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If you’re on the hunt for a reliable SUV with all-wheel drive, you’ve probably got a couple of Subarus on your list. The 2021 Subaru Forester and the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek are likely included in that list too. After all, according to U.S. News & World Report, the two models are recognized as the two highest-ranked SUVs in Subaru’s lineup. But which Subaru makes for the better buy?

2021 Subaru Crosstrek with a parachute and two people ready to fly
2021 Subaru Crosstrek | Subaru

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek has a lower base price

Don’t want to break the bank with your next car purchase? That’s OK. We get it. Who would, anyway? Fortunately, neither of these SUVs are extravagantly priced. However, one is more expensive than the other.

While the Subaru Forester boasts a base price of $24,795, the Subaru Crosstrek rings in at $22,245, which is only $100 more than last year’s model. Though that’s not a massive price difference, it is worth keeping in mind if you’re shopping on a strict budget.

The 2021 Subaru Forester offers more cargo space

For many SUV shoppers, the amount of space a vehicle has to offer is worth considering. Step inside the 2021 Subaru Forester, and you’ll be pleased to find that it offers 76.1 cubic feet of cargo space when you fold down its 60/40 split rear seats. And if you don’t? The Subaru Forester still provides a full 35.4 cubic feet of space.

As for the Crosstrek? This year’s model offers 20.8 cubic feet behind the second row. When you fold the rear seats down, it provides up to 55.3 cubic feet of cargo space. According to U.S. News & World Report, while the Subaru Crosstrek offers substantially less cargo space than the Forester does, it does provide more cargo space than many of its competitors.

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek lacks critical safety features

Subaru is known for putting safety features at the forefront of every vehicle that it makes. When it comes to the 2021 Subaru Forester and the Crosstrek, that’s no different. That is unless you opt for a base level Subaru Crosstrek with a manual transmission. Do so, and you’ll notice that the Subaru Crosstrek doesn’t come standard with EyeSight Driver Assist Technology like models equipped with a continuously variable transmission do.

As for the Subaru Forester? Regardless of which model you choose, it comes standard with EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, including confidence-inspiring features like adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, lane departure and sway warning, and more.

Which Subaru is the most reliable? 

Subaru is known for churning out reliable vehicles. However, of these two models, it’s the 2021 Subaru Forester that has the edge. According to J.D. Power, the Subaru Crosstrek earned a 77 out of 100 quality and reliability rating. On the other hand, the 2021 Subaru Forester earned itself an 81 out of 100 quality and reliability rating, J.D. Power reports.

It is worth noting that both vehicles do come standard with a three-year/36,000-mile warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. So, should any problems arise, you should have some recourse.

Choosing between the Subaru Forester and the Crosstrek

In the end, choosing between these two models is probably going to take a test drive. While the Subaru Crosstrek is cheaper, it’s also smaller and lacks some pretty key safety features. However, the Subaru Forester is more expensive than the Crosstrek, which can present a problem for some car shoppers. Your best bet? Head to your local dealership, take these two models out for a test drive, and you’ll likely figure out which model is the best fit for you.


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