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Shortly after it was leaked, Subaru has unveiled the heavily updated 2024 Forester.
Shown at the LA Auto Show in left-hand drive guise, the Forester has received a major aesthetic overhaul, new cabin tech, and promised upgrades to ride comfort and performance.
The exterior design shows a new direction for the Forester, clearly following in the footsteps of the WRX with chunky wheel arches and plenty of plastic claddings accentuating its ride height. A new face debuts, looking more like the US-market Ascent large SUV than other cars in the brand’s line-up.
Additional new light-fittings appear at the rear, with a contemporary ‘Forester’ imprint across the tailgate. The brand says the aesthetic upgrades are also functional, with “aerodynamic improvements” to enhance the SUVs performance and stability. 16- or 17-inch wheels will be offered in the US-market, depending on variant.
Inside, the mid-size SUV receives the same 11.6-inch portrait multimedia system as appears in the rest of the Subaru range now with wireless phone mirroring and a cleaner overall look than its predecessor. Subaru says “textured trim pieces are intelligently designed to avoid visible damage from daily use. A dark headliner also hides scuffs from loading/unloading passengers and cargo. Strategically designed pillars and generous glass area ensure an excellent all-around view from the inside” adding to the Forester’s family-ready credentials.
Those hoping for a performance upgrade this time around may be disappointed, as the new Forester is set to carryover its 2.5-litre four-cylinder boxer engine (136kW/239Nm) and CVT auto from the current car. Subaru promises “smoother, quieter performance” this time around. The new Forester also gets an upgraded dual-pinion steering rack from the WRX, said to make the steering more responsive. The 'SGP' chassis which also underpins the whole Subaru range is said to be 10 per cent stiffer in the new Forester to improve dynamics.
Interestingly, there is not yet any mention of the hybrid variant, which is tipped to be upgraded for the new model with technology sourced from Toyota. Nor is there mention of the XT turbocharged powertrain currently available on the Outback.
Elsewhere, the new Forester debuts a kick-operated electric tailgate, new seat designs, utility hooks in the cargo area, and the multimedia will receive a connected services suite, at least in the US market.
The brand’s signature 'EyeSight' stereo camera active safety set-up has also been upgraded to the latest version, now with improved field of view, updated control software, an electric brake booster, and upgraded cyclist and pedestrian detection. There is also an emergency stop assist function if the driver becomes unresponsive, and a driver monitoring system. Like other recent Subarus, a 360-degree camera will be available on some variants.
Pricing for the new Forester is yet to be determined, even overseas, but it would not be surprising to see a price-hike over the current generation SUV, which currently sits between $38,690 and $50,140, before on-road costs.
In a statement sent to CarsGuide Subaru’s Australian division said, “We’re incredibly excited about the global reveal of the next-generation Subaru Forester and we look forward to sharing more information about this model for the Australian market in due course.”