The Tokyo Motor Show is right around the corner, and some of the more popular Japanese automakers are set to unveil new cars here. Subaru is getting in on this, as it will reveal the updated version of the JDM-Spec Forester at the show, giving us a glimpse at the 2017 U.S.-spec Forester. This new Forester includes a revised look, an updated cabin, and a slew of new safety features.
Up front, the new Forester gains wider headlights, grille, fog light surrounds, and bumper, while the rear end gains new U-shaped taillights with new graphics that place the red lens above the white. Also new are the aluminum 17-inch wheels and the 18-inch wheels on the turbocharged model. The new 17-inch wheels are more aerodynamic than those before it, while the 18-inch wheels take on a sportier look. The final changes to the body are two new colors: Dark Blue Pearl and Sepia Bronze Metallic.
Inside the cabin, the mild updates continue, as the Forester takes on a more upscale look by way of an updated dash with a silver frame and piano-black accents, and a new leather topper on the instrument panel and door grips. Other new features inside the Forester include an available color LCD screen that shows the status of the EyeSight and the Subaru Intelligent Drive systems, available SD navigation with Siri Eyes Free connectivity, available rear-seat heaters, and available drive-side seat memory.
Safety is clearly Subaru’s focus with this revised Forester, as the list of new standard safety features is quite long. The new safety features include the third-gen EyeSight system, steering-resposive LED high- and low-beam headlights, and standard side airbags across the board. The final safety upgrade is the new Advanced Safety Package, which includes blind-spot detection, lane-change assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive driving beam.
Subaru spent a little time working on the agility of the new Forester as well. It installed a more rigid front suspension cross member and optimized rear trailing link bushings for better steering response and straight-line stability. At the corners are optimized shocks that deliver better ride and handling. The steering ratio also gets a redo, as Subaru changed it from 15.5-to-1 to 14-to-1, which helps deliver more precise movements and quicker response. Finally, the turbocharged Forester gains torque vectoring to help in the corners.
Lastly, Subaru spent a little time upgrading the Forester’s powertrain. The model continues with the same 2.0-liter engines as it has always had in the Japanese market, but the base 2.0-liter four-cylinder sees its fuel economy increase to 16 km/l (37.6 mpg) – this engine is not part of the U.S-spec lineup.
While all of these updates are for the Japanese market, they do preview what we will see here in the U.S. in the 2017 model year. There is no mention of when these changes will make it to the U.S.