After becoming Subaru’s best-seller in the states last year, Subaru hopes to keep momentum on its compact SUV rolling with a fresh face, more tech, added safety, and a more refined interior. To cap it all off, torque vectoring, first introduced on the WRX and WRX STI, is now offered with the Touring trim.
First let’s talk about the fact the 2017 model will come with updates to Subaru’s advanced EyeSight Driver Assist Technology. This safety system adds color cameras that give drivers a wider and longer view. Lane-keep assist gets upgraded and now can “gently” lead the Forester back to the center of the lane when sway is detected. Limited and Touring models now come with Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. Both these features are also included on Premium trims that have EyeSight.
More safety technology upgrades include High Beam Assist. It works with EyeSight to automatically adjust between high and low beam headlights as needed. More visibility improvement comes from Steering Responsive Headlights. This shifts the direction of the beam with feedback from the steering. The adjusting beams help drivers see around corners and curves. Another new cool safety feature is Reverse Automatic Braking. It uses sonar to detect large objects behind the vehicle while it is backing up. It automatically brakes if a collision is detected.
Exterior upgrades include a new hexagonal grille and reshaped headlights. The headlights include the signature C-shape motif and black inner bezel. The rear lights are also designed in a C-shape. Subaru says the design goal was to create a sleeker, robust, and more distinctive look. Two new wheel designs are offered. Both use high-contrast black and machine finishing.
Inside, the cabin gets comfier with better soundproofing thanks to thicker door windows, improved seals, underfloor insulation, and a new acoustic windshield. The steering wheel is upgraded with easier audio, Bluetooth, and cruise control buttons. A new Saddle Brown leather upholstery with contrast stitching color is also offered.
Powertrain upgrades slightly improve the gas milage on the 2.5i CVT models. They now get 26 city and 32 highway mpg. Standard 2.0XT models continue to get 23 city and 28 highway mpg. Active Torque Vectoring is now standard on 2.0XT Touring models with EyeSight.
Trim options include the base model, Premium, Limited, and Touring. All 2.5i models come standard with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder BOXER engine good for 170-horsepower. The upgrade to the 2.0XT models get a 2.0-liter intercooled, turbocharged, 4-cylinder BOXER engine. It gets 250-horsepower. The turbo option is only offered on the Premium and Touring trims.