The 2022 Subaru Forester was Subaru of America's most popular all-wheel-drive model, but that is changing. Subaru of America (SOA) reported May sales, and the refreshed 2022 Subaru Forester sales plummeted again for the third month. Does Forester's drop in sales go beyond microchip shortages, supply chain issues, and plant closures?
The 2022 Forester compact SUV saw the most significant drop in the SUV lineup again. Forester dropped 72.5 percent compared with May 2021, with only 5,496 models delivered to customers compared with 20,006 in May 2021.
The plant that manufactures the 2022 Forester shut down for two days this week, so is this the reason for Forester's drop in sales? Subaru Corporation also makes the 2022 Crosstrek subcompact SUV, which hasn't affected its sales in the U.S. market.
The sizzling hot Crosstrek cooled off slightly in May with 9,894 sales, but it was only down 1.2 percent compared with 10,013 sales in May 2021. The hot Crosstrek is up 2.7 percent for the year.
The Crosstrek is second in total sales behind the Outback, with 59,374 subcompact SUVs sold year-to-date. Forester only has 42,984 sales in 2022 and is down 50.7 percent year to date, the most of any SUV carline.
Why are Subaru Forester sales slipping while Crosstrek is up for the year and Outback sales are up 5.2 percent in May?
The Forester is fuel-efficient, and it's still one of the most fuel stingy compact SUVs with all-wheel-drive. But with the gas price averaging 4.81 per gallon, according to AAA, customers are looking for the best mileage.
What is the 2022 Forester fuel mileage?
The 2022 Subaru Forester compact SUV comes with standard all-wheel drive and gets an EPA estimated 29 combined mpg and 26/33 city/highway mpg. The Forester comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder Boxer engine.
One of Forester's significant shortcomings is it competes in the competitive compact SUV segment with the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Hyundai Tucson. All those models offer a more fuel-efficient hybrid option, and the Forester does not.
The Forester is affordable, and that's not why customers are looking elsewhere. What is the price of the 2022 Subaru Forester?
The 2022 Forester comes in six trim levels; With Subaru of America’s recent price increase, the Base Forester now starts at $27,070, Premium ($30,070), Sport ($31,640), Limited ($33,750), new Wilderness ($34,695), and Touring ($37,170). Pricing includes destination and delivery fees ($1,175).
We thought the all-new 2022 Forester Wilderness would give the compact SUV a significant bump in sales, but it hasn't been the case. Customers buy the Outback Wilderness in large numbers, but not as many of the rugged Forester Wilderness trim level.
Another Forester shortcoming is Subaru of America should have offered the new Forester Wilderness with the 2.4-liter turbocharged engine with 260 horsepower. Forester Wilderness comes with the standard 2.5-liter natural aspirated Boxer engine producing 182 horsepower. That's a significant difference when customers carry additional cargo and camping gear up a steep mountain pass.
Two changes Subaru should make to the Forester
For the 2023 Forester, Subaru of America should ask for a 2.4-liter turbocharged engine in the Forester Wilderness. Subaru Corporation will make significant changes to the Forester compact SUV in 2024 when it gets a complete remodel. For the Forester to compete with the competition, Subaru needs to offer the remodeled 2024 Forester compact SUV with a more fuel-efficient hybrid trim level.
The refreshed 2022 Subaru Forester sales plummeted for the third month. Forester compact SUV sales may not improve until Subaru makes significant changes. In the comments below, let Subaru Corporation know what changes you would like to see in the next-generation 2024 Forester.
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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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