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New Subaru Forester e-Boxer Hybrid Hits Global Market But It's Forbidden Fruit In The U.S.

U.S. customers get left out of the new 2019 Subaru Forester e-Boxer Hybrid. See what customers are missing out on.

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Why is Subaru shipping the new 2019 Forester e-Boxer hybrid to Europe and Australia, but U.S. customers get left out? That’s an answer only Subaru execs can answer and they aren’t talking. The advantage of the new Subaru Forester e-Boxer is first of all fuel-efficiency, but what are the other benefits U.S. customers are missing out on?

The Forester e-Boxer has been selling well around the globe and it would likely be a hit in the U.S. too if customers could get one. The advantages of a hybrid are having both a gas engine and an electric motor allowing for all-electric propulsion for short distances. The battery is self-charging while you drive and there is no need to plug it in. Many Americans like the hybrid system over the limited range of an all-electric car, and it’s why Toyota continues to move in this direction.

2019 Subaru Forester2019 Subaru Forester e-Boxer hybrid

By using both power sources hybrids reduce CO2, NOx, and particulate emissions, and make driving more efficient by using less fuel. In the Subaru Forester e-Boxer, the Japanese automaker uses the newly-updated 2.0-liter direct-injection four-cylinder engine plus electric technology producing the "e-Boxer". Working together, the engine and motor automatically adjust the hybrid power to achieve the most efficient driving mode depending on your speed and the driving conditions.

The Forester e-Boxer hybrid uses a lithium-ion battery, and when coupled with the 2.0-liter gas engine, the extra torque from the electric motor provides acceleration that will exceed that of the 2.5-liter gas model with improved fuel-efficiency. Customers get the same Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system, Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT automatic transmission, and X-Mode all-terrain traction as the regular Forester. The only disadvantage over the standard model is the cargo area is reduced because of the battery located in the rear.

2019 Subaru ForesterAutomatically-Optimized

The electric motor can power the compact SUV in Electric Vehicle (EV) mode, and the gas engine can also take over when more power is needed. At times, both the electric motor and the gas engine deliver power together. Whenever the engine is running, and whenever the car decelerates or brakes, energy is recovered and is used to recharge the battery making it a self-charging hybrid vehicle.

The 2019 Subaru Forester e-Boxer Hybrid offers a good blend of gas engine power and electric motor power providing a more fuel-efficient compact SUV. Subaru estimates the new e-Boxer will get up to 35 mpg, with CO2 emissions of 150g/km. Many U.S. customers would buy one if they could just get their hands on one.

2019 Subaru Forester2019 Subaru Forester e-Boxer STI

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K35 (not verified)    August 1, 2019 - 1:01PM

Is the e-Boxer a PHEV? What's the actual range (total, and electric-only, if applicable). I'd love a PHEV Ascent.

Digitaldoc (not verified)    August 1, 2019 - 4:43PM

If this is the same e-Boxer from the Crosstrek, than they can keep it. Too eco minded, and not for performance.

Would rather have the turbo back in the Forester, and to dump those awful CVT's.

Cabin Fowler (not verified)    August 1, 2019 - 6:56PM

It's going to be a piece of dog poo just like the xv hybrid was. It's not a cost savings when the main battery, restart battery, and ISG (alternator/restart motor) goes out every 60-80,000 miles. There's 2500 bucks gone. Then your ball bearing rear wheel bearings fail at the same time @ another thousand plus dollars. Subaru can't even make a radio that functions. The CVT is a jerky mess. That will fail long before a standard automatic would have and that is $10,000. Subaru should focus on one thing and that is quality. It is not a car that you hand down to your kids when you buy A new one anymore.

gearhead4 (not verified)    February 5, 2021 - 3:02PM

In reply to by Cabin Fowler (not verified)

What is the basis for your XV Hybrid criticisms? The main battery is warranted for 100,000 miles.
I have heard that some Subaru owners had rear wheel bearings fail, but no more so than many other brands.
I have heard about the radio problems, but Subaru has changed the supplier, so that may be fixed.
"The CVT is a jerky mess" ? I have 10 years and 80,000 miles of experience driving Subaru CVTs with absolutely no problems. So my reality is different.

Bruce M Hutcheson (not verified)    August 1, 2019 - 9:33PM

While many of
the world of car manufacturers see's and grasps the future of EV's, Subaru has put forward a small effort to increase their car fleet's average MPG while offing more models that are larger and consume more gas. I read how BMW also missed the ball on developing their EV's by setting idle for several years after bringing their odd i3 car with a 75 mile range to market and then not working on improving that car's range. I think their CEO quit the other day. Not bringing the Hybrid Forester to the USA market is a giant mistake. The world is changing quickly. I hope Subaru can catch up instead of going the wrong direction.

Bob Shaw (not verified)    August 2, 2019 - 9:44AM

Subaru like Nissan has gotten hybrid technology from Toyota. Understandably neither got the latest version and Subaru's deal my prohibit the Forester hybrid in this market until the new RAV4 hybrid owns it. Want a real increase in economy,
you need to look at the Toyota.

Kevin Ochsner (not verified)    August 2, 2019 - 7:06PM

I personally like the CVT in my 2015 Forester. It's sublime in the 2019 model and in the Ascent. Smooth in slow and go traffic. First CVT I've ever liked. I would love to jump to 35 mpg personally, especially to save liquid fuel on starts in stop and go traffic. I wonder what the range would be for a full tank with the eBoxer, vs the ~340-360mi I get now.

Kurt Kaufman (not verified)    August 7, 2019 - 7:12AM

The criticisms of the CVT above surprise me. In general, I had the impression that most people bought a Subaru Forester for its safety (my 2017 was totaled by a deer and I walked out without a scratch), all-wheel drive utility in areas with challenging winter weather, and it's excellent driving visibility. In the past it has been known as a reliable model as well. But one thing I don't associate with the Forester is performance in terms of acceleration, etc. Given the apparent limited increase in mileage of the current Hybrid version of the Forester, I would say I'd wait until a later iteration. In general, I try to avoid version 1.0 anyway. :-)

David G Sogge (not verified)    August 12, 2019 - 3:01PM

In reply to by Kurt Kaufman (not verified)

In extreme cold the CVT transmission has some issues until he fluid heats up enough can take a long time...drives at high RPMs at low speeds. Occurs at subzero (O F) temps, which can occur here. We had 65 days of sub 32 degree days.

Kurt (not verified)    February 7, 2021 - 4:55PM

In reply to by David G Sogge (not verified)

I see. While we occasionally have sub-zero nights, whenever the weather gets that cold I warm up the car (remote starter) for at least 5 minutes before driving. Less efficient, I understand, but necessary for my old bones.

Mark (not verified)    September 18, 2019 - 10:02AM

Holding out for 100% electric. 200 mile range is more than enough. If we need to go further, we burn gasoline in our pick up truck. For the time being, Tesla 3 is in the lead. Maybe Jaguar for the wealthy?