2022 Subaru Forester US launch likely this fall, but will it get hybrid? [Update]

Subaru began testing the 2022 Forester (facelift) in the U.S. in December last year, and internationally, it revealed the new model in June 2021. Global rollout of the 2022 Subaru Forester has begun, and Australia, being an RHD market like Japan, is among the first ones to receive the new model.

The 2022 Forester is more stylish, safer, and, Subaru claims, drives better. In the U.S., Subaru may launch the new Forester towards the end of the year. The timeline would depend on the availability of semiconductor chips which has caused repeated production outages at Subaru factories this year.

2022 Subaru Forester Exterior

Subaru has tried improving the design of the Forester with the facelift to give customers an aggressive look. The hexagonal radiator grille has more strongly defined angles and new inserts for a bolder look. The headlights have adopted a partly vertical orientation, with the main light having a U-shape and the daytime running light a C-shape. The new headlights and grille succeed in making the front fascia sophisticated and aggressive.

The bumper, bumper guard, and fog lights at the front are also new. For the fog lamps, there are different options for lighting and shape, depending on the trim. Instead of the thick chrome, three slim chrome strips adorn the fog lamp housing for a cleaner look to the lower front fascia. New 18-inch two-tone alloy wheels and a rear bumper guard with a new pattern round up the exterior changes.

Colors

Subaru has introduced three new earthy colors for the 2022 Forester to complement its tougher exterior: Cascade Green Silica, Brilliant Bronze Metallic, and Autumn Green Metallic.

Interior & Safety

The 2022 Forester has the same interior design as the current Forester. Configurations featuring the Driver Monitoring System have gained gesture-controlled temperature adjustment. The occupants can the temperature of the air-conditioning using a simple hand gesture.

The new Forester’s cabin is a safer place, thanks to the new generation EyeSight. A stereo camera with a significantly expanded field of view can scan the vehicle’s surroundings more precisely. Moreover, Subaru has expanded the operating range that supports collision avoidance, and so, the new model should provide greater safety at intersections. The new-generation Subaru EyeSight system includes three new functions:

  • Lane Centring
  • Lane Departure Prevention
  • Autonomous Emergency Steering
2022 Subaru Forester facelift interior
Subaru hasn’t changed the interior design of the Forester. Image Source: Subaru

Specifications & Performance

Internationally, Subaru has carried over the Forester’s hybrid powertrain without changes. The company doesn’t sell the e-boxer hybrid in the U.S., but may consider it if it feels that it can take away market share from Toyota’s best-selling hybrid model, the RAV4 Hybrid, which has a superior fuel efficiency (41 mpg city/38 mpg highway/40 mpg combined).

For reference, Subaru uses the FB20 2.0-liter gasoline engine and the MA1 electric motor that feeds off a 118.4 V, 4.8 Ah (0.6 kWh) lithium-ion battery pack. The engine produces 107 kW (145 PS) at 6,000 rpm and 188 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. In addition, the motor generates 10 kW (13.6 PS) and 65 Nm of torque. The fuel economy rating (WTLC) is 14.0 km/l or 32.9 mpg.

The new Forester should provide a more comfortable ride, improved steering responsiveness, and better handling, as it features retuned front suspension coil springs and dampers. Expect more quietness inside the cabin, thanks to a new aluminum engine mount bracket that lowers noise and vibrations.

Performance in challenging conditions should also be better, as Subaru has revised X-Mode and Hill Descent Control. The former comes with the ability to automatically re-engage once the speed of the SUV reduces to 35 km/h (22 mph) or less, while the latter improves vehicle control speed.

Wilderness variant for North America

Subaru is working on a new Wilderness variant that furthers its vehicles’ off-road capability for the U.S. The Outback received its Wilderness variant in March 2021, and the Forester may welcome the same during the mid-cycle refresh. The 2022 Forester Wilderness may come with increased ground clearance, more low-end torque, knobbier tires, exclusive bumpers that provide a better approach, break-over and departure angles, and a modified AWD system.

Price

The 2022 Subaru Forester may cost around USD 25,000 (MSRP excl. Destination & Delivery) onwards in the U.S. The base hybrid variant (TBC) will probably retail at around USD 27,500.

Though the original fifth-gen Forester is three years old, sales are still growing in the U.S. In May 2021, Subaru sold 20,006 units, marking year-over-year growth of 12% (May 2020: 17,859 units). During the first half of 2021, Subaru delivered 95,965 units of Forester, registering a growth of 11.8 percent as compared to the same period last year. With an overall score of 89 out of a maximum of 100, the Subaru Forester is also one of the top 10 picks from Consumer Reports in April 2021.

Forester’s sales are growing in the U.S., but the numbers aren’t anywhere near the segment’s best-seller. Toyota has put 221,195 units of the RAV4 into the American market this year, which is more than double the volume of the Forester. Subaru would hope that the release of the refresh in the U.S. would narrow the gap to the Toyota.

For those wishing for an electrified Subaru in the same size class, by mid-2022, the Subaru Solterra will arrive in the marketplace as the company’s first all-electric vehicle. It will compete with compact electric SUVs like the Toyota bZ4X, Nissan Ariya, VW ID.4, Hyundai Ioniq 5, and Kia EV6.

2022 Subaru Forester FAQs

What is the 2022 Subaru Forester release date?

The 2022 Subaru Forester is likely to go on sale in the United States in fall of 2021.

What will be the 2022 Subaru Forester price?

Subaru may price the 2022 Forester from around USD 25,000 (MSRP excl. Destination & Delivery) in the U.S.

What will be the 2022 Subaru Forester alternatives?

The 2022 Subaru Forester competitors will include the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Mazda CX-5.

Featured Image Source: Subaru