Subaru Forester Hybrid (2025 Launch) for the U.S.: What we expect

  • Next-gen Subaru Forester Hybrid formally confirmed for the U.S.
  • Officially scheduled to be launched around Spring 2025
  • Will get a Toyota-developed hybrid system with Subaru's Boxer engine
  • Expected to be priced at approximately USD 32,000 in the base trim

Update (June 24, 2024): Specifications, Interior and Pricing details revised.

The 2025 Subaru Forester marks the entry of the Japanese automaker’s compact SUV, renowned for practicality, versatility, and capability, into its sixth generation. The fully redesigned model is now at U.S. dealerships. Like the fifth-gen model, the sixth-gen model has a Hybrid variant, but the big news is that the electrified offering will be available in the U.S., starting in 2025.

Here’s everything we know about the new Subaru Forester Hybrid.

Subaru Forester Hybrid U.S. confirmation

Presenting the new Forester in Los Angeles, Subaru’s global President & CEO, Atsushi Osaki, confirmed that the Subaru Forester Hybrid would be sold in the United States.

2025 Subaru Forester Hybrid preview
The Forester is Subaru’s bread winner in the U.S., where it has achieved impressive sales of 2.6+ million units. I feel that the Hybrid version will also appeal to a slightly different demographic who prioritize fuel efficiency and environmental considerations.

The all-new Forester will begin sales with the ICE engines, and the next-generation Hybrid Forester will follow in about a year. This will be the first-ever Subaru Forester Hybrid. It represents the next step in our new electrification plan with more electrified models to follow quickly.

Atsushi Osaki, Subaru President & CEO at the Los Angeles Auto Show 2023 on November 16, 2023

Jeff Walters, President & COO of Subaru of America, in his address at the premiere, confirmed that the Subaru Forester Hybrid would be offered “about a year after launch” of the gas-powered SUV.

Design

When the all-new Subaru Forester Hybrid hits dealers around Spring 2025, I expect it to have no major design changes from the new gas model, which is pictured in this story.

The 2025 Subaru Forester features a rugged exterior featuring a conventional shape and aggressive details. When I saw it at the 2023 LA Auto Show, I liked its strong front-end, which gives it a confident, assertive look.

The prominent radiator grille with chunky horizontal bars, the technical-looking headlamps, and the muscular bumper featuring hexagonal inserts in the lower part give it a sporty and athletic first impression. I expect these features to be carried forward to the Hybrid.

On the sides, I think the 2025 Forester gets a little humdrum. Its tall and flattish roofline descends subtly, and that, along with the squarish windows and rugged wheel arches lend it an authentic SUV character. The straightness of the beltline, the large window size, and the peculiar shape of the rear-quarter glass contribute to a somewhat mundane appearance.

The design of the wheel arch cladding also seems like an area where Subaru could have enhanced the look. On a positive note, the available 19-inch bronze wheels are an attractive option, and I hope that it would be extended to the Hybrid version.

In my opinion, the rear-end of the 2025 Forester isn’t its strongest angle. The clear lens taillights have an odd shape, and the trim stripes linking them to the Subaru logo come across as tacky. The faux dual exhaust housing in the bumper feels unnecessary and overdone. However, the license plate area, often an overlooked feature in most vehicles, is quite well-executed in this compact SUV.

Interior

2025 Subaru Forester dashboard
Subaru has made strides in improving the feel of the Forester’s cabin with the 2025 model. The basic dashboard is an old-school design, and it carries an analog instrument panel and a new portrait-style touchscreen.

The interior of the 2025 Subaru Forester bodes well with its tough SUV design. Customers who prefer old-school cabins with features like analog dials, a hefty dash, and vertical AC vents would find themselves right at home.

Subaru does have a 12.3-inch LCD instrument cluster in its inventory, and in my opinion, it should’ve offered it as an option in the 2025 Forester. It’ll be interesting to see if the Hybrid version gets changes in this respect.

The quality of plastics, soft-touch materials, and trim surfaces Subaru has used in the 2025 Forester is better than the outgoing model. I liked the textured surface on the passenger-side dashboard, and the decor element below it that mimics wood.

The doors also have padded material, along with suede. The physical buttons and switches have a nice feel to them. Subaru has put a lot of effort into uplifting the feel of the cabin, and it has worked.

2025 Subaru Forester Infotainment
The center infotainment display is a big improvement over the current version, but it can’t be compared to what the other Japanese or Koreans offer. I also missed the outgoing model’s three physical knobs for adjusting the temperature, fan speed, and air direction, respectively, which are now touch controls.

Subaru’s new 11.6-inch Starlink system is improved, but there’s no comparing it with what Toyota, Kia or Hyundai offer in their SUVs in design, resolution and snappiness. It supports wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto.

2025 Subaru Forester rear seat
I’m glad to report that the 2025 Forester retains the outgoing version’s rear seat comfort and spaciousness. The seats get heating, along with USB ports and AC vents, which should be retained in the future Hybrid configuration.

I’m also happy to report that a wireless smartphone charger is available in the redesigned model, which is a glaring omission in the outgoing SUV. The storage box below the central armrest is cavernous and is practical for everyday accessories.

Seeing the initial photos, I expected the 2025 Forester to make up for what it lacks in style on the sides with excellent visibility. It seemed that Subaru intentionally designed the windows, rear-quarter panels, and belt line to enhance the view for both driver and passengers, which also applies to the large, nearly upright rear glass.

2025 Subaru Forester boot cargo space
The new Forester gets the Hands-Free power tailgate function. The car’s boxy shape ensures that the vehicle has an impressive 29.6 cu.ft. of storage when the second row is up. It remains to be seen what impact the battery and electronics will have on the boot space of the incoming Forester Hybrid.

Sitting in the car in Washington, my experience confirmed this, as the all-around visibility in the redesigned model was excellent, further aided by the digital rearview mirror.

2025 Subaru Forester front seats
I found the ingress and egress is easy even for a six-footer. Lumbar and under-thigh support are adequate in the front seats of the new Forester. The same will apply for the Hybrid version.

Ingress and egress for a six-footer like me was easy. The steering wheel, which allows manual adjustment for reach and height, felt firm to grip. Lumbar support was adequate and under-thigh support was equally good, in this prototype vehicle. In the back, there’s enough space for three adults like me to sit comfortably on a long journey. Under-thigh support here was also sufficient.

Specifications

Subaru has confirmed that it will use Toyota’s hybrid system in future models starting in the mid-2020s. The switch from in-house technology to a Toyota-developed system will address the complaints of many customers who criticize hybrid Subarus for being not as fuel efficient as comparable Toyotas, which lead their segments. Subaru has scheduled the start of production of the next-gen HEVs in 2025, and the next-gen Forester Hybrid should be the first recipient.

Subaru Electrification Plan Status
The next-gen Subaru Forester Hybrid will have a hybrid system co-developed with Toyota. Image Source: Subaru (pdf)

However, unlike the RAV4 Hybrid, the new Forester Hybrid won’t be a FWD-biased crossover. Subaru is re-engineering Toyota’s Hybrid System for its longitudinal power unit and AWD.

As we go on, we are planning to fuse the core technologies of Subaru, the horizontally-opposed “Boxer” engine, symmetrical AWD, and Subaru Global Platform with Toyota Hybrid System (THS) technology.

Information compiled from Subaru’s Technology Briefing held on January 20, 2020

According to a report Spyder7 published on March 3, 2023, the next-gen Subaru Forester Hybrid will likely employ the FB20 2.0-liter four-cylinder horizontally opposed direct injection engine with the Toyota Hybrid System (THS). The current Forester Hybrid has the same gas engine (FB20), but the Japanese publication expects Subaru to fit a more fuel-efficient version in the next-gen Forester Hybrid.

The Forester Hybrid which is based on the fifth-gen Forester delivers a fuel economy of 14.0 km/l as per Japan’s WLTC method, which is quite low and not a substantial gain from the gas-powered Forester’s 13.6 km/l rating. To us, that also explains why the company doesn’t offer the electrified model in the U.S. The current engine develops 107 kW and 188 Nm of torque, and its electric motor, powered by a lithium-ion battery pack, produces 10 kW and 65 Nm of torque.

Price & Release Date

Given that the gas models are priced in the USD 31,090-USD 41,390 range, I expect the Forester Hybrid models to be placed in the USD 35,000-USD 45,000 price bracket when it reaches U.S. dealers in late Spring 2025, approximately a year after the new gas-engined Forester.

2025 Subaru Forester
Going by the pricing of the gas model (pictured), the Forester Hybrid should be priced in the $35,000-$45,000 price band.

The Forester Hybrid will be built in Lafayette, Indiana, where the company reportedly plans to invest $64.5 million in expanding production, as per filing documents seen by BasedInLafayette.com.

TopElectricSUV says

The Subaru Forester Hybrid will appeal to buyers with its reasonably stylish exterior, a highly practical interior with ample cargo space, and an efficient powertrain developed in collaboration with Toyota. If it’s priced around USD 40,000, I believe it would be an excellent choice for a five-seat compact SUV, offering a well-rounded option for American shoppers seeking a vehicle equally suited for light adventures and daily commutes.

U.S.-spec Subaru Forester Hybrid FAQs

What is the Subaru Forester Hybrid’s release date?

The Subaru Forester Hybrid is set to go on sale in Spring 2025 in the United States.

Which models will be the Subaru Forester Hybrid’s rivals?

The Forester Hybrid will compete with the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Hyundai Tucson Hybrid & Honda CR-V Hybrid.

What is the expected price of the Forester Hybrid?

The Forester Hybrid is expected to be priced between $35,000-$45,000.