It's time for the Subaru Forester to receive an update. Truth be told, the fifth-generation model isn't old by any means. It debuted in 2018 as a 2019 model, but alas, things move very fast in the SUV realm and to keep things fresh, Subaru has a new Forester face coming for the 2022 model year.

These fresh spy photos give us our first look at the updated model, and as you can see, there won't be many changes. Virtually everything happens at the front, where a new grille, fascia, and headlamps will take centre stage. The camouflage does its job well, as it's difficult to discern exactly what the changes are. We can see the grille adopts a mesh pattern, and the broad split bisecting the Subaru oval suggests the hood is slightly different as well. It's possible the Forester's large chrome bar surrounding the logo could shrink or even disappear for this update.

Gallery: 2022 Subaru Forester Refresh Spy Photos

Looking close at the front, we don't expect the headlights to shrink despite the smaller-is-better trend from other automakers. The overall layout appears quite similar though some minor stylistic changes should set them apart from the current model. We're expecting new LED driving lamps lower in the fascia, and moving further back, we don't think the camo wrap on the side is a trick. The new Forester could wear wider plastic trim to give the SUV a bulkier, more rugged appearance. At the back, there isn't a stitch of camouflage because we don't see a single change compared to the present-day offering.

We don't have any word on interior changes. With the fifth-generation model still being relatively fresh, significant updates are unlikely. It's possible some minor tweaks to trim could be offered along with some tech improvements, but the greenhouse will likely look pretty much identical to what's available now. Same goes for the powertrain, which currently includes a 2.5-litre boxer-four connected to a CVT. There are whisperings that a 1.8-litre turbocharged mill could enter the scene, however.

With this being our first sighting, an official debut isn't around the corner. We expect Subaru to remove the Forester's wrap around the middle of 2021, just in time for 2022 models to reach dealership lots.