When Subaru dropped the Forester 2.0XT turbocharged model, no one could believe the Japanese automaker would get rid of their sporty model. But two years after Subaru Corporation replaced it with the Forester Sport trim, it looks like it was a brilliant move. New 2020 Forester sales are up and selling better than the outgoing 2.0XT model. Why is the Sport trim your best option?
Subaru has been known for its sporty models going back to the Impreza WRX when it was winning rally stages around the globe. But current customers don’t care about what happened in the 1990s. They are looking for sporty models that fit their lifestyle now. Subaru hit a home run with the new Forester Sport.
5 reasons why shoppers pick the Sport trim over other models
Compact SUV shoppers aren’t looking for fast, they want sporty but also fuel-efficient, all-weather capable, safe, and a vehicle that offers the features that will make their life easier. The Forester Sport offers all five.
On the outside, the biggest thing you notice is the orange accents in multiple places from the lower body cladding to the front under-spoiler. It also has 18-inch alloy wheels with a black finish to set it off. Regardless of body color, which Subaru offers it in black, white, silver dark blue or gray, it comes with the same orange accents.
Inside it also gets a sporty motif with orange stitching on the seats and orange on many trim pieces, and accents on the air conditioning vents. It also gets sport gauges with a color display and leather sides on the seats, so you don’t wear out the sides getting in and out. Heated from seats come standard.
What customers also like is the improved fuel mileage in the new-generation Forester Sport. EPA estimates come in at 26/33 city/highway mpg and 29 combined mpg. Another strong point is that the compact SUV uses regular unleaded fuel and does not require a higher-priced premium.
The Forester Sport also offers upgrades you won’t find on any other Forester trims. It comes with the sport-tuned SI-DRIVE for improved driving performance and the upgraded dual-function X-Mode for off-pavement and extreme weather.
One often overlooked feature is the Forester Sport’s paddle shifters that allow the driver to make upshifts and downshifts with the push of a paddle located on either side of the steering wheel. You can use them to easily pass a slower vehicle, and slow down on a steep hill without wearing out your brakes.
You can load the Sport up with options like a Harmon/Kardon premium sound system, a heated steering wheel, or a panoramic sunroof. It comes standard with grocery bag hooks, and under-floor cargo storage for things you want to keep out of sight.
Sporty sells, and that’s what customers want when shopping for a compact SUV. My grandson Ben just bought a 2002 Subaru Forster and the first thing he did was paint the ugly white wheels black to give it a sporty look. The 2020 Subaru Forester ($30,050 including destination) hits the sweet spot because it offers the sporty feel shoppers are looking for coupled with the features that make your life easier.
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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 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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