2022 Subaru Forester vs. 2022 Crosstrek: Hi Little Brother!

Are you thinking about getting either the Subaru Forester or Crosstrek — but can’t figure out which one to buy? To help you make a buying decision for the two crossover SUVs, we created this 2022 Subaru Forester vs. 2022 Subaru Crosstrek head-to-head comparison.

2022 Subaru Forester vs. 2022 Subaru Crosstrek: What are the differences?

Geyser Blue 2022 Subaru Forester driving on a dirt road
Geyser Blue 2022 Subaru Forester | Subaru

In our 2022 Subaru Forester vs. 2022 Subaru Crosstrek comparison, we evaluated several different areas. This includes performance, efficiency, off-road capabilities, towing, safety, passenger and cargo space, interior features and technologies, warranty coverage, reliability, and price.

Forester vs. Crosstrek: Performance and efficiency

Pure Red 2022 Subaru Crosstrek driving by a hill
Pure Red 2022 Subaru Crosstrek | Subaru

On the performance front, all 2022 Subaru Forester models have a 2.5-liter flat-four engine (182 hp). In comparison, the Crosstrek has two engine options: a base 2.0-liter flat-four engine (152 hp) and a 2.5-liter flat-four engine (182 hp). The Crosstrek offers crossover SUV buyers the choice of either a manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT), while all Forester models come standard with a CVT.

For efficiency, the Crosstrek has a slight edge. It has an estimated fuel economy of up to 30 combined mpg, compared to a gas mileage of up to 28 combined mpg for the Forester.

Forester vs. Crosstrek: Off-road capabilities

The Forester and Crosstrek can more than hold their own for off-road use. Both crossover SUVs come standard with a traction-enhancing all-wheel drive system and have a standard ground clearance of 8.7 inches. However, unlike the Crosstrek, the Forester offers an off-road-focused model with the Wilderness trim. In addition to a higher ground clearance of 9.2 inches, the Forester Wilderness has off-road-enhancing features such as all-terrain tires and longer coil springs and shock absorbers.

If towing is a top priority, then the Forester is the better choice for you. It has a maximum towing capacity of 3,000 pounds, compared to 1,500 pounds for the Crosstrek.

Forester vs. Crosstrek: Safety

The Forester has the advantage for safety. It earned an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, which is the highest possible IIHS rating. In comparison, the Crosstrek received the second-tier IIHS Top Safety Pick award.

Forester vs. Crosstrek: Passenger and cargo space 

The Forester is bigger than the Crosstrek, resulting in more passenger and storage space. It has a total passenger volume of 111.6 cu-ft and a maximum cargo capacity of 74.2 cu-ft. In comparison, the Crosstrek has a total passenger volume of 100.9 cu-ft and a maximum cargo capacity of 55.3 cu-ft.

Forester vs. Crosstrek: Interior features and technologies

The Forester has the advantage for interior features and technologies. Unlike the Crosstrek, the Forester offers a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, a power passenger seat, and a multi-zone climate control system.

Forester vs. Crosstrek: Warranty coverage and reliability

Both crossover SUVs have the backing of a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. For reliability, though, the Forester has the advantage. It received a J.D. Power reliability rating of 83/100, compared to 79/100 for the Crosstrek.

Forester vs. Crosstrek: Price

Which Subaru crossover SUV costs more: the 2022 Forester or the 2022 Crosstrek? The starting prices of the 2022 Forester range from $25,195 MSRP for the Base trim up to $35,295 MSRP for the Touring trim. In comparison, the starting prices of the 2022 Crosstrek range from $22,445 MSRP for the Base trim up to $28,295 MSRP for the Limited trim.

2022 Subaru Forester vs. 2022 Subaru Crosstrek: Which Subaru crossover SUV is better? 

In our 2022 Subaru Forester vs. 2022 Subaru Crosstrek comparison, the 2022 Forester has most of the advantages. This includes base engine horsepower, off-road capabilities, towing, safety, passenger and cargo space, interior features and technologies, and reliability. For the 2022 Crosstrek, the only advantages that it has are efficiency and price.

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