The 2025 Subaru Forester is Filled With Safety and Convenience

Attention all you Subaru lovers out there. the 2025 Subaru Forester even safer and more streamlined now, with the addition of several key driver assist features and thoughtful lifestyle touches that will deepen your affection for the beloved brand.

Me And The 2025 Subaru Forester. Photo: Tanya Gadzik
Me and the 2025 Subaru Forester. Photo: Tanya Gadzik

The 2025 Subaru Forester Has Made A Good Thing Even Better

Subaru of America is making some significant improvements to its venerable Forester SUV, including some serious safety and convenience enhancements.

Of course, there are critics of the model who call the exterior boring and will criticize the automaker for not changing it enough, but there’s a reason the Subaru Forester has been one of the bestselling Subaru vehicles for nearly 30 years, with more than 2.6 million vehicles sold in the U.S. alone.

The 2025 Subaru Forester officially makes its global debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show today (Nov. 16), but I was one of a small number of media who got to spend some quality time with the vehicle a few weeks ago. Naturally, I was sworn to secrecy and haven’t been able to write about the vehicle or share photos until now.

Related: Subaru Crosstrek: The Fun-Sized Cady Bar Car 

A Girls Guide To Cars | The 2025 Subaru Forester Is Filled With Safety And Convenience - Subaru Forester 14 Tanya Gadzik

I love how easy the motion-activated tailgate is in the Subaru Forester. Photo: Tanya Gazdik

Look Ma, No Hands (Around the Tailgate)

My hands-down favorite (pun intended) is the addition of a hands-free kick sensor-activated Hands-Free Power Rear Gate. Subaru isn’t the first to offer this, but they get big-time Brownie points for perfecting it right at the start. I played with the feature for a full five minutes, and it was always responsive, both in lifting and lowering. That’s huge, and it hasn’t always been the case with other systems from other automakers.

My experience with these systems is they tend to work best with one deliberate and swift kick under the tailgate. After that, you must back away from the door fairly quickly to get out of the way of the tailgate and its sensors so it can swing open or close without hitting you.

Related: The Littlest Subaru Impreza Comes with Big Amenities

This Rich Interior Tones Are A Complement To The Comprehensive Safety Features In The Subaru Forester. Photo: Tanya Gadzik

These rich interior tones are a complement to the comprehensive safety features of the Subaru Forester. Photo: Tanya Gazdik

An Extra Set of Eyes

Safety features also take center stage in the new model. Advanced EyeSight Driver Assist Technology is now standard on all trims.

EyeSight can identify cyclists and pedestrians at intersections sooner and, when necessary, alerts the driver and applies braking to avoid collisions. Additional active safety features are available for Forester, including Reverse Automatic Braking as well as Blind-Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert.

We haven’t had a chance to drive the vehicle yet, but Subaru says the latest version of the EyeSight system operates more smoothly and quickly and under a greater range of conditions than prior versions. These improvements are thanks to a wider field of view, updated control software, and the addition of an electric brake booster. We can’t wait to check them out during a test drive.

Related: The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness: It’s the Best Driving Companion

Side View Of The 2025 Subaru Forester. Photo: Tanya Gadzik

Side view of the 2025 Subaru Forester. Photo: Tanya Gazdik

Collaborative Responses for Weary Drivers

Speaking of brakes, for the first time on a Subaru, Emergency Stop Assist activates if the driver becomes unresponsive to warnings while using Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control. The new standard safety feature will stop the vehicle, activate the hazard lights, and unlock the doors. Subaru Starlink Connected Services will then place a call to emergency services.

Unfortunately, this wonderful safety net is only available on the vehicle’s top trim level, Touring, since it requires the DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System, which is standard on Touring, The system tracks your face and determines whether you’re being attentive or not.

Front View Of The Subaru Forester. Photo: Tanya Gazdik

Front view of the Subaru Forester. Photo: Tanya Gazdik

The Subaru Forester Is Watching Out for You

Automatic Emergency Steering is included on models equipped with Blind-Spot Detection with Lane Keep Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. This safety feature works with EyeSight and Blind-Spot Detection to assist with steering control to help avoid a collision within a lane at speeds slower than 50 mph.

Finally, the DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System is standard on Touring trim. The feature uses a camera angled at the driver’s face and facial recognition software to monitor fatigue or lack of attention. DriverFocus also includes a gesture-control capability that allows the driver to raise and lower the set temperature of the automatic climate control system through hand gestures.

Along with all this useful technology, there are some design elements that are pretty handy-sounding.

Here’s An Easter Egg, Paw Prints On The Back Door Because Dogs Belong In The Back Seat Of A Subaru. Photo Tanya Gazdik

Here’s an Easter Egg, paw prints on the back door  – because dogs belong in the back seat of a Subaru. Photo Tanya Gazdik

Who is the Subaru Forester For?

Unfortunately, the vehicle can only accommodate two car seats, not three, says Subaru of America Car Line Planning Manager Bill Stokes.

“We also find that customers in this segment are often coming with kids that are out of car seats,” Stokes says. “As your kids grow up and they might be getting to the point where they’re going to be driving for the first time, or maybe your older kids are out of the household, this kind of vehicle is a good fit because it’s got enough space in the backseat for teenagers, but it’s not too big to be fun to drive maneuverable.”

Owners of all ages will appreciate a dark headliner that hides scuffs from loading/unloading. It continues to be easy to load the cargo area due to its large opening, something customers have said they love, so Subaru made sure to maintain it.

Utility hooks have also been added to the cargo area.

“So there are a series of threaded inserts in a bunch of different locations in the cargo area where you can mount different types of accessories that we’ll have available,” Stokes says. “One of the main ones is that sort of cage-style cylindrical utility mount point, and that will be able to be mounted to the inside of the cargo area or to the rear gate on the inside.”

How handy and thoughtful, like so much of the Forester!

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Tanya Gazdik covers automotive, financial services, travel, sports, and pets for MediaPost's "Marketing Daily." She is the chief programmer... More about Tanya Gazdik