2023 Subaru Forester SUV gets new hybrid and safety tech

Subaru has updated its family SUV for 2023 to keep it in-line with rivals such as the Ford Kuga

2023 Subaru Forester - front
  • More safety technology as standard
  • 48-volt mild-hybrid petrol engine
  • On sale now from £37,895

A revised version of the Subaru Forester SUV is now on sale in the UK, with prices starting at £37,895. Coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the Forester nameplate, the model updated for 2023 brings enhanced safety technology, a tweaked exterior design and mild-hybrid power for improved efficiency.

Top 10 best mid-size SUVs 2023Top 10 best mid-size SUVs 2024

The updated Subaru Forester finds itself in a massively overpopulated segment, with strong rivals such as the Ford Kuga, Mazda CX-5 and Volkswagen Tiguan – not to mention the UK’s best-selling car, the Nissan Qashqai and Carbuyer’s Best Family Car for 2023, the Hyundai Tucson.

From the outside, the changes for this updated model remain subtle, with a revised grille and a redesigned set of LED headlights. Buyers now also have the choice of a wider range of paint colours, including Cascade Green Silica – as shown in the press photos – as well as Brilliant Bronze Metallic and Autumn Green Metallic.

Perhaps the greatest change, however, is the implementation of Subaru’s latest ‘EyeSight’ suite of driver aids. This utilises an array of additional sensors scattered around the car to provide automatic emergency steering, lane-keep assist and adaptive cruise control. The autonomous emergency braking system has also been improved to help prevent crashes at junctions.

2023 Subaru Forester - interior

Furthermore, Subaru has updated its driver-monitoring system, which now monitors if you’re paying attention to the road when the car’s driver assistance features are in use. A new gesture control function allows you to adjust settings such as the climate controls simply by waving your hand.

Other improvements to the Forester’s mechanicals include redesigned front suspension for a more comfortable ride and the implementation of Subaru’s e-Active Shift Control system, which can detect if you’re on a twisty road and adjust the gear ratios for a sportier drive. 

While there is no self-charging or plug-in hybrid model to tempt company car drivers away from the likes of the Kia Sportage, the Forester’s 2.0-litre petrol engine now benefits from mild-hybrid assistance to improve fuel economy. Although, given it comes as standard with four-wheel-drive and an automatic gearbox, Subaru’s SUV is only able to manage around 35mpg on the combined WLTP test cycle.

2023 Subaru Forester - rear

Speaking of things that come as standard, buyers can choose from one of three main trim levels: XE, Sport and XE Premium. Despite being the base model, the £37,895 XE comes with plenty of standard equipment including LED headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, heated electric front seats, keyless entry, a seven-inch touchscreen, a 6.3-inch part-digital instrument cluster and a reversing camera – as well as the aforementioned host of driver aids.

For around an extra £2,000, Sport trim adds red or orange exterior and interior accents, larger 18-inch gloss black alloy wheels, sat-nav and a powered bootlid. Finally, the range-topping XE Premium starts from £40,895 and boasts 18-inch diamond-cut alloys, leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof and heated rear seats.

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