Subaru Forester facelift CKD production Malaysia begins

The 2016 Subaru Forester facelift will make its regional debut at the upcoming Bangkok International Motor Show. The model was first shown at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show, with modest changes being introduced to uplift the Forester’s looks and handling.

The announcement by Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) comes a few weeks after the company revealed that CKD production of the SUV has begun at Tan Chong’s Segambut plant here in Malaysia. The Forester will indeed be Subaru’s second model after the XV to be locally assembled at the plant.

Set to go on sale in Malaysia during the second quarter of 2016, the locally-assembled Forester will also make its way to Thailand and Indonesia within the same period, through the Subaru dealer network operated by Tan Chong International.

As previously reported, the new Forester gains a few visual enhancements to bring the model up to speed with FHI’s current line-up. Outside, the SUV gains a restyled front grille with a new bumper, C-shaped daytime running lights and tail lights and revised wheels.

The Forester’s cabin receives a new instrument panel with colour LCD multi-information display. Leather trim is also added to provide a more premium feel to things, along with an SD navigation system and memory function for the driver’s powered seat.

Power is expected to come from a 2.0 litre naturally-aspirated flat-four petrol engine (150 PS/198 Nm) mated to a Lineartronic CVT gearbox. A more powerful turbocharged option was available as a CBU model, with output rated at 240 PS and 350 Nm of torque.

We’ll have to wait and see how the CKD models will be priced in Malaysia. Can it be a proper Honda CR-V rival? Comment below.

GALLERY: Subaru Forester facelift at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show