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A Surprising Number Of Subaru Owners Say No To An All-New Forester Hybrid

In a recent poll of Subaru Forester owners, they were asked if they would buy a new Forester hybrid trim level. See how many said no to a new plug-in hybrid model.


Suppose Subaru of America offered a new Subaru Forester with plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) technology, 300 horsepower, and 42 miles of all-electric range (like the Toyota RAV4 Prime). Are you interested if you were shopping for a new compact SUV? That's what John Goreham asked current owners of the Forester in a recent poll.

A surprising number of Forest owners said no. Only 36 percent said they would be interested in a plug-in hybrid Forester. And 44 percent said no, they would most likely not buy a new Forester PHEV.

2023 Subaru Forester

Only 3 percent of Forester owners said they would be interested in a Forester PHEV if its price were within $10,000 of the top-of-the-line Forester Touring trim level.

Will Forester get a hybrid trim level?

The Forester compact SUV gets a complete remodel from the ground up in 2024 if there are no delays. The Forester could be the next model in the lineup to get hybrid technology which would spur new interest in the Forester. However, the owner poll reveals there is not enough interest yet.

Subaru Forester

Subaru recently announced new hybrid models are coming by 2025, so a new Forester Hybrid may be only two years away from launching in North America for Subaru of America's customers.

Subaru Corporation recently announced that 40 percent of its global sales will have some form of electric power by mid-2025 to 2030. The Japanese automaker has set a target to "sell only electric vehicles" worldwide by the first half of the 2030s.

Subaru's upcoming new hybrid vehicles will use Toyota's technology and manufactured at its Gunma plant in Japan. The manufacturing facility currently makes the 2023 Subaru Forester, Crosstrek, WRX, and BRZ for U.S. customers.

Subaru offers a Forester hybrid, but not in the U.S.

A recent Automotive News report says, "it gives an idea of what nameplates might be in line for electrification." The 2023 Outback, Ascent, Impreza, and Legacy are manufactured in the U.S. plant in Lafayette, Indiana.

A new next-generation Subaru Forester hybrid trim level is coming. It's a matter of when it will launch in North America. Would you buy the Forester compact SUV electric Plug-In Hybrid if Subaru of America offered the fuel-stingy trim? Let Subaru of America know in the comment section below, and we'll pass them along to the Camden, N.J. automaker.

You Might Also Like: Subaru Boss Says More Fuel-Efficient Hybrid Tech Is In The Pipeline

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


Gregory Iverson (not verified)    February 15, 2023 - 11:47AM

Not really jazzed about a Forester PHEV. Maybe an electric boost motor for the current 2.5. would be nice (30 more hp or so), but most desirable would be finally to put the 2.4 turbo into the Forester, with or without an electric motor boost. Fat chance, I guess.

James Morin (not verified)    February 16, 2023 - 10:13AM

We’ve been waiting for a Forester Hybrid and will definitely be interested. It’s about time !

Aaron (not verified)    February 16, 2023 - 10:54AM

Interesting- I wonder if it’s the plug-in detail that’s causing current owners to show little interest. I’ve owned a couple Foresters over the last 12 years and would absolutely be interested in a plug-in or non-plug in hybrid Forester!!

Dave (not verified)    February 16, 2023 - 11:24AM

Yes, I would be very interested in a Forester with plug-in hybrid technology. The RAV4 plug-hybrid is in so much demand here in California that Toyota dealers consistently mark them up above MSRP. I have a 2018 Forester and I like it a lot, but I do want a plug-in hybrid.

CAF (not verified)    February 17, 2023 - 6:13PM

Love my 2018 Forester. Definitely interested in a plug-in hybrid if the price is reasonable.

Kenneth Cameron (not verified)    February 19, 2023 - 11:40PM

Definitely interested. Would love to see the Forester in a PHEV. Rav4 prime is in too much demand, Crosstrek PHEV didn't compare favorably.

sue (not verified)    May 13, 2023 - 11:30PM

In reply to by Eve (not verified)

I've been waiting two years for a hybrid forester, but if they don't come out with one in 2024, I'm giving up and getting a rav4 or cr-v. I'd like just a plain hybrid, not interested in a plug in at all.

Mario (not verified)    February 23, 2023 - 1:37PM

Would absolutely love to see a Forester PHEV that had similar or better performance to the RAV4 Prime. Waiting times for the RAV4 Prime are up to 5 years, so I am sure the demand for a PHEV Forester would be quite high.

Andy (not verified)    March 9, 2023 - 6:36PM

I am definitely in the market for a Forester hybrid. I have a 2010 Outback that probably won’t last more than another year. Hoping Subaru can come out with a hybrid in the US for 2024.

Notmy Realname (not verified)    March 11, 2023 - 10:16AM

Yes. I would absolutely consider a Forester PHEV if one were available and I were still in the market. I just bought a RAV4 Prime because it was best (felt like *only*) option available for a no compromise PHEV. If there were a *competitive* Subaru, there's a strong probability I would have bought it instead.

Steve Myers (not verified)    March 18, 2023 - 7:29AM

I would buy a Forester Touring model today if it was a Plugin Hybrid with 40+ miles range.

Their research question seems to be flawed.

If you asked existing Forester owners if they would buy a new Forester Hybrid I would expect most would say NO!

They already have a Forester and wouldn't want to sell it to buy another.

Ask people (like me) that are trying to buy a RAV4 Plugin but can't find one if they would buy a Forester Plugin and I'd expect most to say YES PLEASE!

A Forester Plugin Hybrid with 40+ miles range would have the same problem as the RAV4 Plugin.

The dealers would either be unable to keep them in stock, or they would add drastically high markups to put them out of reach for most people.

Tim (not verified)    March 20, 2023 - 2:10PM

Definitely, that's what I'm waiting for, as long as our 2011 Outback remains reliable. I love Subarus for their capability and mileage, but they are way overdue for a hybrid or an efficient small turbo.

Kelsey (not verified)    March 24, 2023 - 10:14PM

I’ll be sad to give up my standard forester (apparently I’m not an early adopter of technology) but I would do it for a plug in hybrid. I live in a very snowy part of rural BC so hoping for good snow performance and some low end gearing for creeping down and up snowy roads.

Mark Wiener (not verified)    March 27, 2023 - 11:34AM

Disappointed to read so few Subaru owners favor PHEV. That leaves PHEV to Lexus, Toyota, Volvo, Mazda and others. IMO Forester excels at safety and reliability. Otherwise it is a champion of mediocrity. A 30 mile range, hybrid combined 282HP Forester would change Subaru into a world class winner. As it is, Toyota sells every RAV4Prime they can make. Either the report is flawed or numerous Subaru owners favor mediocrity!

Ranjan Mukherjee (not verified)    April 3, 2023 - 7:40PM

I love my Subaru Forester, but it is showing its age. I am in the market for a new one. It makes sense now to go EV, or better, a plug in hybrid EV. The Toyota RAV4 Prime is the top of the line. BUT,
1. It is not sold in Pennsylvania where I live. I checked, 3 dealers. Apparently Toyota likes to sell to states that meet ZEV (zero emission standards) like CA. PA is not ZEV. and (2) low inventories.
If Subaru made a reasonably priced Forester plug in hybrid with the characteristics of the RAV4 PHEV, I would buy in a jiffy. Subaru, are you listening?

steve (not verified)    April 4, 2023 - 11:47AM

No one wants a $50k Forester. Thats not what they are. They were the cheaper alternative with longevity, AWD, and low center of gravity. EVs have made all cars low center of gravity with AWD. What does Subaru have left is cheaper option. If they ditch that......they ditch most sales. Interior materials and build quality of Rav Prime is miles ahead of Forester. No one wants to buy a new 42 range battery for 3k. Same as when Subaru went to chain from belt timing. They dropped a 1000-1200 maintenance item. Now they would gain it back. All losses IMO.

Edward Hirsch (not verified)    April 10, 2023 - 2:41PM

I would definitely buy a Forester hybrid if it becomes available this coming fall. Since I live in an apartment complex without handy chargers I wouldn't want a plug-in hybrid. If Subaru doesn't begin selling a Forester hybrid by this fall I'll get a Hyundai Tucson hybrid or a Toyota RAV4 hybrid. I've waited far too long for a new car with modern safety features and a hybrid engine for better mileage. I won't wait any longer.

Amy (not verified)    April 23, 2023 - 12:20PM

I would love to purchase a Forester PHEV! If I knew one would be available in the fall I would preorder it now. The RAV4 Prime is the obvious alternative - but it is impossible to obtain a new one with the panoramic moonroof.

Eve (not verified)    May 6, 2023 - 11:23PM

If I could afford a new car, I would seriously consider a hybrid Forester because of the uncertainty of the future of gasoline. That way, no matter what happens, I could still drive my car. I live in an apartment so being able to buy gas would be much more feasible than electric for the time being. Plus being able to drive a longer distance and not use up a battery that will only last so many miles.

WilliamS (not verified)    May 8, 2023 - 5:14AM

In my state HEVs are taxed extra. You pay the road tax on the gas you burn to charge the battery which makes no sense. It would have to be a PHEV. But they only make sense if they qualify for Tax credits. I'm not sure if the Forrester is the best choice for that. Subaru killed the hybrid Cosstrek so why would they think a Hybrid Forester would be popular? They need a less expensive Solterra made in North America. The Forester facility in Indiana should be converted to Solterra's

Kay J. Carr (not verified)    May 16, 2023 - 7:25PM

A PHEV Forester would be perfect! We Subaru people who live in charger deserts need to drive an EV on a daily basis and then switch to gasoline when taking trips out of town. I just hope it will provide at least 40 miles on electricity and be affordable.

Victor Logvinov (not verified)    May 19, 2023 - 1:51PM

I've got a 2014 Forester & am definitely interested in some kind of hybrid Forester or Outback. While the majority of my driving is in cities, the need is there for occasional long distance drivabilty. Count me as hybrid-interested.