Subaru unveiled the fifth-generation Forester back in March 2018, and with product life cycles getting shorter, it’s no wonder the facelifted version is now debuting at home in Japan. The compact crossover hasn’t changed all that much, with the most obvious novelty being at the front where you’ll notice the redesigned headlights featuring a more upright design.
The front bumper has also visited the cosmetic surgeon’s office and has gained a protrusion right below the reshaped headlight, hosting the washer. The grille doesn’t appear to be larger than before, but it does have a flat U-shaped pattern. In addition, metallic ornaments flank the Subaru logo. Depending on the trim level, there are round and vertical fog lights, both of which have LEDs.
There’s only one image showing the rear end so far, and maybe it’s because the JDM-spec Forester looks virtually the same as before. Mid-cycle updates usually bring some tweaks to the taillight graphics, but the rear clusters look identical to those of the pre-facelift model. Subaru is offering fresh 18-inch wheels and adding three new colors (Autumn Green Metallic, Cascade Green Silica, Brilliant Bronze Metallic) to the local version of its crossover, which comes in Touring, X-Break, Advance, and Sport trim levels.
Stepping inside the cabin, the 2022 Forester in the Land of the Rising Sun is largely the same as before, but with new upholstery choices. In addition, the EyeSight has been upgraded with a wider angle for the stereo camera as well as better optimized software. Subaru has made changes to the suspension for all trims to boost comfort, while the e-Active Shift Control is now available on all versions equipped with the e-Boxer hybrid engine.
Subaru is already accepting preorders for the JDM-spec Forester and we’re expecting the equivalent North American version for the 2022 model year to be unveiled in the coming weeks. A prototype was spotted on US soil back in December 2020, so its official debut is likely happening sooner rather than later.
Hopefully, the US-spec Forester will be getting the turbocharged 1.8-liter gasoline engine available in Japan on the Sport version, with 174 horsepower (130 kilowatts) and 221 pound-feet (300 Newton-meters) of torque. It has 45 lb-ft (61 Nm) more torque than the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter engine and better low-end response thanks to forced induction.