No hybrid option on the 2022 Subaru Forester in North America [Update]

Subaru revealed the 2022 Forester (facelift) internationally in June 2021, and in September, it has announced the model in the U.S. The 2022 Forester with enhanced styling, safety, and other improvements was going to arrive at the U.S. dealerships in October 2021, and so, it should be on sale now.

2022 Subaru Forester Exterior

Subaru has tried improving the Forester with the facelift to give customers an aggressive look. The hexagonal radiator grille has more strongly defined angles and new inserts for a bolder look. The headlights have 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 succeed in making the front fascia sophisticated.

US-spec 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness front three quarters
The 2022 Subaru Forester is available in six trims in the U.S., namely Base, Premium, Sport, Wilderness, Limited, and Touring. Image Source: Subaru

A new ladder-type roof rail design has 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 are new, and their design vary as per the trim. Speaking of trims, there are six choices now: Base, Premium, Sport, Wilderness, Limited, and Touring. Wilderness is a new trim for MY2022. Subaru has improved the Forester’s windshield washer system with additional single-nozzle, dual spray in the lower windshield cowl area.

Subaru Forester Wilderness

The Subaru Outback received its Wilderness variant in March 2021, and the Subaru Forester welcomes the same with the mid-cycle refresh now.

US-spec 2022 Subaru Forester rear three quarters
The new Wilderness trim makes the Forester a more capable SUV for adventures. Image Source: Subaru

The 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness comes with 9.2 inches of ground clearance – that’s a half-inch more than the regular model, longer coil springs and shock absorbers that provide added road clearance, and special tuning ensuring that 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 the new Forester trim more suitable for adventures.

Interior & Safety

The 2022 Forester has the same interior design as the 2021 Forester. The cabin is a safer place, thanks to a new version of EyeSight that includes new Automatic Emergency Steering. The new feature works together with the Pre-collision Braking System and helps avoid a collision at 50 mph or lower speeds.

US-spec 2022 Subaru Forester interior dashboard
Subaru hasn’t changed the interior design of the Forester. Image Source: Subaru


Hybrid variant

Internationally, Subaru has carried over the Forester’s hybrid powertrain without changes.

For reference, Subaru uses 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 Australia, Subaru says that the new Forester should provide a more comfortable ride, improved steering responsiveness, and better handling, as it features retuned front suspension coil springs and dampers. Expect more quietness inside the cabin, thanks to a new aluminum engine mount bracket that lowers noise and vibrations.

Performance in challenging conditions should also be better, as Subaru has revised X-Mode and Hill Descent Control. The former comes with the ability to automatically re-engage once the speed of the SUV reduces to 35 km/h (22 mph) or less, while the latter improves vehicle control speed. Again, we’re talking about the Australian-spec 2022 Forester here.

In the U.S.

Subaru doesn’t sell the e-boxer hybrid in the U.S., and hence it can’t compete head-to-head with Toyota’s best-selling hybrid model, the RAV4 Hybrid, which has a superior fuel efficiency (41 mpg city/38 mpg highway/40 mpg combined).

The U.S.-spec Subaru Forester retains the 2.5-liter BOXER engine for MY2022. This naturally aspirated direct-injection gasoline mill produces 182 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 176 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm. As before, 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 U.S.-spec 2022 Forester should offer improved braking performance. Subaru has equipped the SUV with a new electronically controlled power-assisted dual diagonal brake system. The Premium trim of the Forester now comes with 12.4-inch brake rotors instead of the 11.6-inch brake rotors in the previous model year.


The 2022 Subaru Forester costs USD 25,195 (MSRP excl. Destination & Delivery) onwards in the U.S.

Subaru Forester TrimMSRP + Destination & Delivery
BaseUSD 26,320
PremiumUSD 29,320
SportUSD 30,890
WildernessUSD 33,945
LimitedUSD 33,000
TouringUSD 36,420

Though the fifth-gen Forester is three years old, it is recording strong numbers in the U.S market. With year-to-date (January-October 2021) sales of 137,074 units, it’s the best-selling Subaru model in the U.S. right now. Compared to the January-October 2020 period (148,779 units), though, sales are up 7.9% down, and that can be partly attributed to the shortage of semiconductor chips which affected vehicle production. With an overall score of 89 out of 100, the Subaru Forester was one of the top 10 picks from Consumer Reports in April 2021.

Forester’s sales in the U.S. aren’t anywhere close the segment’s best-seller. Toyota put 313,447 units of the RAV4 into the American market in the first three quarters of 2021, which is more than double the volume of the Forester (132,254 units). Subaru would hope that the recent refresh for MY2022 would narrow the gap to the Toyota next year.

For those wishing for an electrified Subaru in the same size class, by mid-2022, the Subaru Solterra will arrive in the marketplace as the company’s first all-electric vehicle. It will compete with compact electric SUVs like the Toyota bZ4X, Nissan Ariya, VW ID.4, Hyundai Ioniq 5, and Kia EV6.

2022 Subaru Forester FAQs

What is the 2022 Subaru Forester release date?

The 2022 Subaru Forester is on sale now in the United States.

What is the 2022 Subaru Forester price?

Subaru has priced the 2022 Forester from around USD 25,195 (excl. USD 1,125 Destination & Delivery) in the U.S.

Will the Forester offer electric or hybrid options in America?

It is unlikely for the current generation Forester model. The 2023 Subaru Solterra is a worthy alternative.

Featured Image Source: Subaru