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New Subaru Forester XT-Edition Is All About AWD, Lacks Infotainment System

Subaru is celebrating 50 years of all-wheel drive in its home market of Japan with the introduction of the new Forester XT-Edition. Unveiled today (December 22), the SUV is already on sale locally, and features subtle changes, some of which will come in handy when leaving paved roads.
2023 Subaru Forester XT-Edition 21 photos
Photo: Subaru
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Building on the Sport grade of the local Forester, the new XT-Edition is offered in Geyser Blue in a premiere for the Land of the Rising Sun. This hue was sourced from the North American variant, and it joins the black, white, and gray exterior colors.

Further setting it apart from the rest of the family are the black accents on the grille, roof rails, roof-mounted spoiler, rear garnish, and on other parts. The emblem at the front has dark plating, and the side mirror caps a geometric texture. The front fog lamp covers sport a black look, and the wheels, which measure 18 inches in diagonal, were finished in a dark metallic paint.

Water-repellent fabric and synthetic leather upholstery in black, stitched together with silver string, can be found in the cabin, alongside the water-repellent cargo floorboard that makes cleaning easier after hauling certain items, like snowboards. There is LED illumination in the trunk and in the cabin, blaze gun metallic trim on the air vents and door handles, and aluminum-like and leather-wrapped center tray decoration.

In case you missed it from the pictures, although we did mention it in the title, the 2023 Subaru Forester XT-Edition doesn’t feature an infotainment system. That is kind of odd in a modern-day vehicle, especially one that comes to life in Japan, and in Thailand for that matter, and instead of the central screen, it has a small shelf for storing tiny stuff. On the plus side, the automaker has equipped it with the EyeSight Safety Plus driving assistance gear, and they have added a digital rearview mirror to the list of standard gear.

Power-wise, you are looking at the same 1.8-liter four-cylinder gasoline unit. The engine develops 175 hp (177 ps / 131 kW) and 221 lb-ft (300 Nm) of torque, working in concert with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that transmits everything to the all-wheel drive system.

Subaru has started accepting orders for the new Forester XT-Edition in Japan, and they are asking a minimum of 3,355,000 yen for it, including the 10% consumption tax, which equals to $25,400 at today’s exchange rates. There is no word about a possible expansion outside the Land of the Rising Sun yet, therefore we cannot tell you whether the new special edition model will eventually make its way to the United States or not. In our market, the 2023 Forester has an MSRP of $26,395.
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Editor's note: Press release translated from Japanese using Google Translate.

press release
About the author: Cristian Gnaticov
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After a series of unfortunate events put an end to Cristian's dream of entering a custom built & tuned old-school Dacia into a rally competition, he moved on to drive press cars and write for a living. He's worked for several automotive online journals and now he's back at autoevolution after his first tour in the mid-2000s.
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