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2023 Subaru Forester Vs. Wilderness - Why You Don’t Want Either Model This Year

Should you buy the 2023 Subaru Forester or the more rugged Forester Wilderness trim level? Here's why you don't want to buy either model this year.


Which 2023 Subaru Forester trim level is the best option for compact SUV shoppers? The standard Forester or the more rugged Forester Wilderness trim level? We have already broken down the Forester Sport and Wilderness trim; you can read the complete report here if you buy a new model this year.

Compact SUV shoppers should wait for the 2024 model year Forester and Forester Wilderness all-wheel-drive vehicles. The 2023 Forester arrived as a carry-over model with no upgrades. The current Forester is in its fifth generation, and the sixth generation will come with new improvements that will be worth the wait.

2023 Subaru Forester

New upgrades are coming, and the Forester will get a complete remodel later this year. We expect Subaru to announce the Forester model change sometime this spring or summer. Here is what we know so far, as Subaru is tight-lipped about the next-generation Forester.

Things could change because of the ongoing parts and microchip shortages, but if everything goes as expected, the compact SUV will be redesigned in the second half of 2023 and be available as a 2024 model. The anticipated 2024 Forester release date in the U.S. is about one year away, in the Fall of 2023.

2023 Subaru Forester Wilderness

What upgrades will the 2024 Forester have?

Subaru is notoriously quiet about its future product plans, and they have made no announcements about the 2024 Forester. Planet Subaru says the next-generation Forester will get new exterior styling, a new interior, new infotainment, and safety features like the next-generation Crosstrek announced by Subaru Corporation.

There is speculation that Subaru will upgrade the Forester with a new gas engine with improved fuel economy. They will likely keep the 2.5-liter natural aspirated Boxer engine and give it further improvements for fuel efficiency.

Will Subaru of America ask the Subaru Corporation for a new Forester Sport and Wilderness trim levels with an FA24 2.4-liter turbocharged engine upgrade? Forester enthusiasts want a Forester turbo, but Subaru has not confirmed any new engine upgrades.

Watch for a Forester hybrid in North America

To meet ever-more-demanding emissions regulations, however, Subaru will likely offer a Forester hybrid engine option with Toyota hybrid technology. Subaru says by 2030, at least 40 percent of its global sales will be battery or Hybrid-electric models.

In a report from Automotive News, Nakamura said, "We know that we have to shift or accelerate this plan. Based on how the market receives the new Solterra EV, we can plan what ratios (50-60 percent) we should target for EVs and hybrids."

Subaru's accelerated plan will mean the Japanese automaker will bring some new Forester, Outback, Ascent SUV hybrid, and plug-in hybrid models to the U.S. market by mid-2025-2030.

The 2024 standard Subaru Forester and Forester Wilderness will get a complete remodel. The next-generation Forester will be worth the wait for compact SUV customers who don't need a new model right now.

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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


JH Groenewald (not verified)    February 2, 2023 - 3:47AM

I want to buy a Forster Hybrid 2024 model but don't know when will it be in South Africa. and will it be in the same price class as the current 2023 Forster.
Will it have a e-Boxer or Toyota engin in?