Subaru Reveals Mildly Refreshed Forester For Japan

Expect this lightly updated Forester to be arriving internationally soon too. 

Subaru has recently given its fifth-generation Forester a mild mid-cycle nip-and-tuck. Coming three years after its original global launch, this update that debut on the Japan-market models brings with it a slightly updated face, a slightly posher interior and a slightly improved active safety suite. 

Starting off with the slightly updated face first, the facelifted Forester gains a larger hexagonal front grille flanked on either side by sleeker LED headlight clusters. A new bolder-looking front bumper makes an appearance too, featuring either round or vertical LED fog lights inset within it depending on the trim levels selected. 

Moving further down the facelifted Forester meanwhile, it becomes apparent that the term facelift here has been taken quite literally by Subaru, as there has not been any major exterior revisions made past the face of this revised SUV. The rear for instance is virtually identical to its pre-updated predecessors, though it is nevertheless worth noting that a new set of 18-inch wheel designs is on offer, as well as the availability of three new exterior hues: Autumn Green Metallic, Cascade Green Silica, Brilliant Bronze Metallic. 

Much the same story could be repeated within the Forester too, as the only immediately noticeable updates made here are a selection of new upholstery and trim choices. Digging a little deeper into the spec sheets however reveals that Subaru has given its EyeSight active safety suite a wider angle stereo camera and better optimised software, as well as retuning the ride of this SUV for improved ‘suppleness and sportiness’. 

Speaking of sportiness, the Sport variant of the Forester is still the only one in (the Japanese market) lineup that features a turbocharged powertrain in the form of 1.8-litre boosted flat-four. The same as to be found under the hood of the latest Levorg, it is paired with a Lineartronic CVT that sends the 177 PS and 300 Nm it produces to all four wheels via Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system with X-Mode. 

As for the other three trim levels on the other hand, the Touring, X-Break and Advance variants are powered by Subaru’s e-Boxer hybrid powertrain, which consists of a 2.0 litre naturally-aspirated flat-four engine and an electric motor inset within its Lineartronic CVT. Outputting a combined power and torque figure of 145 PS and 188 Nm, the green credentials of these hybrid-engined Foresters is claimed to be further enhanced by the standard inclusion an active front grille shutter and e-Active Shift Control. 

Pre-orders for these updated Foresters have already begun in Japan, with speculation of its international debut coming some time later this year. As to when it will arrive in Malaysia, seeing as Subaru Malaysia is now offering some hefty discounts on the current iteration, it therefore points to these facelifted models landing locally in the very near future too. 

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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