One of Australia’s favourite SUVs has come in for a touchup and left with an increased level of standard specification and a fresh new design.
The 2022 Subaru Forester midsize SUV has been given a mid-life facelift that has added a sharper design and bolstered the existing safety suite, with prices now starting from $35,990 before on-road costs.
Buyers will be able to get their hands on a new Forester when it lands in dealerships this October, though Subaru has recently told Chasing Cars the SUV is facing on-going stock issues that have seen delays of up to three months so real-world delivery times may vary.
The Forester is a key rival to popular midsize SUVs like the Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Tucson, Volkswagen Tiguan, and Kia Sportage. In 2020, Subaru sold 12,300 Foresters in Australia, making it the fifth-most popular midsize crossover in the country.
Subaru has made subtle changes across the Forester range, with prices climbing $700-$900 depending on the grade, that build on the strengths of the current model.
This begins with the safety suite which now features lane keep assist, lane departure prevention and autonomous emergency steering as part of Subaru’s latest EyeSight system.
It builds on existing safety features such as high-speed AEB, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and rear-cross traffic alert which are standard across the range.
Other than the base-model Forester 2.5i, all grades receive an upgraded version of Subaru’s adaptive driving beam technology which provides better vision in the bends.
Subaru has fiddled with the suspension of the Forester to enhance the ride comfort which will likely be welcome on Australian roads – though we didn’t find the suspension to be harsh in our recent review of the outgoing model.
Carrying over from the current model is the 2.5L naturally aspirated petrol four-cylinder engine that produces an unchanged 136kW of power and 239Nm of torque, which is sent through a CVT transmission to the all wheel drive system.
The hybrid version pairs a more compact 2.0-litre petrol making 110kW/196Nm with a small 12.3kW/66Nm electric motor.
Subaru Australia told Chasing Cars there are still no plans for the turbocharged 1.8L engine sold in Japan to come to our shores, which sports punchier outputs of 130kW/300Nm.
Off road bandits will also appreciate tweaks made to the X-Mode which has refined the hill descent control and now has the ability to re-engage the driving mode once the car’s speed drops below 35km/h.
Steering response is also said to be improved, as is the general noise and vibration due to new aluminium engine mounts screwed to the chassis.
Moving inside buyers will find the larger 8-inch touchscreen has been fitted across the range, which is a sizeable improvement over the old 6.5-inch unit.
Designers have made a number of styling changes inside and out that you might miss if you aren’t paying close attention.
These include an upgraded instrument panel designed for the Forester 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Sport and 2.5i-S.
The colourful Forester 2.5i Sport also gets coloured trim inserts in the door panels and new LED fog lights in the front bumper, and black door mirrors on the wings.
Designers have given the expensive Forester 2.5i-S, Hybrid L and Hybrid S a revised set of silver roof rails, with both S grades also receiving new alloy wheel designs to pick from.
More details on exact specification will be released when the updated Forester lands in October of this year.
All prices listed are before on-road costs.
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