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Why You Won’t See The New Subaru Forester Hybrid Model Anytime Soon

Honda just launched its new CR-V Hybrid small compact SUV, so why doesn’t Subaru bring the 2020 Forester Hybrid e-Boxer for U.S. customers?

Subaru is selling its new 2020 Forester Hybrid e-Boxer in Japan, China, Europe, and Australia, but U.S. customers can only look and not touch. Honda just announced its new CR-V Hybrid, Toyota has the RAV4 Hybrid and Mitsubishi brings the Outlander PHEV in the small SUV segment. So why not Subaru?

Subaru of America (SOA) has been quiet when it comes to the 2020 Forester Hybrid e-Boxer model. SOA is keeping a close eye on the newest Crosstrek Plug-In Hybrid to see how well it will sell in the U.S. and Canada before launching the new Forester hybrid. How well is the Crosstrek PHEV selling?

2020 Subaru Forester Hybrid e-Boxer2020 Subaru Forester Hybrid e-Boxer

According to a recent report from The Detroit News, Crosstrek Hybrids represented just 1.5 percent of all Crosstreks sold through July and just 0.26 percent of Subaru's overall sales in the U.S. market. SOA has only sold 1,299 2019 Crosstrek Plug-In Hybrid models since it made its dealer launch late last year. 

Subaru of America knew the all-new 2019 Subaru Crosstrek plug-in hybrid wouldn’t be a big seller in its all-wheel-drive stable. Subaru offers Crosstrek Hybrid models in limited quantities and they are not even available in many states.

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Plug-In Hybrid2019 Subaru Crosstrek Plug-In Hybrid

We heard from a source who works at a Subaru dealer in Utah who tells us they have had “hundreds of leads” this summer from customers wanting to buy the new Crosstrek Hybrid model. These buyers had to go to Toyota and Mitsubishi (and now Honda) to get a small SUV hybrid.

He says they have “easily lost 100+ sales due to no availability. It’s pretty hard to sell them (even when people have been legitimately clamoring for them) when we tell them they'll have to go to California to purchase and service their new Crosstrek Hybrid.”

2020 Subaru Forester Hybrid e-Boxer (European-spec)2020 Subaru Forester Hybrid e-Boxer (European-spec)

The bottom line why Subaru of America doesn’t bring the 2020 Forester Hybrid e-Boxer to North America, is because they don’t need to. The newly-redesigned 2019 Subaru Forester is selling well and the Camden, N.J. automaker is setting records every month in the U.S. market without a Forester hybrid model. Until the demand for hybrid models increases, don’t look for Subaru to launch the 2020 Forester Hybrid e-Boxer in the U.S. anytime soon.

You Might Also Like: Subaru Reveals First Forester STI e-Boxer Hybrid

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Photo credit: Subaru Europe, Subaru USA


Angry Mitch (not verified)    September 21, 2019 - 8:26AM

In reply to by Denis Flierl

I would, if it was a PHEV, then I could get the federal tax credit. That would only be like around $5k extra, and I'd make that up over time between less wear and tear on the engine, better fuel economy, and even less maintenance on the brakes & rotors (there are stories of Priuses at 120k on the original brake pads!)

However, I am a little concerned about the no spare tire thing. I'd need to either put run-flats on there or I'd have to buy a donut and put it in the trunk.

HW (not verified)    September 19, 2019 - 10:05AM

Not for $10k increase and I am a Forester owner. RAV4 Hybrid is less than $1k increase over a gas only RAV4 and there is a waiting line.Savings won't justify a $10k increase, especially if mpg savings are not that great. Car and Driver got 30mpg highway(75mph) and overall 30mpge with 2nd generation Crosstrek. A RAV4 hybrid got 37mpg(75mph) highway and 32mpg overall. Other than Subaru having better AWD system and visibility, the RAV4 Hybrid is better deal.

Subaru Owner -… (not verified)    September 20, 2019 - 4:18PM

"The bottom line why Subaru of America doesn’t bring the 2020 Forester Hybrid e-Boxer to North America, is because they don’t need to."
Really? That sounds like the attitude of the American car companies when the Japanese started selling in the US. Why change? THEY won't compete with us.

...Subaru - I've been driving your cars for 20+ years...but you're going to lose a customer and once the customer is lost, it may never come back. Come out with a hybrid that costs marginally more but offers a substantial increase in mileage and you will *keep* selling lots of cars. Offer a super-expensive hybrid that adds almost nothing but complexity and cost and you will sell none....and start down the path of losing your customers to Honda (CRV Hybrid coming soon with 40+ mpg), Toyota, even Mitsubishi and Ford

Fred (not verified)    September 20, 2019 - 11:07PM

I currently have a Subaru Legacy and am ready to buy a hybrid. I am in Canada and if Subaru doesn't release it in Canada by Spring of 2020 I am going to have to buy the Rav 4 Hybrid. I have already looked at the Toyota and it is a nice vehicle. I love my Subie but if Subaru Canada doesn't release the 2020 Crosstrek Hybrid, I am going to have to jump ship.

Angry Mitch (not verified)    September 21, 2019 - 8:25AM

I would buy a Forester Hybrid in a second! The Crosstrek is too small for my preference. While I like the idea of a plug in hybrid and would love the tax credit for it, the Forester is a great fit. I think the biggest issue with the Crosstrek is that they made you have to get the top trim in order to get the hybrid. I bet more people would be into it if you could get a Premium Hybrid, for example. The Crosstrek is pushing nearly 40k with all the options and the package. My Forester Premium with Option 15 was only around 28k this year.

I drive almost all city mileage. I am a perfect candidate for a hybrid, whether it be a mild hybrid or a plug-in hybrid. But I need the option to do so! I would spend up to $5k after tax credits are factored in to get it. It would increase my fuel economy by nearly double of what I'm getting city now!

Bob (not verified)    October 22, 2019 - 3:53PM

I've been wanting a Forester, but if they continue to use CVT, then I want it to be a hybrid. I'll get a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid if it's not released by the end of 2020 (bringing back the turbo would change my mind).

Fred (not verified)    October 26, 2019 - 10:05PM

I put a deposit on a 2020 Rav4 Hybrid Limited. $47,500. Subaru Canada told me in a Tweet message that the Crosstrek Hybrid will be available in Canada before the end of this year. Toyota told me my Rav4 could take 5 months to get here so that means I should be able to check out the Crosstrek and if I decide I like it better then the Rav4, I can cancel my order and get my deposit back

Rachel Lovins (not verified)    November 30, 2019 - 11:58AM

Yes I absolutely would do so. And I would buy a hybrid outback too. I’m passed that I do t have the option.

Máel (not verified)    January 27, 2020 - 11:35AM

Re: "The bottom line why Subaru of America doesn’t bring the 2020 Forester Hybrid e-Boxer to North America, is because they don’t need to.The newly-redesigned 2019 Subaru Forester is selling well..." If this is truly their conclusion - and as others have suggested, they're misguided, I think. Subaru-fans (we're on our third, a 2018 Crosstrek) want a Subaru. Period. If the Forester isn't available as a hybrid, many folks will buy the conventional Forester over a competitor's hybrid. So, yes, it's selling well - but that doesn't mean a hybrid would not. I'm actually delaying my purchase in the hope that the hybrid Forester becomes available in the US. If it's not available by 2022 then I may cave and consider something like the RAV4, but I'd much rather stick with Subaru. I hope they read your page!! ;-)