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A New Subaru Forester Turbocharged Model Could Make Its U.S. Reveal This Spring

The 2021 Subaru Forester is the sales leader in 2021, and a new turbocharged model could make its U.S. reveal this spring.

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Subaru of America reported the 2021 Forester compact SUV started the year off as its best-selling nameplate. Forester is the number-one-selling all-wheel-drive model for Subaru USA, with retailers delivering 13,207 models to customers in January to start the new year. The Forester sold two fewer models in January compared with January 2020 (13,209).

The Forester finished 2020 as the top volume model with 176,996 units sold and starts 2021 where it left off. The Forester compact SUV leads the Outback crossover/wagon (11,784 units sold in January) by 1,423 units. The 2022 Forester is coming this spring, and there could be significant changes.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2022 Subaru Forester turbo
Photo credit: Competition Subaru

The 2022 Subaru Forester won't get a complete remodel, but it gets a refresh in the fourth year of its lifecycle. Forester will get new front restyling with minor upgrades to the bumper and side moldings and some interior modifications to upgrade its appearance. But the significant changes will come underneath its sheet metal.

Subaru of America will likely ask its parent company, Subaru Corporation, for a new 2022 Forester with a turbocharged engine. Subaru is upgrading all its models with fuel-efficient direct-injection turbocharged (DIT) Boxer engines, and the Forester is the next model in the lineup to get one.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2022 Subaru Forester turbo
Photo credit: Competition Subaru

Customers in the U.S. won't see a Forester hybrid model until the early-to-mid 2030s. To keep customer interest in the Forester strong, Subaru could bring a new 2022 Forester XT with a 2.4-liter turbocharged engine later this year.

Subaru released a new 1.8-liter turbocharged Boxer engine in the Japan-spec Forester, but it's likely for the Japanese market only. Subaru knows customers in the U.S. want more power than the 1.8-liter engine's 175 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque. The Forester's 2.5-liter naturally aspirated Boxer engine produces 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque.

The Outback, Ascent, and Legacy's 2.4-liter direct-injection turbocharged Boxer engine offers 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque and would satisfy the American thirst for power. Subaru has not confirmed it, but the Japanese automaker could bring back the Forester XT offering its 2.4-liter direct-injection turbocharged engine.

An all-new 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness Edition is expected to make its U.S. reveal this spring, and it could be the model to get the new turbocharged engine upgrade. The 2022 Forester will begin production in the next two months, with a dealer launch next summer. Stay tuned.

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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

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Dave Jaeck (not verified)    March 3, 2021 - 1:29PM

Thanks for the article. Been looking at Foresters for couple years. Have issue with any vehicle with gas tank access on passenger side. It's BS that someone should have to go to the other side of vehicle for gas. Should be listed under inconvenience. But willing to buy if they keep CD players. Pretty much everyone over age 40 has a CD collection that they can no longer use in vehicle. They can keep Apple Car Play crap. Subaru pretty much only vehicle in 2021 model year still with CD.

Thomas (not verified)    April 3, 2021 - 6:43PM

I just test drove a 2021 forester
It is quite nice, but I agree, wish gas tank was on other side, and wish oil changes were at 7500 miles, not 6000 miles.
Hopefully they keep cd player on 2022 Forester.