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2022 Subaru Forester Preview - Upgrades And A New Model But What About A Turbo?

The 2022 Subaru Forester has been delayed, but here are the model changes coming this year. Will Forester finally get a turbocharged engine?


When will the 2022 Subaru Forester arrive at retailers in the U.S.? The 2022 Subaru Forester has been delayed because of plant closures in Japan where it is manufactured, but it's coming sometime this summer. The fifth-generation Subaru Forester is in its fourth year of the compact SUVs model life cycle. It's when the most prominent design, drivetrain, and safety changes happen.

Subaru will give the 2022 Forester compact SUV a "refresh" with some exterior and interior modifications to upgrade its appearance, but will the Forester get a turbocharged engine upgrade?

2022 Subaru Forester, Forester Wilderness

Subaru has been slow to change the current generation Forester because it's selling better than all other models. The Forester is the hottest model in the lineup, outselling the Outback SUV, so the automaker doesn't need to make changes.

So far this year, the 2021 Subaru Forester has been nothing but sensational for the Camden, N.J. automaker. Subaru of America delivered a record 19,452 Forester SUVs last month, its best April ever. Subaru's next best-selling model, the Outback, took a step back when it was a top model in 2019.

2022 Subaru Forester, Forester Wilderness
photo credit: Competition Subaru

Subaru hasn't needed to upgrade Forester with a turbocharged engine because it's been the hot model for the Japanese automaker. Subaru's plan could be to wait for the Forester Wilderness sub-brand trim coming later this year.

We know the 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness will have an advanced dual function X-Mode, elevated 9.5-inch ground clearance, standard front and rear skid plates, and an upgraded suspension.

Forester Wilderness will wear 17-inch Yokohama Geolandar all-terrain tires and come with a full-size spare tire. The new Forester will also feature a modified Lineartronic CVT automatic (Continuously Variable Transmission) and an upgraded rear differential with a final drive ratio of 4.44:1.

Will the Forester Wilderness have a turbocharged engine?

What we don't know is what engine will power the rugged adventure-ready 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness trim. Subaru is upgrading all its models with direct-injection turbocharged (DIT) Boxer engines, and the Forester is the next model in the lineup to get one.

The logical engine would be the proven FA24 2.4-liter turbocharged engine producing 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. The additional power would make the new Forester Wilderness a more capable off-road-ready vehicle for outdoor enthusiasts.

Will the 2022 Subaru Forester compact SUV get a new direct-injection turbocharged Boxer engine when it arrives later this summer? Stay tuned.

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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. Check out 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


Tim Whynot (not verified)    May 18, 2021 - 12:36PM

The logical engine is not the 2.4 turbo. The Honda CRV sells well with a 1.5 L turbo so why would the forester not sell well with the 1.8 turbo offered in the Japanese market. The world needs more efficient vehicles, not power at the expense of economy.

Michael Nesseth (not verified)    May 18, 2021 - 5:53PM

Tim my experience with the Honda CRV was the hesitation felt when the turbo was spooling up when pulling out into traffic it felt like a turtle that changed into a rabbit. That quickness needs to come on out of the gate so I can see why people have problems with the 1.5 L engine.

Tim Whynot (not verified)    May 19, 2021 - 4:37PM

In reply to by Michael Nesseth (not verified)

I understand there have been a few issues with the Honda 1.5 turbo. I would not expect that with all turbos but they are more complex technology. I would like more power than the standard 2.5 but I could live with it. I'm not sure I can live with the economy of the 2.4 turbo, even realizing that it is better than many comparable vehicles.

John BRIAN (not verified)    May 22, 2021 - 5:55PM

In reply to by Michael Nesseth (not verified)

With a 1.5 turbo you need use the S mode I have out accelerated many more powerful vehicles in fact it’s very fast don’t be shy try it by the way if your Honda is new it will come more lively when you have over 3 to 5 thousand miles accumulateed

Paul (not verified)    May 18, 2021 - 6:02PM

I own a 2018 xt forester and although I appreciate the spirited driving (I mean really, it's nominal) I would take a mature electric forester over a turbo anyday..

jg (not verified)    May 20, 2021 - 11:18AM

In reply to by Paul (not verified)

I completely agree. I went one step further and traded in my 2017 Forester XT for a 2019 Forester because the redesigned engine has similar performance with a much better acceleration profile and WAY better mileage without the black soot all over the back of the car (not to mention the increased pollution from turbos in general because of the unburned fuel inherent with “pushing” air through the cylinders).

Paul Reid (not verified)    May 20, 2021 - 7:52PM

In reply to by jg (not verified)

In the classic sense turbos are of course the most efficient means of power adder but I hear what you are saying. Haven't noticed the soot you mention tho.

Appreciate that comment, my 2018 is 10.4 l/100 nominal city and hwy averaged (I've watched other vehicles and found an improvement on that apples to apples is rare practically speaking)

Does 2019 do better or similar?

jg (not verified)    May 20, 2021 - 10:37PM

In reply to by Paul Reid (not verified)

I've always wanted to see electric superchargers always thought turbos should be an integrated part of a hybrid system with generators attached instead of compressors -- I'm sure the limiting factor would have been weight for old-school cars, but EV batteries and motors kind of tipped that scale in the current world.

My mileage is fairly immaterial since it is in MPG, but if I look on at the last few years (with the new 2.5) it looks like they are averaging about 9.0 l/100 km (~500 cars and over 18,000 fuel-ups) and if I look up 2018 XT's (51 cars) it looks like they are averaging about 10.5 to 11 l/100 km which is pretty close to what you reported.