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Subaru Forester Starts The Year With The Lineup’s Biggest Drop - 3 Reasons Why

The 2023 Subaru Forester is an excellent compact SUV, but it continues a sales slide to start the new year. Here are three reasons why.

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The 2023 Subaru Forester continues to slide in sales to start the new year. Subaru of America reports the Forester compact SUV dropped 25.3 percent, the most significant decrease of any model, with 10,114 models sold, and starts the year as the third best-selling model in the lineup. Forester had 13,531 models delivered to customers in January 2022.

Forester once held the best-selling trophy but stayed in the third-place spot in the all-wheel-drive lineup. The Forester starts the year behind the Crosstrek and Outback. Crosstrek did have a fast start with 12,706 models delivered to customers, and Outback, with 10,414 sales in January, was the second best seller.

2023 Subaru Forester

There are three reasons why the Forester compact SUV continues its sales slide and starts the year with the most significant sales drop of any model in January.

Forester needs a remodel

The 2024 Subaru Forester should get a complete remodel from the ground up. The 2019 Forester was the last complete model change, and if Subaru Corporation stays with Forester's five-year model cycle, the compact SUV will get new upgrades for the 2024 model year.

We know the next-generation Forester will be improved with the new exterior styling, an upgraded interior and infotainment, and the latest EyeSight safety features. Will it be enough?

2023 Subaru Forester

Forester needs an engine upgrade

The most significant change Subaru Corporation could give the new generation compact SUV is an engine upgrade. The current model still has the aging 2.5-liter Boxer engine producing 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque. It's a big difference between the Outback Wilderness with the 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque 2.4-liter turbocharged engine.

Fans have been asking for a Forester turbocharged trim level since Subaru dropped the Forester XT in 2019. The Forester Wilderness would be the ideal trim for the FA24 2.4-liter turbocharged engine.

Forester needs a Hybrid trim level

Will Forester get a hybrid trim level? The Forester compact SUV could be the next model in the lineup to get hybrid technology which would spur new interest in the Forester.

Subaru recently announced new hybrid models are coming by 2025. Subaru said 40 percent of its global sales will have some form of electric power by mid-2025 to 2030, and the Japanese automaker has set a target to "sell only electric vehicles" worldwide by the first half of the 2030s.

When will the next-generation Subaru Forester be available for U.S. customers?

Planet Subaru says, "The anticipated 2024 Subaru Forester release date is the fall of 2023. We offer this prediction with the caveat that the global, multi-year supply chain situation has recently delayed the introduction of Subaru redesigns. The Impreza and Crosstrek previously refreshed reliably on a five-year schedule, recently went seven and six years without introducing an all-new model."

The 2023 Subaru Forester is an excellent compact SUV, but it has the most significant sales slide of any model to start the new year. Better things are coming for the Forester, but fans will have to wait. 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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