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Subaru Forester Is Speeding Up Not Slowing Down - What's Next For The Compact SUV

The 2020 Subaru Forester leads the brand's all-wheel-drive models, and it's not slowing down. When will 2021 models arrive, and what's next for the compact SUV?


There aren't many 2020 Subaru Forester compact SUVs left on Subaru's lots, but those still around are selling fast. Subaru of America reports September sales of the popular Forester were up again despite short inventories. The 2020 Forester was up 16.6 percent, with sales of 15,648 models delivered to customers compared with 13,421 in September 2019. Forester is not slowing down and had the best-ever September.

Even with the COVID-19 global pandemic, Forester is up 2.0 percent for the year, the only Subaru model selling more than the previous year. The 2020 Outback (-24.3), Crosstrek (-21.9), and Ascent (-17.0) are all down for the 2020 model year.

2021 Subaru Forester pricing, features, specs

When will the 2021 Forester models arrive at Subaru retailers?

The 2020 Subaru Forester has been the hot model all year, and retailers are selling as many as they can get. Inventory of the compact SUV is dwindling as Subaru Corporation switches from 2020 to 2021 Forester models at the Gunma factory in Japan.

Subaru will make the 2021 model change soon, but the refreshed 2021 Crosstrek with the 2.5-liter engine upgrade has been the model to take the highest priority. Subaru Corporation is behind schedule in making all models because of the eight-week plant shut down.

2021 Subaru Forester pricing, features, specs

There aren't many 2020 Forester models left on retailers' lots. We've heard the cars are now shipped by truck because the railroads go near the California fires. The vehicles now put on trucks, are sent to the rest of the country, which slows down any new 2021 Foresters arriving from Japan.

The 2021 Subaru Forester will likely arrive late this fall, and it gets a few upgrades worth the wait. All 2021 Forester trims come standard with steering responsive LED headlights, high beam assist, and rear seatbelt reminder. The new headlights will improve safety ratings on lower trims with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and they will significantly improve visibility when driving at night.

How much will the 2021 Forester cost?

The 2021 Forester comes in five trim levels, and the price increase will be between $340 to $440 including the destination and deliver fee increase (+$40). The 2021 Forester base has an MSRP of $25,845 (+$300), Premium ($28,845 +$400), Sport ($30,445 +$400), Limited ($32,445 +$300), and Touring ($35,945 +$300). Pricing includes $1,050 destination (+$40.) You can read about the full model update here.

Are there better discounts or special pricing on the 2020 Forester?

Currently, Subaru offers no-interest financing on the 2020 Forester for 63 months and $265/month on a 36-month lease through November 2, 2020. When the 2021 Forester models arrive, Subaru offers 1.9 percent financing and $275/month on a 36-month lease.

The 2021 Subaru Forester will get a few improvements in its third year of the product cycle. With no-interest financing, the 2020 Forester is still the best deal for customers if you can find the color and trim level you want.

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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 USA