For 2017, the Forester has been given a mid-cycle update with refreshed styling plus new high-tech features and premium amenities.
Starting with the exterior, the biggest change for the Forester is a new front fascia with a different bumper design and a hexagon-shaped grille. It’s joined by new C-shaped LED headlamp accents are akin to those featured on the sporty WRX, as are the C-shaped rings featured on the square tail lights. Limited trim levels receive full LED headlamps, too, with active corner illumination, while lesser trims get active corner illumination via fog lamps. New wheels are also on the menu, 17-inchers for 2.5 trims, with the turbocharged XT trim receiving new 18-inch wheel designs. On the outside, Sepia Bronze joins the colour range.
Inside, Foresters receive a new steering wheel design with available heating function, and heated rear seats. Driver’s side memory seats, one-touch front windows, and automatic climate control are now featured as standard equipment on certain trims, too. Limited trims can also be had with new Cognac Brown leather upholstery when paired with black or pearl white exterior paint.
Passengers are also certain to appreciate the additional soundproofing that has been fitted to the Forester for ’17; thicker glass, improved door seals, an acoustic windshield and more sound insulation make the Forester quieter than ever. Subaru’s latest infotainment systems are also featured and include Siri Eyes-Free, plus Bluetooth and USB integration. Most trims feature a 6.2-inch touchscreen, with Limited trims receiving a 7.0-inch unit with navigation.
While the Forester has featured Subaru’s EyeSight suite of active safety features, the 2017 Forester has been upgraded to the newly introduced third-gen setup. The update adds lane-keeping assist, plus an enhanced pre-collision braking system. Other safety upgrades include blind-spot warning, which is standard on Touring and Limited trims, while reverse automatic braking is available on 2.5i Touring, 2.5i Limited, and 2.0XT Limited trims.
The Forester is available with two engines. The standard motor is a 2.5-litre horizontally opposed engine that produces 170 hp. A CVT transmission is featured on most trim levels, but the Forester remains one of the few compact crossovers on the market that can be had with a six-speed manual, though it is limited to the base trim and the Touring trim. Beyond being one of the more efficient crossovers on the road, all Forester 2.5s receive PZEV emissions certification as standard.
Those looking for a bit more zip may find the 2.0XT to their liking. The direct-injected engine features 250 hp and offers brisk acceleration times. For 2017, the XT gets torque vectoring for slightly more agile handling. The Forester is available exclusively with the CVT transmission.
All Foresters come standard with Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive system, class-leading ground clearance, and when equipped with the CVT transmission, X-Mode off-road mode, and hill-descent control.