Unveiled in Japan last year, Subaru South Africa as announced spec details for the updated Forester. Aesthetically, the local model mirrors its Japanese sibling by not only sporting the same tweaks, but also the inclusion of a Sport model which boasts orange and black accents, a black grille, wheel arch cladding and door sills, black detailing on the front and rear bumpers, orange inserts on the roof rails and a choice of five colours; Magnetite Grey Metallic, Ice Silver Metallic, Crystal Black Silica, Crystal White Pearl and Dark Blue Pearl.
Inside, the interior remains largely unaltered with orange accents and water repellent cloth seats on the Sport being the standout fixture. Specification has however been revised with the S ES and Sport getting Subaru’s reworked EyeSight system which, apart from Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Sway Control, Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Keep Assist, now includes Reverse Automatic Braking and steering sensitive Auto High Beam headlights.
The biggest uptake resides underneath the bonnet though with the return of the normally aspirated 2.5-litre flat-four engine on the mentioned S ES and Sport. Joining the existing 2.0-litre, which continues to produce 115kW/196Nm, the 2.5 punches out 136kW/239Nm send to all four wheels via a Lineartronic CVT. Regardless of the trim level, all models are equipped with Subaru’s X-Mode suite of off-road system plus Hill Descent Control.
As before, the range is covered by a five year/100 000 km warranty as well as three year/75 000 km maintenance plan. Earmarked for unveiling in March, pricing will only be revealed closer to the local launch date but expect a premium over the current 2.0-litre only line-up, which retails from R486 000 to R564 000.