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Subaru Crosstrek Vs. Forester - The New Crosstrek Just Shot Ahead

Is the Subaru Crosstrek or the Subaru Forester the best model in the lineup? The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek just moved ahead of Forester as the most researched model.


In June, the 2021 Subaru Forester was the Japanese automaker's most researched model in the all-wheel-drive lineup. But that changed this month as the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek is now ranked ahead of the popular Forester. A report from Edmunds reveals the 2021 Crosstrek (#26 on Edmunds top-50) is Subaru's most researched model, followed by the 2021 Forester (#28) and 2021 Outback (#30).

Is the Subaru Crosstrek subcompact SUV or the Forester compact SUV the best model in the lineup? Many would argue the Forester is the best model because of its larger cargo capacity and standard EyeSight safety tech on every trim level.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek

The Forester stands four inches taller than Crosstrek, so you sit a little higher, have a little more headroom, and have a better view of the road. Forester was recently ranked highest and best for older drivers. The Forester is almost six inches longer, making a difference when parking, so Crosstrek is ideally suited for city dwellers.


Forester offers more cargo-carrying ability than the Crosstrek. Behind the rear seats, Forester has 35.4 cubic ft of space compared to Crosstrek's 20.8 cubic ft. Forester offers up 76.1 cubic ft with the rear seats folded flat, and the Crosstrek has considerably less at 55.3 cubic ft. Forester's rear tailgate opening is wider and comes with a lower cargo floor (2.5 inches), making it easier to load heavy cargo.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek outsold the popular Forester for the first time last month. Subaru of America delivered 13,402 Crosstrek models compared with 12,235 Forester SUVs. The difference in sales was partly due to the lack of Forester inventory on retailers' lots.

Both the Crosstrek and Forester are in short supply at most Subaru retailers in the U.S. and could be hard to find. If you can wait a few months, buyers can order the color and trim level they want.

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport with the all-new 2.5-liter engine has increased the Crosstrek's popularity in 2021. Look for Forester to keep its number one status with buyers when the all-new 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness rugged sub-brand trim arrives later this year. 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


paul holterhaus (not verified)    August 16, 2021 - 11:06AM

The Forester is a vastly more comfortable car..........I have owned or driven both............In fact, Myself, a self proclaimed connasuer of Cars, I will bluntly state that nothing else foe $30K can offer the all around comfort and capability of a Forrester.............Paul