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The Aging Subaru Forester Makes An Impressive Comeback - It’s Still A Top Pick

The 2023 Subaru Forester stopped its sales slide in March with an impressive sales increase. Check out the compact SUV report and why it's still a top pick for new model shoppers.

The 2023 Subaru Forester needs a remodel but had an impressive comeback in March. Still, the compact SUV dropped below the newly-upgraded Outback midsize SUV to move into a third-place position in the all-wheel-drive lineup. Compact SUV shoppers haven't given up on the aging Forester.

Subaru of America reports that the Forester compact SUV dropped to third in SOA's lineup in March. However, Forester was up an impressive 56.2 percent, with 10,264 models sold compared with 6,572 in March 2022.

2023 Subaru Forester

The Forester is still behind in sales to the beyond-hot Crosstrek subcompact SUV and the newly upgraded 2023 Subaru Outback midsize SUV. As a result, Forester is down 3.0 percent in the first quarter of 2023.

Forester Wilderness is still 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

And Forester will get more competition from a new Wilderness trim level that will make its global debut tomorrow, April 5 (spoiler alert; it's the Crosstrek Wilderness) at the New York Auto Show. Stay tuned.

What is the price of the 2023 Forester?

The 2023 Forester comes in six trim levels; The Base Forester starts at $27,620, Premium ($30,620), Sport ($32,190), Limited ($34,300), Wilderness ($35,245), and Touring ($37,720). Pricing includes dealer fees ($1,225).

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.

The new exterior styling upgraded interior and infotainment, and the latest EyeSight safety features will improve the next-generation Forester. 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."

Before the all-new Forester arrives, the 2023 Subaru Forester had impressive sales in March, with a remarkable 56.2 percent increase. As a result, customers haven't given up on the aging model. Forester is still a good pick for compact SUV shoppers and is ranked the best Compact SUV by Consumer Reports. Check out the report below.

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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


RH82 (not verified)    April 6, 2023 - 4:58PM

I have the last year FXT, so unless they come back with a 24 year XT I will stick with my Forester that has less black plastic on it. As for the new Wilderness Crosstrek it has too much black plastic, and looks like to me they should have extended the door plastic on the bottom of the doors...Just looks weird!

Joshua (not verified)    April 22, 2023 - 8:41PM

I think the Wilderness would be a great in sales if they had them in stock. It’s slim pickings in Oregon where Subarus sell very well. At this point, I’m just waiting for the 2024 Forester Wilderness and hoping for some updates.