Tim Shults
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Updated 2017 Subaru Forester Includes Safety, Design, and Efficiency Improvements

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The Subaru Forester continues to be one of the brand’s most popular models. For the last 32 months, the automaker has moved more than 10,000 Forester units off dealer lots consistently. Subaru hopes to build upon that momentum with the updated 2017 Subaru Forester, which offers updates to the powertrain, Subaru’s award-winning EyeSight system, its exterior design, its interior features, and more.

The 2017 Subaru Forester sees improved safety, fuel economy, and performance

The 2017 Subaru Forester sees improved safety, fuel economy, and performance

2017 Subaru Forester Powertrain Updates

For starters, Subaru did some tinkering with the 2017 Forester’s powertrain offerings. The 2.5i models are offered in base, Premium, Limited, and Touring trims, and are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder BOXER engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission (standard on base and Premium), with an optional CVT. Horsepower comes in at 170, and due to updates to the engine, Subaru improved the 2.5i CVT models’ efficiency numbers from 24/32/27 mpg city/highway/combined to 26/32/28.

The 2.0XT models are available in the Premium and Touring trims and are powered by a 2.0-liter intercooled turbocharged four-cylinder BOXER engine, good for 250 horsepower. Subaru has made Active Torque Vectoring, which helps understeer, standard on 2.0XT models with EyeSight.

Subaru has also provided a quicker gear ratio, which allows for better handling and response to driver inputs. The X-Mode traction assist system is now standard on Premium, Limited, and Touring models with CVT, and incorporates Hill Descent Control.

Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is, as always, standard.

Safety First with EyeSight

The previously mentioned Subaru EyeSight Driver Assist Tech also sees some improvements for the 2017 Forester model year. Subaru has added Lane Keep Assist to the package and has upgraded to color cameras that have wider, longer fields of vision. Drivers of the Limited and Touring models, as well as Premium models outfitted with EyeSight, will also benefit from Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

Reverse Automatic Braking is now added to the EyeSight suite. This tech senses people or large objects, using four sonar sensors in the rear bumper cover, to avoid collisions, when the driver is reversing slowly. The system can even automatically stop the vehicle if the driver gives no indication of stopping.

Subaru has also made High Beam Assist available with EyeSight, for improved night driving, as well as Steering Responsive Headlights. Both are available on EyeSight-equipped 2.5i Limited and Touring and 2.0XT Touring models.

The Forester’s Sleek Exterior

Subaru made several enhancements to the exterior for the 2017 Forester model. Among the updates are a new hexagonal grille, a body color matching rear spoiler now standard on Premium (previously standard on just Limited, Touring, and XT Premium), and a refined front bumper cover. Subaru also redesigned the headlights, now with a C-shaped motif and a black inner bezel. The rear combo lights also get that C-shape with LED illumination.

Exclusive on Touring models is a new exterior color: Sepia Bronze Metallic. The 2.5i Premium model makes a power liftgate standard. The Forester also offers new aluminum wheel designs for various trims, with high-contrast black and machined finish. The 2.5i Premium and Limited will sit on 17-inch versions while 2.0XT models will ride on 18-inchers.

Tech and Comfort for the 2017 Forester Interior

There’s just one word to describe the 2017 Subaru Forester interior: quiet. Subaru has done a lot of tinkering to make the driving experience even quieter for the Forester. Soundproofing updates include thicker door glass, restructured door seals, underfloor insulation, and an acoustic windshield.

All models also benefit from an updated steering wheel design with intuitive audio, Bluetooth, and cruise control switches. All models in the 2017 lineup, including the Forester, get the STARLINK infotainment system as well.

The Touring models receive a heated steering wheel, Keyless Access with Push-Button Start, and a Saddle Brown perforated leather-trimmed upholstery option with contrast stitching. This comes with matching brown leather for the center console storage box lid, the door panels, and more.

Finally, standard across multiple trims are automatic climate control, two-position memory seats, and automatic up/down front windows.

The 2017 Subaru Forester will begin arriving at dealerships nationwide in July.


Tim Shults likes to play golf and spend time with his four daughters.