The mid-size SUV segment is bustling with options, among the most underrated being the Subaru Forester. Plugged to the rafters with safety tech and equipped with Subaru’s signature all-wheel drive, it’s a credible all rounder. And an update has just been unveiled overseas.
The mid-life refresh is a mostly mild affair, concerning mostly the model’s appearance. It gets a larger primary grille, a reprofiled front bumper, and flashy new headlights with a sharp triangular recess that gives the model a similar nose profile to the upcoming Levorg.
Inside the model has lost its integrated CD player (oh no!), with little else changing. The current model’s 8.0-inch infotainment screen (kitted with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) and 6.3-inch digital and analogue hybrid cluster carry over into the update.
The powertrains carry over, too. At launch three were detailed; the 2.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol four producing 136kW/239Nm, the e-Boxer 2.0-litre hybrid producing 110kW/196Nm, and a 1.8-litre turbocharged four producing 130kW/300Nm.
Given that the latter hasn’t been offered in New Zealand, and has already been ruled out in Australia, don’t expect it to be offered here. For now, anyway. Instead the current 2.5-litre and 2.0-litre hybrid are the likely offerings.
Safety remains a feather in the model’s cap. Its EyeSight safety suite and camera system carry over, with lane keep assist, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and camera-based driver fatigue monitoring all staying on the roster.
What’s changed then? Well, Subaru says suspension. The firm has said that the updated Forester will deliver “suppleness” and “sportiness”. The hybrid models also get a recalibrated CVT, as part of what it calls its ‘E-Active Shift Control’.
The new Forester is expected to launch locally in the third quarter, with more details around local models to come by then.