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Subaru's Japanese-market Forester gets a facelift, but will we see it in the US?

We couldn't get an answer from Subaru, but we have some pretty strong guesses.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
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Subaru's Forester SUV got a bit of a facelift in the Japanese market, but will we see it in the States?

Subaru

It's been three whole years since debuted its fifth-generation SUV, and now it's getting a little bit of a facelift -- in Japan, that is. Subaru's Japanese press division announced the changes on Monday.

Overall, the aesthetic changes aren't massive, which is about what we'd expect from a midcycle refresh, but they aren't bad either. The most significant change is to the headlights, which get pointier and more aggressive, while the grille simply grows in size and prominence.

The changes aren't all visual, though. Subaru confirms that there is a new version of its EyeSight driver-assistance suite that uses forward-facing cameras with a wider field of view than in previous iterations.

The new Forester will be available in four trim levels in its Japanese home market -- Touring, X-Break, Advance and Sport. The first three of those get Subaru's 2.0-liter naturally aspirated e-Boxer Hybrid powertrain with an updated CVT that uses something called "E-Active Shift Control." 

The Sport trim gets a 1.8-liter turbocharged flat-four which is indeed sportier, but it too is saddled with a CVT transmission. This drivetrain is the same one used in the Subaru Levorg, which we know better as the Legacy.

We asked Subaru if this Japanese facelift would make its way to the US and other markets, but its representatives declined to comment on future products. Still, we'd be shocked if we didn't see this refresh for the next model year here.

The 2020 Subaru Forester is pragmatic if not passionate

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