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Subaru launches the facelifted Forester in Japan

The 2022 model comes with some mild exterior design tweaks, new interior trim choices, updated safety systems and a revised transmission.

Subaru looks all set to roll out an updated version of the Forester for 2022. The Japanese automaker recently added images of the global version on its home website. The fifth-generation Forester was unveiled back in March 2018 and Subaru is giving a mild yet noticeable mid-cycle styling update to one of its most-loved mid-size SUVs. These updates come in the form of some mild exterior design tweaks, new interior trim choices, updated safety systems and a revised transmission.

The biggest changes appear on the front facia, where the Forester features a larger hexagonal grille with a restyled horizontal bar flanked by restyled reshaped LED headlights. The updated bumper houses the new lower air-intake and faux skid plate design. There seem no major changes at the rear except some minor tweaks to the taillight internals to match the reflector elements to the headlights’ new shapes.

The whole frame sits on 17-inch alloy wheels offered on the entry-level models, though there are new 18-inch units available with flagship trims. The wheel designs are new and fresh detailing on the plastic rocker panel running between those wheels are some other notable elements on the facelifted SUV. The 2022 Forester comes with three new exterior colours in Japan: Autumn Green Metallic, Cascade Green Silica and Brilliant Bronze Metallic.

On the inside, things look pretty familiar as the new Forester still have the 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) and 6.3-inch digital driver’s display carry just as previous gen, however, the CD player integrated below the central screen appears to have been dropped for the new 2022 model.

The upholstery got a revamp as the Japanese website now lists three new seat trim materials on certain grades: waterproof polyurethane with orange stitching on the mid-spec X-Break, a suede and leather combination (with silver stitching) on the Sport, and a choice of black or saddle brown (with silver stitching) on the Advance. In addition, the EyeSight has been upgraded with a wider angle for the stereo camera as well as better optimized software. Subaru has made changes to the suspension for all trims to boost comfort, suppleness and sportiness at a high level.

Engine, yes let’s talk about it. But there isn’t much to talk about as the 2022 facelift version still continues with a choice of two powertrains carried over from last-gen. There’s a 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated petrol four-cylinder engine that churns out a max output of 136kW with 239Nm torque. The other option, an e-Boxer’ hybrid system pairs a 110kW/196Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder with a 12.3kW electric motor. Both offerings send power to all four wheels through continuously variable automatic transmissions (CVTs). All hybrid models benefit from improved CVT transmission programming, branded as ‘E-Active Shift Control’.

The updated mid-size SUV gains an upgraded autonomous emergency braking system with an expanded field-of-view to perform better across intersections, along with refinements to the adaptive cruise control system. Other active safety features carried over on range-topping models include lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and driver fatigue monitoring through an interior camera.

The facelifted 2022 Subaru Forester is now available to order in Japan and hopefully will make it to global markets in the coming weeks.

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Himanshu Harsh

My love for automobiles is what fuels my writing. You can catch me twisting synth knobs when I'm not drooling over cars.

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