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The updated Subaru Forester has more than just a prettier face

Equipped with a turbo engine and a more intelligent version of EyeSight

The Japanese market gets first dibs on the new Forester. PHOTO FROM SUBARU

The Subaru Forester is one of the sportier crossovers available today. But at three years old and with competitors releasing either product refreshes or all-new models, the vehicle needs some tinkering, too. Well, the company has recently given its compact SUV a little update to make it more appealing to increasingly picky customers (in the Japanese market, at least).

Do you like the car's revised face? PHOTO FROM SUBARU

The front end now boasts a new face, with revised headlamps flanking the slightly redesigned grille. The new-look bumper houses rounded fog-light surrounds, a departure from the squarish ones in the outgoing version. The sides were left unchanged save for the new alloy-wheel design. Other than the diffuser, the rear portion of the Forester has stayed the same. There are three new colors: Cascade Green Silica, Autumn Green Metallic, and Brilliant Bronze Metallic.

It’s the same story inside as most of the things you see in the pre-facelift Forester are in the updated model. New for this refresh, though, are the choices of seat material such as water-repellent polyurethane, black or brown Nappa leather, and a suede/leather combo.

You can spec your Forester with water-repellent seats. PHOTO FROM SUBARU

The biggest change in Subaru’s popular crossover has to be its new power units. There’s the e-Boxer 2.0-liter hybrid, which is basically the FB20 mill paired with an electric motor. This combination is good for 143hp and 188Nm. And then there’s the smaller but sportier 1.8-liter direct-injection turbo engine that puts out 175hp and a very meaty 300Nm. Power will be transmitted to all four wheels via a Symmetrical AWD system with X-Mode. Depending on the variant you’re getting, the Lineartronic CVT can be had with either seven or eight simulated forward gears.

Turbo power is back with a 175hp direct-injected 1.8-liter engine. PHOTO FROM SUBARU

The other big upgrade in the Forester is the updated EyeSight driver aids. Standard on all variants, the cameras now have a wider field of view. This helps expand the collision avoidance system’s range of operation as it better recognizes and interprets the traffic situation.

Buyers in Japan can start preordering the new Forester at their local Subaru dealers. The automaker says that the global version will be unveiled this August, although no mention was made about which markets would get the vehicle first.

Red Santiago

A jack of all trades, Red is passionate about cars, motorcycles and audio. He sometimes drives for a ride-hailing app company—just because he really loves driving.