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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

2022 Subaru Forester Gets High-Tech Headlights, Gesture Controls


Last June, Subaru showed off the 2022 Forester compact SUV two months before its official on-sale date in Japan. Now that it’s at showrooms there, the carmaker has revealed even more details on the changes they’ve made.

For starters, there’s the new exterior design. Incorporating its new “BOLDER” design language with the current Forester’s “Dynamic x Solid,” the 2022 update is made more SUV-like in its appearance. The most notable changes are, of course, things like the re-shaped bumpers, headlights, grille, and 18-inch wheels. But Subaru says the roof rail with “rope holes” is new and is made standard across all grades. Three new colors, Cascade Green Silica, Autumn Green Metallic, and Brilliant Bronze Metallic join the line-up as well.



The new headlight design also means Subaru is ditching its Steering Responsive Headlight (SRH) for an array-type driving beam. Instead of a motor that swivels the driving beam based on steering wheel movement, the new headlight assembly contains multiple LEDs which the improved EyeSight system (more on that later) can turn on and off individually.

Under the hood, the 2022 Forester remains unchanged. In Japan, it’s offered in either hybrid or turbocharged flavors. The 2.0-liter e-BOXER pairs an Atkinson-cycle 145 horsepower, 188 Nm of torque flat-4 with a 13.6 horsepower, 6.6 Nm of torque electric motor. Meanwhile, the 1.8-liter DIT produces 177 horsepower and 300 Nm of torque. Both versions continue to be mated to a Lineartronic CVT, but both get e-active shift control (aka pre-determined shift points) tied into the Subaru SI-Drive for a sportier driving experience.



So, while the drivetrain has been carried over, engineers did change the suspension system. Like the refreshed Subaru XV, the 2022 Forester benefits from tweaked under chassis bits for a better ride and added handling precision. Ground clearance remains a commendable 220 mm, while approach, breakover, and departure angles are set at 21.4 degrees, 21.1 degrees, and 25.8 degrees respectively. Adding to its off-road prowess, the X-MODE system has been enhanced with a dual mode setting adding Deep Snow/Mud to the usual Snow/Dirt.

Depending on the exact grade, the 2022 Forester is offered with one of three seating materials: waterproof polyurethane, genuine nappa leather, or ultrasuede seating. Even more impressive, Subaru has upgraded the Driver Monitoring System. Using both infrared and a driver-facing camera, this has unlocked gesture controls in the compact SUV ala BMW. The rearview mirror has also been changed to a camera-based setup, similar to the Evoltis. This gives the driver an unobstructed view of the road behind even if the car’s filled to the brim with people or luggage. New cargo hooks add functionality.



The 2022 Forester also comes with next-generation EyeSight. It has a wider field of vision and together with a software improvement, offers safer driving on a wider range of situations including at intersections. Subaru says the technology has helped reduce rear-end collisions by as much as 84 percent compared to non-EyeSight equipped vehicles.

The refreshed 2022 Forester is now out in Japan, where they’re targeting to sell about 2,200 of them monthly. While here’s hoping that it will arrive in the Philippines within the year, this model is not part of Motor Image Pilipinas’s vehicle roll out plan which they revealed late last year.

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