2023 Subaru Forester vs. 2023 Crosstrek: Hi Little Brother!

Subaru offers a lineup of high-quality crossover SUVs, including the compact Forester and the subcompact Crosstrek. Find out the differences between them in this 2023 Subaru Forester vs. 2023 Subaru Crosstrek comparison.

2023 Subaru Forester vs. 2023 Subaru Crosstrek: What are the differences?

Front angle view of Autumn Green Metallic 2023 Subaru Forester crossover SUV
Autumn Green Metallic 2023 Subaru Forester | Subaru

In this 2023 Subaru Forester vs. 2023 Subaru Crosstrek crossover SUV comparison, we evaluated multiple areas. This includes performance, gas mileage, off-road capabilities, safety, passenger and cargo space, warranty coverage, reliability, and price.

Forester vs. Crosstrek: Performance

Front angle view of Desert Khaki 2023 Subaru Crosstrek crossover SUV
Desert Khaki 2023 Subaru Crosstrek crossover SUV | Subaru

On the performance front, all 2023 Subaru Forester models come equipped with a 2.5-liter flat-four engine, which generates 182 horsepower. In comparison, the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek offers three engine options: a 2.0-liter flat four-cylinder engine (152 horsepower), a 2.5-liter flat four-cylinder engine (182 horsepower), and a plug-in hybrid (148 horsepower). 

Also, the Crosstrek is more maneuverable than the Forester — due to its smaller size and lower weight. 

Forester vs. Crosstrek: Gas mileage

For efficiency, the Forester has an estimated gas mileage of up to 33 combined mpg. In comparison, the fully gas-powered 2023 Crosstrek has an estimated fuel economy of up to 30 mpg, while the Crosstrek Hybrid has a gas mileage of up to 35 mpg in hybrid mode and 90 MPGe in electric mode. Also, the Crosstrek Hybrid has an estimated electric-only driving range of 17 miles.

Forester vs. Crosstrek: Towing

The 2023 Forester can tow more than the 2023 Crosstrek. It has a maximum towing capacity of 3,000 pounds, compared to 1,500 pounds for the Crosstrek. 

Forester vs. Crosstrek: Off-road capabilities

For off-road capabilities, the Forester has the advantage. Both crossover SUVs come standard with a traction-enhancing all-wheel drive system, but the Forester has higher ground clearance than the Crosstrek (up to 9.2 vs. 8.6 inches). Also, unlike the Crosstrek, the Forester offers an off-road-focused model with the Wilderness trim.

Forester vs. Crosstrek: Safety

Given its history, the Forester has a slight advantage for safety. For the previous model year, it earned an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, which is the highest possible IIHS rating. In comparison, the Crosstrek earned the second-tier IIHS Top Safety Pick award.

Forester vs. Crosstrek: Passenger and cargo space

The 2023 Forester is bigger than the 2023 Crosstrek, resulting in more interior 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 2023 Crosstrek has a total passenger volume of 100.9 cu-ft and a maximum cargo capacity of 55.3 cu-ft.

Forester vs. Crosstrek: Warranty coverage and reliability

The Forester and Crosstrek have the same warranty coverage, with the backing of a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. However, the Forester is slightly more reliable than the Crosstrek. It earned a J.D. Power reliability rating of 84/100, compared to 81/100 for the Crosstrek.

Forester vs. Crosstrek: Price

Which Subaru crossover SUV costs more: the 2023 Forester or the 2023 Crosstrek? The starting price of the 2023 Forester ranges from $26,395 MSRP for the Base trim up to $36,495 MSRP for the Touring trim. In comparison, the starting price of the 2023 Crosstrek ranges from $23,645 MSRP for the Base trim up to $36,845 MSRP for the Hybrid trim.

2023 Subaru Forester vs. 2023 Subaru Crosstrek: Which crossover SUV is better?

In this 2023 Subaru Forester vs. 2023 Subaru Crosstrek comparison, each crossover SUV has various advantages. For the 2023 Forester, advantages include base engine horsepower output, gas-powered fuel economy, towing, off-road capabilities, safety, interior space, and reliability. Conversely, the 2023 Crosstrek has advantages for maneuverability, an efficient plug-in-hybrid model, and a lower base price.

RELATED: 2023 Subaru Forester: Price, Specs, & Overview — Popular Crossover SUV!