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The Subaru Forester Is Middle Of The Pack - You Would Buy It With One New Upgrade

The compact SUV segment is the single largest light vehicle segment in the U.S. market, after pickup trucks. Why is the 2020 Subaru Forester just middle of the pack?

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The 2020 Subaru Forester is the hot model in the Subaru stable of all-wheel-drive SUVs. It’s also a part of the highly competitive light vehicle segment in the U.S. market. How does it fit in with the other compact SUVs? It comes in the middle of the pack ranked number 6 out 12 for the non-premium compact SUV segment. A report from Seeking Alpha says Toyota's RAV4 hybrid is smoking the field. Why doesn't Subaru offer its Forester hybrid model for U.S. customers?

The number one selling non-premium compact SUV is the Toyota RAV4 which offers a gas version and a hybrid trim. The RAV4 was the first to offer a hybrid model in the segment and the report says it’s the reason the SUV is doing exceptionally well (up 16% in Q1). Up until now, the Forester hybrid has been forbidden fruit.

2020 Subaru Forester, e-Boxer hybrid2020 Subaru Forester e-Boxer Hybrid

Even without offering its 2020 Forester Hybrid in the U.S, the Japanese automaker sold a record number of gas Forester models in Q1 (39,080) and was only down -4%. In contrast, Toyota sold 97,631 RAV4 models in Q1 and the hybrid accounted for one-fourth of the total sales. The Ford Escape is the only other compact SUV to offer a hybrid in this segment and it also outsold Forester with 48,117 SUVs moved off dealer lots.

Subaru sells the 2020 Forester e-Boxer mild-hybrid model in Japan, Europe, and Australia but has not brought the trim level to U.S. shores. With Toyota now having a 20 percent stake in Subaru Corporation, the automaker is waiting to bring a new Forester hybrid model to the U.S. market until it incorporates Toyota technology.

2020 Subaru Forester, e-Boxer hybrid

Subaru says they plan on selling only electric vehicles worldwide by the first half of the 2030s. These will not be full-electric vehicles but a combination of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric all-wheel-drive models that will have Toyota hybrid and battery technology.

Subaru has the backing of Toyota to help them build a better Forester Hybrid model than the one currently being offered in other global markets. For now, the 2020 Subaru Forester gas model is doing quite well. When it is offered with a hybrid powertrain, look for the compact SUV to move up in the rankings. But it could be a few years away.

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

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Photo credit: Subaru Global

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Chris (not verified)    May 23, 2020 - 11:22PM

No turbo, no purchase. I'm still rocking my 2014 Forester XT and will move to another make if they never bring it back.

Leroy Trugman (not verified)    May 23, 2020 - 11:25PM

I just bought my first suburu may 6 2020 forester limited I just love it had chevys Nissan's Buick but I must say suburu is#1 very happy and pleased

Egan Fo (not verified)    May 24, 2020 - 1:13AM

I completely agree. I left Subaru last year after nearly 20 years of ownership because I wanted a hybrid. I’m hopeful Subaru will make a viable hybrid in the near future becauseI do love their cars. The RAV4 hybrid is quite appealing.

Kyle (not verified)    May 24, 2020 - 10:09AM

I have a 2017 Forester and have experienced front windshields cracking for no apparent reason. Seems to be a problem 2017-2020 models. Warranty will not cover. At $550 a windshield, I won't be buying another Forester.

gerald w kelly (not verified)    May 24, 2020 - 11:08AM

To me a Forester from say 2016 with the 2.0 turbo is a way better that turbo when needed and not...

tim (not verified)    May 25, 2020 - 12:54AM

I have Forester 2017 and now thinking about upgrading it to Subaru Ascent, their largest SUV as I need more cargo space
Having it as a hybrid would be ideal!