Subaru Forester Redesign Headed for Japan, but Not the U.S.

The Subaru Forester is one of the most popular and well-reviewed compact SUVs, and it’s set to get big updates soon. Though the changes won’t represent a new Forester generation, they’ll still mark a major redesign, and fans welcome it. But there’s bad news for Subaru Forester fans stateside: The redesign will be available only in Japan — for now at least.  

A look at the 2021 Subaru Forester

A sage-green 2021 Subaru Forester on display at Auto Shanghai 2021 in China
2021 Subaru Forester | Zhe Ji/Getty Images

Simply put, there are many reasons why the Subaru Forester is an award-winning SUV. There’s not much that the Forester does poorly. Even in areas where the Forester isn’t the best, it does the job well enough. That’s exactly the case with its powertrain. The Forester has only one engine option, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder. It’s not a sporty engine by any means, but it’s powerful enough for everyday driving.

But where this compact crossover SUV really excels is its practicality. The Forester is a very safe SUV. It has tons of safety features, including many standard smart safety systems. On top of that, every model comes with all-wheel drive. Furthermore, its fuel economy is also good, at 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. 

And the Forester is roomy for a small SUV, so there’s enough space for people and their things. Plus, it boasts an attractive starting price of about $25,000. And, of course, there’s that redesign.

The 2022 Subaru Forester redesign is coming soon

According to Autoblog, Subaru has only teased the upcoming 2022 redesign for the American market. However, the automaker recently launched the redesigned Forester in Japan. And, as expected, one of the most obvious changes is to the exterior.

The 2022 Forester has a new face that includes headlights with more definition a more angular grille.

Those changes, along with others, will make the SUV’s face look “stronger,” Autoblog reports. Other improvements make the Forester’s exterior look better-designed overall, including minor updates to the rear. That said, there don’t appear to be huge design changes in the cabin.

However, there will likely be more changes than those, but Subaru hasn’t released many details yet. What we do know, though, is that the new Forester Wilderness will be based on this redesign. Subaru unveiled the Wilderness recently, and Autoblog speculates the automaker will reveal more info about the standard 2022 Forester not long after.

The Wilderness edition is meant for off-roading


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The Forester Wilderness trim, as the name suggests, is meant for off-roading. This trim will have the same engine as the standard model, but its fuel economy will suffer for its performance chops.

That shouldn’t be a surprise for folks who love off-roading, but it’ll be a significant drop in gas mileage regardless. The Forester Wilderness should get about 25 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Compared to the standard Forester, the Wilderness has about the same gas mileage in the city but 5 mpg less on highways.

As for the design, the Wilderness will get a few perks, too. Like other models in the Wilderness sub-brand, the Forester Wilderness will get new badging that tells everyone it’s a rugged version.