2021 Subaru Forester
- $20,000-$30,500 (estimated)
- Summer 2020
What to expect
- It's likely that the Forester will get a styling refresh
- Rumors are also swirling around a new turbocharged engine
- Part of the fifth Forester generation introduced for 2019
What is the Forester?
Like much of the Subaru lineup, the Forester represents a slightly more rugged and outdoorsy option compared to your typical family SUV. Its taller ground clearance and standard all-wheel drive have a lot to do with that, as does Subaru's reputation. In a class of small SUVs led by the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5 and Hyundai Tucson, the Forester ranks a respectable fourth place, a mere 0.3 point behind the top-rated CR-V.
Considering Subaru's history of redesigning vehicles every five years on average, the Forester is likely due for a mild refresh rather than a full redesign. We're expecting a few styling changes inside and out, as well as a shuffling of features from the options column over to the standard list. And there are strong indications a new turbocharged engine is coming. If that's true, that could eliminate one of our biggest complaints: a lack of power.
With that in mind, it's possible the Forester could break into the top three in Edmunds' small SUV rankings. That means if you value performance, it may be worth waiting for the 2021 model rather than going with the 2020 Forester. We hope to know for sure this summer.
We like the Subaru Forester as a small SUV with better-than-average off-road abilities, and we award it points for its standard all-wheel drive. A large cargo space and comprehensive list of advanced safety features bolster its strengths, but we've been disappointed by its weak engine.
That may change in 2021 since there's a good chance the Forester could add a more powerful turbocharged engine to its roster. It may also be due for a styling update, so stay tuned.