The Subaru Forester facelift, leaked via Japanese brochures last month, has been revealed ahead of a public debut at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show happening later this month.

Changes to the fourth-generation SUV, which has been around since late-2012 (launched here in July 2013), are fairly modest and include new LED projector headlights with C-shaped positioning lights (a cue also seen on the BRZ sports car, latest Legacy/Outback and WRX/WRX STI), a redesigned grille and a reprofiled front bumper reminiscent of the facelifted Impreza’s.

The more aggressive of two faces available, as seen on the top turbocharged XT model, gets new eyes and a grille pattern. The Forester’s new look imparts a sturdier, more SUV-like appearance, Subaru says.

A new tail light design (C-shaped motif to match the front) and a range of revised two-tone aluminium wheel designs (less drag for 17s, sportier for 18s) complete the exterior revamp. Dark Blue Pearl and Sepia Bronze Metallic are two new colours.

Inside, you’ll find a new instrument panel, covered with leather, which also wraps the door grips. The new look meter panel also has a colour LCD multi-information display showing the status of EyeSight (Active Lane Keep, Pre-Collision Braking Control, Adaptive Cruise Control) and SI-Drive among other things.


Other new things include an SD navigation system that supports Siri Eyes Free, rear seat heaters and memory function for the driver’s powered seat.

Besides the Eyesight (Version 3 now), there’s a Rear Vehicle Detection package that includes Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. The stereo cameras of Eyesight also double up as the eyes for Adaptive Driving Beam. Speaking of headlamps, high and low beams are provided by LEDs, which are linked to steering response as well.

To go with the above updates, Subaru has thrown in some improvements to the Forester’s AWD chassis and NVH. Greater front cross member rigidity and optimisation of the rear trailing link bushings result in better steering response (lower ratio now too) and straight-line stability. The turbo model gets Active Torque Vectoring.


Ride comfort has been improved thanks to optimised dampers and spring rates, while thicker door glass, stronger sealing, and improvements to the Lineartronic CVT gearbox result in less unwanted sounds.

Lastly, the FB 2.0 litre naturally-aspirated flat-four petrol engine (150 PS, 198 Nm) has been given more efficient combustion and reduced friction for better fuel efficiency with no loss of performance. In JC08 mode tests, fuel economy of 16.0 km/l was achieved, bumping the Forester up into a next level in Japan’s eco-car tax incentives.

No efficiency improvements for the 240 PS/350 Nm 2.0 turbo variant, but its CVT gearbox now employs auto-step shift control and in SI-Drive’s S# mode, close-ratio “eight-speed” shifting.