Subaru refreshed the Forester for the 2017 model year with updated safety tech, better fuel efficiency, and addition of a new torque vectoring system for the turbocharged XT model.
There’s also been some slight massaging of the exterior design for 2017. The Forester receives subtle touches on the front and the rear, starting with a new grille up front with a hexagonal design, a redesigned bumper cover for naturally-aspirated models, and redesigned headlights. Subaru claims these fresh headlights increase forward visibility. Two new wheel styles are now available; the 17-inch wheels are standard on the 2.5i Premium and Limited Forester, while the 18-inchers are standard on 2.0XT Foresters.
Around back, the Forester wears revised taillights and a new body color spoiler on the Premium trim lifted from the Limited, Touring, and XT Premium trims. The 2017 Subaru Forester in Touring spec adds a new exclusive Bronze Metallic paint color.
Subaru’s EyeSight safety technology gets a boost too, now featuring color cameras with a longer, wider field of vision. The updates also include a new lane-keep assist feature, alongside blind-spot monitoring and rear-cross traffic alert on Limited and Touring models.
For when the sun sets, EyeSight now incorporates automatic high-beams, along with dynamic headlights. Both of these light technologies are standard fare on the 2.5i Limited, 2.5i Touring, and 2.0XT Touring Foresters with EyeSight.
Changes extend to the interior of the SUV as well, with an additional Saddle Brown perforated leather package available on the Touring trim. The steering wheel design is revised as well for all trim levels. The 2017 Forester features thicker door glass, “restructured” door seals, additional underfloor insulation, and acoustic glass for the windshield are all standard. For the first time on a Forester, the Touring and 2.0XT Touring models receive a heated steering wheel, along with keyless entry. Other features are now standard across all trims including memory seats, auto up/down front windows, and automatic climate control. The 2.5i Premium Forester is now equipped with a power liftgate.
Fuel efficiency improves for 2017 Subaru Foresters equipped with the 2.5-liter flat-four, as a result of “revisions to the powertrain.” The EPA now rates the 2.5i at 26/32/28 mpg city/highway/combined, up from the outgoing model’s 24/32/27 mpg.
Torque vectoring is now included on the Forester 2.0XT Touring models equipped with EyeSight, alongside a quicker steering ratio. The “X-Mode” traction-control program comes equipped on all Premium, Limited, and Touring models with a continuously variable transmission (not those with the six-speed manual). Subaru says CVT-equipped models now accelerate smoother and in a more linear fashion, thanks to updates to the gear ratio.
The 2017 Subaru Forester will hit dealer lots early July of 2016.