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Subaru Updates 2017 Forester's Styling, Safety Features

img1326274079 1460660455206 jpg 2017 Subaru Forester | Manufacturer image

CARS.COM — The Subaru Forester returns for 2017 with a host of updates that could help address some the previous model’s shortcomings. The compact SUV gets tweaked exterior and interior styling, new driver assist technology and improved fuel economy.

Related: Research the Subaru Forester

Exterior styling changes include a revised front bumper cover and a new hexagonal grille, as well as redesigned headlights. The headlights have a sleeker appearance and Subaru’s C-shaped motif, which also appears in the LED taillights. Premium-trim models now get a body-colored rear spoiler previously only on upper trim levels.

Trim levels carry over and include 2.5i base, Premium, Limited and Touring, and 2.0XT Premium and Touring.

Touring models are available for 2017 with an exclusive Sepia Bronze Metallic paintjob. Restyled 17- and 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels with a high-contrast black and machined finish are available on 2.5i Premium and Limited models, and 2.0XT models, respectively.

Inside the cabin are a number of upgrades that could improve an interior feel reviewer Bill Jackson called “drab” in his review of the 2016 model. Subaru promises a quieter cabin courtesy of beefed-up soundproofing such as thicker door glass, restructured door seals, additional under-floor insulation and an acoustic windshield.

All Forester trims also get an updated steering wheel design with stereo, Bluetooth and cruise control switches. A Forester-first heated steering wheel is now standard on Touring models along with keyless entry and push-button start. Touring versions offer new perforated Saddle Brown leather-trimmed upholstery with contrasting stitching, as well as matching brown leather-covered door panels and center console lid. In addition, a power liftgate is now available on the 2.5i, while memory seats and automatic climate control are standard across multiple trims.

Powertrains carry over, but Subaru says revisions have improved fuel economy slightly. Forester 2.5i models with a continuously variable automatic transmission now are estimated to get 26/32/28 mpg city/highway/combined compared with the outgoing version’s 24/32/27 mpg. In addition, Subaru says its Active Torque Vectoring system, now available on 2.0XT Touring models with the EyeSight system, will improve handling and responsiveness. Moreover, the X-Mode traction assist system is now standard on Premium, Limited and Touring models with the CVT.

Driver assist technology upgrades include an updated version of Subaru’s EyeSight forward collision avoidance system, which now has color cameras that provide a greater field of vision, as well as lane keeping assist. Limited and Touring models come standard with blind spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert, as do Premium models equipped with EyeSight. Adaptive headlights with automatic high beams are standard on 2.5i Limited and Touring, and 2.0XT Touring models with EyeSight. Limited and Touring models also include reverse automatic braking, which detects large objects and stops the vehicle if the driver fails to react.

The 2017 Forester is set to hit dealerships in early July. A Subaru spokesman said pricing won’t be announced until next month; the outgoing model starts at $23,245 and ranges up to $34,645, including an $850 destination charge.

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Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Matt Schmitz is a veteran Chicago journalist indulging his curiosity for all things auto while helping to inform car shoppers. Email Matt Schmitz

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