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Subaru updates its Forester e-BOXER SUV

Subaru’s no-nonsense Forester e-BOXER SUV has been given a facelift for 2022.

And the Japanese firm has also taken a ‘no-nonsense’ approach to the upgrade, too, keeping the powertrain the same but introducing more ‘rugged’ styling while making improvements to both driver safety and ride quality.

The Forester first made its debut way back in 1997, and has carved out a niche as a rough ‘n’ tough, go-anywhere SUV that’s often used as an agricultural workhorse.

The ‘e-BOXER’ name refers to the Forester’s mild-hybrid powertrain, which marries a 2.0-litre horizontally opposed four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor and an all-wheel-drive system.

That engine, which offers power of 148 bhp and 194 Nm of torque, hasn’t been tinkered with and remains the same as 2021 Foresters.

But what has changed is the way the power is delivered, thanks to some tinkering with the transmission that results in ‘a smoother, 30% more linear, responsive acceleration and a highly responsive torque’.

A Subaru spokesperson explains: 

“The Subaru e-BOXER system adjusts the power-split ratio between the dedicated 2.0-litre direct-injection (DI) engine and the electric motor to match the driving condition, changing between 3 driving modes: Engine driving, EV driving, and Motor Assist driving. From standstill, or at low speed, the electric motor alone powers the vehicle, for a quiet and zero-emission driving. At medium speeds, power combined both from the motor and the engine give a responsive, linear and fuel-efficient acceleration, while at high-speed the 2.0L Boxer engine powers the vehicle while recharging the battery.

What has also changed for 2022 is the Forester’s ‘EyeSight Driver Assist Technology’. Long story short, you now get more function as standard compared with the old software.

That includes Automatic Emergency Steering, Adaptive Cruise control with Lane Centering, and Lane Departure Prevention that recognises ‘dividing lines’ such as grass or the road edge.

The Pre-Collision Braking System now offers expanded support for collision avoidance at junctions.

Meanwhile the Driver Monitoring System - which recognises if the driver is about to nod off at wheel, among other things - has also been enhanced to include gesture control allowing the driver to raise and lower the set temperature of the automatic climate control system through the simple wave of a hand.

Subaru promises ‘superior handling and stability, improved hazard avoidance performance, more responsive steering, and exceptionally low vibrations’ from its new Forester, while adding that the improved coil springs and dampers of the front and rear suspension provide a more refined ride comfort and better agility. 

A spokesperson adds: 

“The latest Forester continues the model’s tradition of offering a car-like ride and handling with the capability of an SUV. Standard (permanent) symmetrical full-time all-wheel drive (S-AWD), a trademark of Subaru’s vehicles, provides all-weather confidence and capability, while standard active torque vectoring offers improved handling and cornering performance.”

Styling wise, there’s a redesigned front fascia, grille, headlights and fog light covers, in order to make it look even more like it’s about to do a day’s graft.

And don’t forget that the Forester has both a towing capacity of 1,870 kg and a generous 509 litres of room in the boot, with the back seat up.

As an alternative to SUVs like the Toyota RAV4 or the Mitsubishi Outlander, the Forester e-BOXER still packs a punch.

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