In 1998, Subaru released the Forester mini-SUV, offered on an Impreza platform with a Legacy engine. An update to the engine in 1999 added more torque with improved shifting. Only subtle trim updates took place for 2000, with new fascia's being added to the front and rear and slight interior updates for 2001. A cargo area cover, daytime running lights and updated intermittent wipers marked the key changes for 2002. For 2003, the Forester underwent a complete overhaul in its design, offering an improved interior and exterior, an updated chassis and new standard features and options. Electronic throttle control was added in 2004, with a new filtration system, both offered as standard features.
A new variable valve-lift system increased horsepower from 163 to 173, with new intake and exhaust upgrades, and updated exterior styling, rounding out the key changes for 2005. Updates to trim levels and optional packages were the only subtle changes made for model years 2006-2007. In 2008, stability control was added as a standard feature. A redesigned Forester was issued in 2009, with no major changes taking place in 2010. An updated 2.5-liter engine was introduced for most trim levels in 2011, with shuffling of trim options taking place. A height-adjustable passenger seat was made standard in 2012, while Bluetooth/iPod/USB integration would become standard features in 2013. In 2014, Subaru completely redesigned the Forester.