2022 Subaru Forester Getting Snappy New Front-End Styling, Likely Wilderness Off-Road Model

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It’s been just over three years since Subaru rolled out its current Forester SUV, and the auto industry’s update cycle dictates a new or revised model should arrive soon. Right on schedule, what we believe will be the U.S. market’s 2022 Subaru Forester has broken cover in Subaru’s home market of Japan.

Fresh Digs

As you can see from the embedded photos, the updated Forester receives a mild yet noticeable mid-cycle styling update. The headlights are squared up, with more angular LED running lamps, and the grille appears larger than before. Other than some minor changes to the taillight internals (reflector elements that match the headlights’ new shapes), the 2022 Forester’s rear end is untouched. New wheel designs and fresh detailing on the plastic rocker panel covers between those wheels are the only other notable deviations, along with a trio of new paint colors—one of which appears to already be available here in the U.S.

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Subaru hasn’t done much, if anything, to the Forester’s roomy and headroom-lush interior. The Japanese-market Forester website describes how Subie’s latest iteration of its EyeSight suites active safety features is standard on every model; lately, Subaru has been expanding EyeSight as standard equipment throughout its lineup, and the Forester already gained the feature here in America. So, look for that to continue, only with the newer system, which promises more accurate sensor technology that affords the computer a more detailed look at the vehicle’s surroundings.

A New Engine? Probably Not

Currently, the Forester is available with a 182-hp 2.5-liter flat-four engine in the U.S. The previous-gen compact SUV was available with an optional turbocharged 2.0-liter flat-four, but that was nixed when the current-generation Forester appeared for 2019. We don’t anticipate the single-engine lineup will change here in America, even though the Japanese-market Forester is offered with a spiffy turbocharged 1.8-liter flat-four (as it was before this refresh). Ditto the JDM model’s baseline powertrain: a 2.0-liter flat-four with electric assist.

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As before, every Forester comes standard with all-wheel drive. In Japan, the Forester also comes in a number of trim levels that more or less mimic those offered here, including a sporty-looking Sport, luxurious Advance (similar to our Touring), and, confusingly, a Touring trim that’s really more akin to our entry-level Premium trim.

There also is an off-road-themed X-Break model that looks primed to make the jump to America as the latest addition to the brand’s Wilderness trim, which recently debuted on the 2022 Outback. The Subaru Outback Wilderness gets a lifted suspension, knobby tires, and—critically present on the Forester X-Break—orange interior and exterior accents, as well as waterproof seats. When will we see the 2022 Subaru Forester in the U.S.? Likely soon, given how 2022 model Subaru vehicles are inching their way into the brand’s U.S. model line. This includes the aforementioned Outback, as well as the new BRZ sport coupe.

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