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The Aging Subaru Forester Jumps To Second Place But Still Has A Losing Record

The 2023 Subaru Forester continues its sales slide in February but jumps into second place in the lineup. So is the Forester making a comeback? Check out the report here.


The 2023 Subaru Forester that needs a remodel continues to slide in sales in February. Still, the compact SUV jumped past the newly-upgraded Outback midsize SUV to move into a second-place position in the all-wheel-drive lineup.

Subaru of America reports the Forester compact SUV dropped 10.9 percent in February with 10,030 models sold but moved from the third best-selling model in the lineup to second-best in February. Forester had 11,255 models delivered to customers in January 2022.

2023 Subaru Forester

The recently-upgraded 2023 Outback has been in second place in Subaru of America's lineup for nearly a year, but the Forester is roaring back. The Forester is ahead of the Outback with 20,144 models delivered to customers in the first two months of 2023 compared with the Outback's 19,522.

Forester Wilderness has been underachieving.

Subaru was expecting the 2023 Forester Wilderness to give the compact SUV a significant boost in sales, but it has yet to materialize. So instead, the Outback Wilderness is the automaker's hot outdoor-themed SUV and outsells the Forester Wilderness.

2023 Subaru Forester Wilderness

There is a significant difference between the Outback Wilderness and Forester Wilderness; the Outback comes out on top in a head-to-head comparison. Check out the two models' similarities and significant differences in a recent comparison report here.

What's next for the Forester?

The 2024 Subaru Forester should get a complete remodel from the ground up. The 2019 Forester was the last complete model change, and if Subaru Corporation stays with Forester's five-year model cycle, the compact SUV will get new upgrades for the 2024 model year.

We know the next-generation Forester will be improved with the new exterior styling, an upgraded interior and infotainment, and the latest EyeSight safety features. Will it be enough?

The Forester needs new upgrades.

What the next-generation Forester needs is a new 2.4-liter turbocharged engine upgrade. Will Subaru bring back the Forester XT turbo trim level? At a minimum, the 2024 Forester needs a Wilderness trim with the FA24 turbocharged engine upgrade. This would breathe new life into the aging compact SUV.

When will the next-generation Subaru Forester be available for U.S. customers?

Planet Subaru says, "The anticipated 2024 Subaru Forester release date is the fall of 2023. We offer this prediction with the caveat that the global, multi-year supply chain situation has recently delayed the introduction of Subaru redesigns. As a result, the Impreza and Crosstrek previously refreshed reliably on a five-year schedule, recently went seven and six years without introducing an all-new model."

The 2023 Subaru Forester is in a sales slide but still made a slight comeback in February. As a result, it moves into second place in the lineup. Will it last? Stay tuned, as the year is still young.

You Might Also Like: The 2024 Subaru Outback Pricing, Model Guide, and Its Most Significant New Upgrade

2024 Subaru OutbackDenis 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 USA


DukeWoolworth (not verified)    March 4, 2023 - 2:29PM

This line desperately needs a competitive hybrid. As a partner of Toyota, this should be relatively easy, with battery range as least as good as the RAV4.
Their EV is not competitive, and is Toyota ugly besides.