Update: ‘Price’ section updated.
The Subaru Forester Hybrid version has been available in several markets globally since 2018, but the U.S. isn’t one of them. That didn’t change with the facelift for MY2022 and hasn’t changed with the MY2023 update either.
Here’s what’s new in the 2023 Subaru Forester:
2023 Subaru Forester Exterior
Subaru improved the Forester with an aggressive new look in 2021. As it is fresh, the company has carried the design into 2023. To recap the changes brought with the 2022 model year update, the hexagonal grille gets strongly defined angles and new inserts for a bold look. The headlights adopted a partly vertical orientation, with the main light having a U-shape, and the daytime running light, a C-shape. The new headlights and grille help the front fascia look sophisticated.
A new ladder-type roof rail design introduced in the previous model year, improved the dynamic load capacity from 176 pounds to 220 pounds and the static load limit from 700 pounds to 800 pounds. The fog lights and alloy wheels were also new, and their design varied as per the trim. These can be spotted in the 2023 model.
Subaru Forester Wilderness
The Outback received its Wilderness variant in March 2021, and the Subaru Forester welcomed the same with the MY2022 update. Subaru hasn’t introduced major changes for the Forester Wilderness with the MY2023 update.
The Forester Wilderness comes with 9.2 inches of ground clearance – a half-inch more than the regular model, longer coil springs and shock absorbers that provide added road clearance, and special tuning ensuring the increased clearance doesn’t affect the ride and handling performance.
Exclusive 17-inch matte black alloy wheels shod with Yokohama Geolandar all-terrain tires, which provide increased traction on muddy and gravel roads, and a full-size spare tire are standard.
The Wilderness packs exclusive styling features to communicate its greater off-road capabilities. In addition to the Subaru Wilderness badge, it has a matte black anti-glare hood decal, front skid plate, larger wheel arch cladding, and unique hexagonal LED fog lights. Water-resistant StarTex seating surfaces also make this trim more suitable for adventures.
Interior & Safety
The 2023 Subaru Forester has the same interior as the previous model. In the MY2022 update, Subaru made the cabin safer by introducing a new version of EyeSight, including new Automatic Emergency Steering. This feature works with the Pre-collision Braking System and helps avoid a collision at 50 mph or lower speeds.
The 2023 Subaru Forester offers enhanced safety. The outboard position rear seat head restraints in the new model are larger in size to adhere to the IIHS safety standard requirements relating to whiplash. In fact, this is the only thing that Subaru says is new for 2023 in the Forester.
Internationally, the Subaru Forester Hybrid employs the FB20 2.0-liter gasoline engine and the MA1 electric motor that feeds off a 118.4 V, 4.8 Ah (0.6 kWh) lithium-ion battery pack in the Forester Hybrid. The engine produces 107 kW (145 PS) at 6,000 rpm and 188 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. In addition, the motor generates 10 kW (13.6 PS) and 65 Nm of torque. The fuel economy rating (WTLC) is 14.0 km/l or 32.9 mpg.
In the U.S.
As stated earlier, the 2023 Subaru Forester Hybrid isn’t available in the U.S. Subaru doesn’t offer its direct competitor to Toyota’s best-selling hybrid model in the country, the RAV4 Hybrid, which has superior fuel efficiency (41 mpg city/38 mpg highway/40 mpg combined).
The U.S.-spec Forester has retained the 2.5-liter BOXER engine for MY2023. This naturally-aspirated direct-injection gasoline engine produces 182 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 176 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm. It works with the Lineartronic CVT and the Symmetrical AWD system. The Lineartronic CVT comes with a 7-speed manual mode in all the trims, except the new Wilderness trim, which gets another version with an 8-speed manual mode.
The 2023 Subaru Forester delivers an EPA-est. fuel economy of 26 mpg city/33 mpg/29 mpg combined in the regular trims and 25 mpg city/28 mpg highway/26 mpg combined in the Wilderness trim.
With the MY2022 update, Subaru equipped the Forester with a new electronically controlled power-assisted dual diagonal brake system for improved braking performance. The Premium trim received 12.4-inch brake rotors as a replacement for the 11.6-inch brake rotors in MY2021. Subaru has carried forward these revisions into the 2023 model.
The 2023 Subaru Forester starts at USD 26,395 and goes up to around USD 36,495. An extra USD 1,225 destination and delivery charge is applicable across the range. The 2023 Forester has started arriving at Subaru dealerships in the U.S. Santa Ana, California-based Subaru Orange Coast, Capitol Subaru in San Jose, California, West Palm Beach, Florida-based Schumacher Subaru, Brunswick Subaru in Brunswick, Ohio, and many others have listed it on their websites.
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Introduced in March 2018, the fifth-gen Forester is experiencing turbulence in North America. Sales are weakening in the U.S., where deliveries declined by 12.6% year-over-year to 154,723 units in 2021. Between January and November 2022, Subaru delivered 100,570 units, 28.6% lower than in the same period in 2021 (January-November 2022: 140,793 units). The numbers aren’t close to the segment’s best-seller, the Toyota RAV4. Toyota put 407,739 units of the RAV4 into the American market in 2021 and 303,341 units between January and September 2022.
Though the Forester isn’t as popular as Toyota’s RAV4, it is a favorite among adventurers and light off-roaders. All that remains on our Forester wishlist is a fuel-efficient hybrid system! There’s a chance that the next-gen Forester (expected to break cover in 2024) could be offered with the second powertrain option in the U.S., but we’re not counting on it!
For those wishing for an electrified Subaru in the same size class, the Subaru Solterra has been announced as the company’s first all-electric vehicle, with limited availability. It competes with compact electric SUVs like the Toyota bZ4X, Nissan Ariya, VW ID.4, Hyundai Ioniq 5, and Kia EV6.
2023 Subaru Forester FAQs
What is the 2023 Subaru Forester release date?
The 2023 Forester has started reaching dealerships in the United States.
What is the 2023 Subaru Forester price?
Subaru has priced the 2023 Forester from USD 26,395 (excl. USD 1,225 destination & delivery charge).
Is the Subaru Forester Hybrid available in the U.S.?
The Forester Hybrid hasn’t been launched in the U.S. The fully-electrified Subaru Solterra is a worthy in-house alternative.
Featured Image Source: Subaru