- Next-generation Subaru EyeSight safety system set to debut
- A Wilderness variant with off-roading upgrades should debut as well
- Part of the fifth Forester generation introduced for 2019
The Subaru Forester is one of Subaru's two best-selling vehicles — swapping back and forth with the Outback — and currently sits among the Top 5 small SUVs in Edmunds' rankings. This practical SUV offers versatility and comfort both on- and off-road thanks to its good ground clearance and standard all-wheel drive.
The "Fozzie," a nickname used by Subaru enthusiasts, is due for a midcycle product refresh for the 2022 model year, meaning that it will get styling updates and other upgrades.
Here's what could happen.
The 2022 Subaru Forester midcycle refresh leads with a bolder design that includes a more prominent grille and more aggressive headlights. New wheel designs and finishes, a new exterior paint option, and an updated interior with upgraded tech (more on this below) should tie the refresh together nicely.
Will a Forester plug-in hybrid make a debut? Highly unlikely with this generation. Much like Kia did with the Sorento Hybrid, we expect Subaru to wait two more years until the full redesign of the Forester to introduce a hybrid version.
With the debut of the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness trim, the natural next step is for Subaru to give the Forester a similar treatment. The biggest question is: Will Subaru USA include the more potent 2.4-liter turbo motor in the package? We hope so. The three-row Subaru Ascent family SUV comes standard with the 2.4 turbo, and Subaru recently provided stronger engine options for both the Crosstrek and the Outback. We've found the Forester's standard 2.5-liter engine to be lackluster in our testing — the last Forester we had at our test track did zero to 60 mph in a leisurely 9.3 seconds.
We expect that the Forester Wilderness will come with an upgraded suspension and all-terrain tires that give it an impressive 9.5 inches of ground clearance, along with Subaru's advanced X-Mode system, which simulates low-range gearing at low speeds but transitions seamlessly to normal operation above 25 mph. Revised front and rear bumpers that allow for better approach and departure angles, LED foglights and the optional Wilderness-exclusive Geyser Blue color should also be part of the formula.
Technology advances so quickly nowadays that it's no surprise Subaru will debut the next-generation Subaru EyeSight driver assistance system on the updated 2022 Forester. New sensor technology gives the EyeSight "stereo camera" an expanded field of view for recognizing traffic environments. In theory, this should result in superior collision avoidance, pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control operation.
Even though the current Forester isn't a contender for our top ranking among small SUVs, we're fond of its versatile nature. The tech and styling updates for 2022 should make it a stronger candidate, while a new Wilderness trim should speak to a more adventurous enthusiast crowd. Make sure to visit Edmunds for up-to-date details on the refreshed Forester as we get them.