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2017 Subaru Forester Delivers Enhanced Driving Performance, Packs Revised Styling

The 2017 Subaru Forester brings with it a tonne of refinements and enhancements including revised styling, new driver assist technology, more interior comfort, enhanced driving performance, and better fuel economy to name a few.

If we talk about a few updates, the 2017 Forester has been blessed with Subaru’s highly-rated EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, incorporating color cameras that provide a wider, longer field of vision. The revised system also includes Lane Keep Assist, which can gently guide the vehicle back to the center of its lane if sway is detected. All Forester Limited and Touring models now include Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, which warn of potential danger from a vehicle entering the driver’s blind spot or approaching from either side when backing up. Premium models equipped with EyeSight also get Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

For added night time visibility, newly available High Beam Assist works in conjunction with the EyeSight driver assist system and automatically switches the headlights between the high and low settings based on driving conditions. Also new for driver assistance at night is Steering Responsive Headlights which aims the headlight beams in the direction of vehicle travel to provide improved illumination around curves. Both features are standard on all 2.5i Limited, 2.5i Touring and 2.0XT Touring models equipped with EyeSight.

With a goal of “all-around safety,” 2017 Limited and Touring models equipped with EyeSight include Reverse Automatic Braking. This new preventative safety technology is designed to assist the driver by detecting large objects and to help avoid a possible collision when the vehicle is moving in a low speed reverse direction. The system uses four ultrasonic sonar sensors located in the rear bumper cover, and can automatically stop the vehicle if the driver does not respond.

Refined Design

The exterior of the 2017 Forester receives several updates including a refined front bumper cover for naturally aspirated models and a new hexagonal grille. The redesigned headlights have a sleeker look with Subaru’s signature C-shaped motif and a black inner bezel, while the rear combination lights also feature a prominent C shape with LED illumination. Combined, these new styling and lighting elements provide excellent forward visibility along with a more robust and distinctive look. To further enhance the style, a body color matching rear spoiler is now standard on all Premium models in addition to the previously equipped Limited, Touring and XT Premium models. Exclusive to the 2017 Touring models is Sepia Bronze Metallic exterior color.

Inside, the revised Forester Touring offers an all-new Saddle Brown perforated leather-trimmed upholstery option with contrast stitching on Touring trim levels. This exclusive choice also brings matching brown leather trim to the door panels, center console storage box lid and other interior details. All 2017 Forester models now feature an updated steering wheel design with intuitive audio, Bluetooth and cruise control switches.

Two new aluminum alloy wheel designs have been added to certain trims, each featuring a high-contrast black and machined finish. The new 17-in wheels are standard on 2.5i Premium and Limited models, while the new 18-in wheel design is standard on 2.0XT trims.

Convenience and Comfort

The 2017 Forester offers new features and added soundproofing to provide a more comfortable experience for drivers and passengers. Thicker door glass and restructured door seals reduce wind noise, while added underfloor insulation and an acoustic windshield contribute further sound deadening to create a quieter, more refined interior. A heated steering wheel – a first for the Forester line – is now standard on 2.5i Touring and 2.0XT Touring models, as well as Keyless Access with Push-Button Start. Additional convenience features such as two-position memory seats, auto up/down on both driver and front passenger windows, and automatic climate control are now standard across multiple trims, and a power liftgate is now offered on the 2.5i Premium model.

Performance and Handling

The 2017 Subaru Forester builds on the reputation for responsible engineering, sure-footedness and all-conditions performance firmly established by the previous-generation models. Revisions to the powertrain resulted in improved to fuel economy for 2.5i CVT models which now achieves EPA fuel economy rating of 26 MPG city / 32 MPG highway / 28 mpg combined versus 24 city / 32 highway / 27 combined for the outgoing model.

Active Torque Vectoring, first introduced on the WRX and WRX STI, is now standard on Forester 2.0XT Touring models with EyeSight. The fuel economy for the Forester 2.0XT remains at 23 city/ 28 highway / 25 combined. The system helps reduce understeer and keeps the vehicle on the driver’s intended cornering path. A quicker gear ratio in the steering gives the new Forester better handling and response to driver inputs, while Subaru’s X-Mode traction assist system is now standard on all Premium, Limited and Touring models with CVT and incorporates Hill Descent Control.

Standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive with Off-Pavement Control Systems

The 2017 Forester line offers two versions of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, each of which continuously powers all four wheels and can transfer more torque to the wheels with the best grip. Both versions integrate Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) to further enhance all-weather stability and traction but do not rely on VDC to distribute torque.

In Forester models with the Lineartronic CVT, an electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch – proprietary Subaru technology — actively manages torque distribution based on acceleration, deceleration, cornering and available traction. This Active All-Wheel Drive system automatically transfers more torque to the wheels with the best grip should slippage occur. Taking input signals for steering wheel angle, yaw rate, and lateral acceleration from the VDC system, Active AWD responds to the vehicle’s slip angle when turning. The gear ratio in the CVT has been updated to optimize engine control resolving in a smoother, more linear acceleration.

In all Forester Premium, Limited, and Touring models with CVT, driver-selectable X-Mode engages to optimize control of the engine, transmission shift pattern, Active AWD front/rear clutch force, brakes, VDC and other critical systems to provide better wheel control on slippery surfaces and steep inclines.

Models and Equipment

The 2017 Forester 2.5i is available in base, Premium, Limited and Touring trims and is powered by a 170-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder BOXER engine. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard for the 2.5i and 2.5i Premium, with optional CVT.

The Forester 2.0XT is available in the Premium and Touring trims and powered by a 250-hp 2.0-liter intercooled, turbocharged 4-cylinder BOXER engine. All 2017 Forester models come standard with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, a distinction from competitive models that come with front-wheel drive as standard and offer all-wheel drive as an extra-cost option.

Subaru has continued advancing the outstanding features of this model line with safety, comfort, durability and drivability as the top priorities. The 2017 Forester will begin arriving at retailers in early July.

STARLINK Multimedia Systems

All Forester trim lines for 2017 feature SUBARU STARLINK™ Multimedia systems that provide hands-free connectivity and entertainment services. The in-vehicle platform provides owners with more sources of entertainment and information through seamless smartphone integration.

For 2017 The Forester 2.5i base model features the STARLINK 6.2” Multimedia system with a 6.2-inch single-touch gesture display and the Premium, Limited and Touring trims have a standard STARLINK 7.0” Multimedia Plus system with a high-resolution 7-inch LCD screen. In addition, STARLINK 7.0” Multimedia includes Bluetooth hands-free SMS text messaging and dual USB ports and adds SiriusXM Travel Link. The optional STARLINK 7.0” Multimedia Navigation system features voice-activated controls and comes with three years of complimentary map updates as well as a 3-year subscription to SiriusXM Traffic and SiriusXM Travel Link along with four months of SiriusXM All Access audio service.

David Lintott is a freelance journalist, covering culture, sport and society. He hails from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, which he considers the source of his world-weariness.

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