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Now We Know Why You Can't Buy A New Subaru Forester Hybrid In The US

The 2020 Subaru Forester and Crosstrek Hybrid models aren’t coming to the U.S. and we know why. See what the model’s fuel-mileage numbers are.


The all-new 2020 Subaru Forester and Crosstrek Hybrid models are now launching in Australia and fuel mileage estimates have been announced for the new all-wheel-drive SUVs. You still can’t buy them in the U.S. market and now we know why. The new Forester e-Boxer Hybrid mpg doesn’t come close to the hot-selling Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

According to Subaru Australia, the new Forester and Crosstrek Hybrid models do get improved fuel mileage over the standard models, but it’s not that impressive. The standard Forester 2.5-liter gas engine gets and EPA 26 city / 29 combined mpg.

2020 Subaru Forester e-Boxer Hybrid won't be offered in the U.S.2020 Subaru Forester e-Boxer Hybrid

Subaru says the Forester Hybrid offers improvement of over 9 percent (compared to 2.5-liter gas models) in the combined cycle and over 19 percent in the urban cycle. That would give the Forester Hybrid fuel mileage of 31 city / 32 combined mpg. How does it compare with the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid?

The new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid offers an EPA estimated 41 city / 40 combined mpg. Honda has not announced fuel mileage specifications for the new 2020 CR-V Hybrid set to launch early next year, but it will likely rival Toyota’s numbers. The Forester e-Boxer doesn’t even come close to Toyota’s superior RAV4 Hybrid technology.

2020 Subaru Crosstrek plug-in hybrid gets improved fuel mileage2020 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

How does the new Australian spec 2020 Subaru Crosstrek e-Boxer Hybrid’s mpg compare with the Crosstrek Plug-In Hybrid model that is offered in the U.S.? Subaru Australia says the new Crosstrek e-Boxer Hybrid offers over 14 percent improvement in fuel efficiency over equivalent gas models in city mpg and over 7 percent improvement in the combined cycle.

The 2020 Subaru 2.0-liter gas engine models get an EPA estimated 27 city / 30 combined mpg with the CVT automatic transmission. The Crosstrek Hybrid e-Boxer gets an estimated 31 city / 32 combined mpg. The 2020 Subaru Crosstrek Plug-In Hybrid offered in the U.S. gets an EPA estimated 35 combined city/highway mpg and 90 MPGe combined electric and gas. Subaru’s first-ever Crosstrek plug-in hybrid pulled largely from the Toyota Prius Prime's system to get these improved numbers. Subaru needs Toyota’s expertise in the Hybrid area to be competitive.

With Toyota’s ownership stake of Subaru Corporation now at 20 percent, this will allow the small Japanese automaker to tap Toyota’s vast hybrid resources for its superior hybrid technology. Subaru will wait to bring a new Forester model to the U.S. market until it gets Toyota’s hybrid technology. Stay tuned.

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Denis Flierl has invested nearly 30 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his reports are archived on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on FacebookTwitterInstagramSubaru Report. Check back tomorrow for more Subaru news and updates!

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Photo credit: Subaru Australia


NormT (not verified)    December 19, 2019 - 4:04PM

Subaru AWD is not very efficient. The more modern AWD system yield much better efficiency. Case in point is our 2018 Regal TourX that sees 33-34 mpg on my 12 mile commute with 4 miles highway or 36 mpg at 65 mph with the AC on. This is a with a 8-speed transmission not a CVT.

Dolan Halbrook (not verified)    December 19, 2019 - 7:16PM

If Subaru could put together a compettive Outback PHEV they would sell every one they could make. Alas, I don't expect to see that any time soon with Toyota's influence.

digitaldoc (not verified)    December 19, 2019 - 10:20PM

The Crosstrek Hybrid was not really ready from prime time, and the Forester is continuing that trend. Toyota has historically not shared their technology in the hybrid area- just ask Nissan about their experience when they paid for Toyota to help them. Will be curious to see if Toyota helps Subaru, or continues to save their best stuff for themselves. A 20% stake may not be enough for them to give it up.

XF (not verified)    December 20, 2019 - 1:31AM

I drove the hybrid Crosstrek when It was offered in the US. Pathetic. Even worse than the Forester’s nav system.