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Meet The 2021 Subaru Forester - Why You Should Wait One More Year

The 2021 Subaru Forester arrives this fall with new improvements. See why it will be worth waiting for more significant 2022 model year changes.

The Subaru Forester offers value for SUV shoppers now, and it gets better for the 2021 model year change. The 2021 Subaru Forester receives upgrades with new steering responsive LED headlights, high beam assist, and rear seatbelt reminder. The 2021 Forester comes with a modest price increase, and some optional features are now standard. You can read about the complete 2021 Forester model changes here.

Subaru gives its SUVs minor upgrades in the third year after a complete remodel. Forester was all-new in 2019, and the next significant changes come next year when the fifth-generation Subaru Forester is in its fourth year of production. Here's is why you should wait for the 2022 Subaru Forester.

2021 Subaru Forester pricing, features, specs

The 2022 Subaru Forester is the one you want

The 2022 Subaru Forester is the model change to watch. The fourth year of Forester's model life cycle is when the most prominent design, drivetrain, and safety changes happen. Subaru will give the compact SUV a "refresh" with some exterior and interior modifications to upgrade its appearance, but the significant changes will come underneath its skin.

While Subaru has not confirmed the information, a leaked image from a source close to Subaru Corporation revealed for the 2022 model year; Forester would begin production in the spring of 2021 and likely come with significant changes.

2021 Subaru Forester pricing, features, specs

The second-generation Subaru Levorg is now confirmed to get the new-generation EyeSight driver assist safety system offering 360-degree sensing by combining the front and rear radars. The new EyeSight X uses 3D high-precision map data with road information for each lane. The 2022 Subaru Forester will also have this latest technology.

A newly-redesigned Lineartronic CVT

Subaru engineers redesigned the Lineartronic CVT automatic to provide smoother acceleration throughout the power curve. They expanded the gear range to achieve stronger acceleration and work in concert with the 7-speed manual mode in the Sport, Limited, and Touring trim levels.

The 2022 Subaru Forester could also come with Levorg's new Drive Mode Select with five selectable driving modes. Subaru says you can change the vehicle's character by choosing Comfort, Sport, Individual, Normal, and Sport+ Modes. The Individual Mode allows customization for up to five drivers that automatically recognizes the custom driving style for each user.

2021 Subaru Forester pricing, features, specs

The most significant upgrade for the 2022 model year could be a new turbocharged engine. Subaru is upgrading all its new models with fuel-efficient direct-injection turbocharged (DIT) Boxer engines. The Outback, Legacy, and Ascent have the new DIT powerplant, and the Forester is likely the next model to get one. The new engine will be more efficient than the current naturally aspirated 2.5-liter engine.

The 2022 Forester could have a hybrid powertrain. Subaru and Toyota are collaborating on new hybrid technology, and the top-selling Forester could be the next Subaru model to get it. Subaru has confirmed plans to bring new hybrid and plug-in hybrid models to its current lineup of all-wheel-drive models, including the Forester.

While Subaru has not confirmed the information in this report, the 2022 Subaru Forester compact SUV will likely come with significant technology and powertrain changes. If you can bide your time, it will be worth the wait.

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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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Photo credit: Subaru


Karlos (not verified)    August 23, 2020 - 12:41AM

Just buy CX30 with 2.5t and iAWD with proper transmission not CVT joke that needs redesign every year because Subbie and Nissan are addicted to savings that they keep to themselves instead of passing it to customers...
CX30 is so superior to cheesy CVT prone Subbies.

Arthur (not verified)    August 26, 2020 - 4:54PM

In reply to by Karlos (not verified)

Why don't you do a little bit of research first before you start spreading misinformation. Firstly, Subaru designs all of their CVTs in house. Just like Honda, Toyota, and NIssan. Subaru doesn't use any of Nissan's CVTS because Subaru's CVTs are designed to work with their AWD system. Secondly, I'm not sure as to what you're referring to when you said, "CVT joke that needs redesign every year." I know Subaru updates transmission components within the CVT but I haven't seen them implement a completely new CVT as in a a redesign of the transmisson. Thirdly, I own a 2019 Subaru Crosstrek and I can say that the CVT in this car is one of the best I've driven so far. My previous car was a Dodge Caliber. That had a Nissan CVT, it was by far the worst CVT I've ever owned. So before you start bashing any car maker, make sure you have the facts. I also have a feeling Subaru may end up using some components from Toyota because Toyota now has 20% ownership within the company. So hopefully they adopt the Launch gear CVT that Toyota has been using for a little while now within their own systems and dual fuel injection.

Karlos (not verified)    August 26, 2020 - 5:37PM

In reply to by Arthur (not verified)

So you are suggesting Subbie does not use Jatco built CVT so Subbie has the best of the worst transmission wannabe on the market ?

CVT is a joke and should not be sold in any respected car over 15K dollars , it is that unrefined , unreliable, and cheap .
Not worth the 2 mpg savings over proper automatic !
Be blind and enjoy your CVT , maybe you are a Nissan's paid advocate ?

Arthur (not verified)    August 28, 2020 - 4:37PM

In reply to by Karlos (not verified)

I'm not suggesting, I'm LITERALLY saying Subaru designs their CVTs in house. You can search it up because CLEARY you don't know what you're talking about. It's funny how you say they're "unrefined," "cheap," and "unreliable" when CVTs have been in the making for years. If you're so confident that Subaru uses Jatco CVTs, drop the link to your source. Another reason CVTs don't last long is that they're poorly maintained by the owner. I've noticed that Subaru Of America doesn't give much information in terms of maintaining the transmission. Here in Canada, you have to change it every 100,000km which is about 60,000 miles. You can have the most reliable car in the world however, if you don't maintain it properly it'll give you problems. Also, I will never, ever, ever! Touch a Nissan with a ten-foot pole.

Karlos (not verified)    August 28, 2020 - 6:37PM

In reply to by Arthur (not verified)

Subaru manufactures its own manual and CVT transmissions (for non-Kei cars). Since the 1970s, all Subaru conventional automatic transmissions have been Jatco designs adapted to Subaru specifications....

CVT is cheap to make and that is main reason Subbie Nissan Honda use them.
Savings of manufacturing cost should have been passed into customer and Subbie does not do that.

CVTs and it's poor and rough performance along with worst reliability are main reason why none of premium and luxury brands and designs sare to reach for these cost savings as it would cost them lost customers. Audi tried and quickly abandoned it due to those reasons.
By disrigarding these facts you are cheating yourself and allow for Subbie to take advantage of you.
Instead of boycott that force Subbie to use Toyota's 8speed that would do great in car like Subbie.
Remember overheated or dead CVT means
NO Wheel Drive and AWD is all that Subbie has going for it.

Arthur (not verified)    August 28, 2020 - 8:20PM

In reply to by Karlos (not verified)

I had a feeling you'd use an unreliable source since you're not willing to take the time to do a bit of research... Honda, Subaru, and Toyota designs their CVTs in house... Believe what you want but I can't help you because you're not willing to listen and is still stuck in the past.

Karlos (not verified)    November 25, 2020 - 8:42AM

In reply to by Arthur (not verified)

Subbie have used Jatco and does not matter , all CVTs suck period . And contest what piece of crap smells the nicest is pointless
Get the most reliable and best designed and built CX5 2.5t AWD for around 30K and be done with it .

Nick T (not verified)    December 8, 2020 - 12:10PM

In reply to by Arthur (not verified)

Sorry. You cannot compare your experience with a Dodge Caliber as a baseline to any comparison. Especially in terms of dricetrsin or suspension components & quality. That car had terrible quality for thise components. I shoukd know, I owned one as well. I also own a 2011 Forester (non-turbo) with the AT4 transmission. After the quality issues I read about with the CVTs, I will wait another moment redesign cycle befire i commit to a Subaru CVT. And if only to turbo Foresters are in line, then I will pass on those as well altogether. Smaller engine turbos is not where i want to put my money once the warrantee expires.

Karlos (not verified)    December 22, 2020 - 10:32AM

In reply to by James (not verified)

Subbies system is not predicive it is primitive opd school AWD , heavy and inefficient ....and Mazdas iAWD and Audis UltraQuatro both are modern predictive syatems working so you will not get in trouble in the first place ... for 95% of the time Mazdas iAWD will be superior for everyday use on slippery and light off road... Subbie will be better for off road and I do not intend to as majority of car buyers . Mazdas approach is better suitable for most of drivers and on road situations.

Karlos is a ma… (not verified)    March 25, 2021 - 1:34PM

In reply to by Karlos (not verified)

Get this Mazda employee out of here. Mazda is trying so hard to get people to buy their ugly little cars that they'll come to every forum and claim that every single feature on a Mazda is superior. The only thing Mazda ever did right was wenkel engines. They stopped using those years ago, and now they just rip off every other manufacturer and claim theirs is better. Your cars are trash, get over it.

Arthur (not verified)    August 23, 2020 - 1:35PM

You guys talk about how the new 2022 Forester might possibly get a turbo charged boxer engine, how it’s supposed to be more fuel efficient over the current power train. I quote this from the article I just read, “The new engine will be more efficient than the current naturally aspirated 2.5-liter engine.” Isn’t the current engine in the Forester direct injection? I don’t know if you guys had a typo or this article was poorly written?

Zach Mauch (not verified)    August 23, 2020 - 8:43PM

Man this frustrates me. The two main cars I'm looking at are the Forester and the Ascent and both are getting their mid cycle refresh next year. Meanwhile, I want to by this year. I've been driving a 2008 Prius and I want a new car. Blah!

Tiny Cadon (not verified)    September 2, 2020 - 9:52PM

Don't fall for the "Bait!" Subaru MAY put a turbo into the Forester in 2022 but don't fool yourselves into believing they're putting in the 2.4l turbo from the Outback. They're developing "Turbos" but for fuel savings, NOT more power. They'll probably put in a 1.6l with appx the same HP but a little more Torque. You're going to be sorely disappointed if you're waiting for or expecting a new Forester XT.

MTN (not verified)    December 9, 2020 - 4:42PM

In reply to by Tiny Cadon (not verified)

That sounds perfect - a torquey and fuel efficient engine is an upgrade over the 2.5 NA. No need for the extra power of the 2.4T. 99.9% of the time I'm not driving at WOT and the extra power isn't needed.

Karlos (not verified)    September 3, 2020 - 8:53AM

I would not care for it either way once used with CVT .
Until CVT plagued , Subbie is off my list .

Neil (not verified)    November 1, 2020 - 10:00AM

I’m turning in my lease touring forester this week and picking up a 2021 touring. We are that happy with it. The 2021 has even more of what we are happy with. The cvt has been flawless . The visibility is exceptional. Much better than competing models. And now it has apple play and heated rear seats.

Vance. Brown (not verified)    November 24, 2020 - 12:19PM

I’m looking to buy a 2022 Subaru Forrester or the Honda CRV what I like about the Honda is it definitely has more room in the back and a lot more cargo room and you don’t hear the motor as much as you do in the Subaru but I do like the Subaru all wheel drive system So if I choose the Subaru forester it would have to be as much room as the CRV and you definitely have to make the speedometer bigger so I can see it
The controls inside definitely had to be easy for me to read because I have low vision too many buttons and small buttons my wife and I don’t need I know several people that bought newer cars And said they like to have their old car bag because the buttons are usually read anybody that’s our hope for owning a Subaru We don’t want to have to stop the car and go up the road to put a heating air-conditioning on that’s what I’m hearing from a lot of old people with these newer car make it simple and easy and you will win the way the Forrester is me now if anybody have a hitch in the back and do not far away from the driver seatThat’s why we like to see the Subaru Forrester a little longer we don’t like the outback so it’s going to have to be the Forrester on a Honda CRV

Karlos (not verified)    November 25, 2020 - 8:38AM

Both CRV and Forester are plagued with CVT.
Neither one should be recommended
Get the most reliable CX5 2.5t AWD for 30K is just a great SUV .

Karlos is a ma… (not verified)    March 25, 2021 - 1:38PM

Karlos how much is Mazda paying you to be a belligerent little twat? Nobody likes Mazda except you. Go away dumbo

RSJ (not verified)    June 25, 2021 - 8:25AM

I own a 2018 Subaru Forester 2.5. I don't get why people say that these things are slow. While they are not a sports car, my Forester accelerates just fine, I can pass without issues and get out of my own way if needed. The thing to remember is, these compact SUVs are meant to be daily haulers not sports cars. If you want a vehicle that you can drive aggressively with jack rabbit starts and carving out curves, you shouldn't be shopping for a Subaru Forester - that is not what they are designed to be.