Published on June 30th, 2022 | by Subhash Nair


Facelifted 5th Gen Subaru Forester STI Sport Teased

The new Subaru Forester STI Sport comes to Japan only. Don’t expect it here.

Many Malaysian Subaru Forester fans are patiently awaiting the arrival of the 5th generation facelift from Thailand. Meanwhile, in Japan, the same car has been given a minor STI treatment in the form of the 2023 Subaru Forester STI Sport.

Subaru Forester STI Sport from the front

Yes, this will be an exclusive to the Japanese Domestic Market only and no, this is not just a set of new bumpers and wheels. Subaru Tecnica International Inc actually put in a bit of engineering work into making something with measurably improved performance. But we should actually get the aesthetic changes out of the way, since they’re the most obvious.

The first thing to note of are the new exterior accents. These are the large black pieces around the fog lights, side sills and bumpers. There are also STI badges front and back to ensure people know that you’re in something a little elevated over the standard fare. Also present are 18″ dark grey finished wheels. These are wrapped in 225/55R18 all season tyres. Colour options for this version are Crystal White Pearl, Magnetite Grey Metallic, Ice Silver Metallic, and Crystal Black Silica.

Besides exterior changes, there are also some tweaks to the interior of the Subaru Forester STI Sport. This car comes with two tone nappa leather upholstery in black and Bordeaux red.

There’s also red contrast stitching. There are also red accents on the instrument cluster gauges and STI branding on the tachometer and on the headrests.

Now on to the good stuff. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of it. All that STI has done is to give it revised dampers. The STI-touched suspension should make it a more dynamic vehicle in the corners. However, this Forester variant is only available with a CVT transmission! Thankfully, it still gets the 1.8-litre tubocharged boxer 4 that produces a respectable 175hp and 300Nm of torque. And being a Subaru, power goes to all four wheels.

Do you think the grey market will be bringing in one or two units of these? We have our doubts. This isn’t a sporty WRX STI model, so it won’t have very high demand amongst enthusiasts. Most will see it as a sort of ‘M Sport’ kit for the standard Forester with the 1.8 turbo.

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Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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