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The 2020 Subaru Forester Shines Bright While All-New Outback Drops Like A Rock

What is the better Subaru model Forester or Outback? The 2020 Subaru Forester continues to be the brand’s hottest model. See what happened to the newly redesigned 2020 Outback wagon.

The 2020 Subaru Forester was completely remodeled last year, but the compact SUV in its second year is selling better now than ever. The Forester had its best June ever in its history, up 32.1 percent, and leads the stable of all-wheel-drive vehicles as Subaru of America’s best-selling model.

Even with the downturn because of the COVID-19 global pandemic, Forester shines bright with 19,490 units delivered to customers in June compared with 14,753 the previous year when the economy was strong. Customers are snatching up the all-wheel-drive Forester as fast as Subaru can build them.

2020 Subaru Forester

The 2020 Subaru Outback wagon was SOA’s best selling model until this year when Forester took off like a rocket. In June, the Outback wagon dropped even more, down 41.5 percent over the same period last year. Subaru delivered 10,250 Outbacks to customers last month, compared with 17,505 the previous year.

The 2020 Outback is all-new and has new upgrades and a new turbocharged engine for the 2020 model change. But the new Outback surprisingly dropped the most of any model last month. Subaru has sold 85,860 Forester SUVs year to date compared with Outback’s 62,305 in 2020.

2020 Subaru Forester

What Subaru is doing with the Forester is nothing short of amazing. They dropped the popular Forester XT turbocharged model and instead of hurting sales, Forester with one engine option is more popular than ever.

The Subaru brand has positioned itself well with an all-wheel-drive lineup of SUVs that people can depend on. They are well-priced, offer excellent fuel mileage, and offer good value.

Subaru only declined 12 percent in June when many automakers like Nissan dropped 49.5 percent, Hyundai fell 22 percent, Honda is down 15.5 percent, Volkswagen declined 29 percent, and FCA dropped 39 percent.

Unfortunately, Torque News won’t be able to bring you monthly updates on Subaru sales after this month. Subaru is joining the ranks of many other automakers and has announced they will begin reporting sales results quarterly instead of monthly.

Subaru of America will release third-quarter sales on October 1, 2020. Look for future editions of Torque News for more information on the 2020 Subaru Forester compact SUV.

You Might Also Like: The New Subaru Forester, Outback, And Crosstrek Are Both An SUV And A Lifestyle Choice

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press and the founder of Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Subaru


Russell Casey (not verified)    July 2, 2020 - 8:01AM

This article is so misleading. No mention that Subaru had a low inventory of Outbacks at the start of the pandemic and the Indiana factory that makes Outbacks was shut down for several weeks while Foresters were still being made in Japan. You cannot sell what you do not have. I tried to buy an Outback Touring or XT Touring in blue. Very few available even now.

Harry VanRiper (not verified)    July 3, 2020 - 8:34AM

In reply to by Russell Casey (not verified)

We bought a 2020 Outback limited. It is our 5th
Outback. It is the best outback by far. It has face recognition that sets seat, mirrors, and music for each driver. It is soooooo quiet. Love it !!!!!

Rob Gardner (not verified)    July 3, 2020 - 5:46PM

In reply to by Russell Casey (not verified)

It’s basically a choice between the Forester, an SUV, versus the outback, which is a station wagon.
I think the Forester is the better choice and has lots more headroom! The cargo area of the outback is very low and my golden retriever can’t even sit in it properly. So it was an easy choice for me!

Terrence Bennett (not verified)    July 3, 2020 - 9:33PM

In reply to by Rob Gardner (not verified)

The Forester is not a real SUV. It's a raised, Impreza wagon with a boxy profile. Since it's based on the Impreza, it is smaller and offers less useable space. With that said, for my needs, the Forester would be a better vehicle to park next to my 2018 WRX.

Dakota Morgan (not verified)    July 2, 2020 - 9:13AM

This article is a joke..... This is profesional journalism? Even people who don't have "30 years experience in the auto industry" like this guy know that the american plants were shut down for 2 months. The Outback was Subarus #1 seller previous to the shut down, and the Indiana plant could not keep up with normal demand. The much larger Japanese plant produces the Forester.... Inventory on the Forester typically is much better at all times. With the shut down, it is pretty obvious Outback sales would tank further than other models. Foolish article.

alan mohn (not verified)    July 2, 2020 - 9:18PM

Last October I went to a Subaru dealer to buy a Outback and drove away in a Forester. The main reason was the infotainment center in the Outback. Every thing is tied to it and you have to take your eyes off the road for too long. I thought it was unsafe. A second reason was that when I asked the dealer how long Subaru was going to support this new dash tablet with replacements or upgrades he did not have an answer. If it goes out, your stuck if you do not have an extended warrantee. The new Outback may be Subaru's first disposable car.

Jarod (not verified)    July 3, 2020 - 10:53PM

In reply to by alan mohn (not verified)

Same outcome for me. Bought my new 2020 Forester Touring 2 weeks ago (I'm one of those June buyers). I love it. Before buying I took an Outback overnight to get a feel for it and the infotainment was a dealbreaker. It's a beautiful display and all, but having the A/C controls in the infotainment was awful. Tiny buttons to adjust the fan speed. You have to tap and then drag up or down to adjust the climate temp. It's all too distracting. Forester was physical controls and that made it such an easy choice. Forester interior height also made more sense for my dog to be comfortable with his head out the window. But I did want the Outback so we could car camp in a pinch.

Only complaints with the Forester are the volume notification when you change the volume. It takes over the screen and I have no idea why they made that choice. Who cares was number the volume is at? I want it louder or quieter and that's it; the number is irrelevant so don't show it to me (hoping for an update fix). Also wish I could get the auto start/stop to default to off. Oh, and I'd love to have the Ascent engine in the Forester. But I absolutely love my very first Subaru!

Jay (not verified)    July 3, 2020 - 2:02AM

I tried to buy a tungsten metallic outback limited xt for several months and they can't keep them on the lot and they're still not available. I finally gave up and bought something else.

Michael Jessick (not verified)    July 3, 2020 - 2:14AM

I'm an owner of a 2020 Outback XT onyx edition and think this vehicle is the best auto that I have owned. I'll be turning 70 this month and retired as marketing director for many American and foreign brands. Having the knowledge of quite a few brands made my decision easier with a test drive. Clearly this caught my eye and after extensive dealer info. I made the purchase and proceeded to take a 4000 mile trip up and down.the west coast. I don't think the car will ever see as much rain again. With all the safety features the Outback handled rain, snow and ice with no problem. Greatly impressed with the Subaru outback XT.
Thanks again Subaru for making a great vehicle.

Pat jaske (not verified)    July 3, 2020 - 9:51AM

Not sure what this article all means.....but we are multiple owners of Forester and white....his and hers.....had the 2018 base Forester.....loved we .....husband and Honda crv or Honda civic.....we LOVE our Forester sports.....thx

WILLIAM E FERREIRA (not verified)    July 3, 2020 - 2:15PM

I'm old enough to remember the US car manufacturer design mantra of the 50's to 90's: bigger on the outside while smaller on the inside. This is the new Outback which is smaller than the Forester on the inside with 8" (20 cm) of plastic wrapped air on the outside.