif and chrome frame.
You get a choice of 4 exterior colors: Crystal Black Silica, Dark Gray Metallic, Crystal White Pearl, and Ice Silver Metallic. There is also exclusive black cloth upholstery seats with simulated leather bolsters. The center dash panel has a silver metallic and black gloss finish. The steering wheel and shift handle are leather-wrapped and highlighted with silver stitching, and the interior door handles have a chrome finish. The Black Edition comes standard with the All-Weather Package, rear cargo tray, and Welcome Lighting.
The upgrade is available exclusively on Premium trims and will set you back $1,150, which isn’t bad.
The Forester Limited upgrades you to a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift lever handle. There’s perforated leather-trimmed upholstery along with a 10-way power driver’s seat and power lumbar support. Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are standard along with Welcome Lighting.
If you go for the Limited version and tick the EyeSight option, you get High Beam Assist, LED Steering Responsive Headlights, Automatic Low & High Beam Height Adjustment, and Reverse Auto Braking. No, I don’t know what half of those actually do, nor do I fully grok why I would want them, but they’re kind of thrown in with the package.
Cost? The 2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i Limited starts at $29,395.
The top-of-the-line Forester Touring models are priced from $33,090, but for that, you get all the goodies Subbie makes. You get 18-inch alloy wheels and body colored exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals. The interior is either Black or Saddle Brown with a 10-way power driver’s seat with two-position memory. Keyless Access with Push-Button Start and heated steering wheel? Check, check, and check. Reverse Automatic Braking and High Beam Assist headlights are standard on Touring models too. Oh, and as an added performance feature, all 2.0XT Touring models come with Active Torque Vectoring, first introduced on the WRX and WRX STI.
And, no matter which Forester model you choose, you’ll get a SUBARU STARLINK Multimedia system providing hands-free connectivity and entertainment services. More information, including option packages and pricing, is included in the charts below.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He means well, even if he has a bias towards lighter, agile cars rather than big engine muscle cars or family sedans.
Applicable Option Code
MSRP + destination and delivery
12, 13, 14, 15, 16
21, 22, 23
2018 FORESTER OPTION PACKAGES
CODE 01 Standard Model 2.5i
CODE 02 Alloy Wheel Package- includes 17-in. machine finished alloy wheels, roof rails and front passenger window Auto Up/Down
CODE 11 Standard Model- 2.5i Premium 6MT or 2.0XT Premium CVT