Is the 2021 Subaru Forester Worth Waiting For?

We have raved about the Subaru Forester all year long. The 2020  Forester shines bright for its versatility and value. And for 2021, the Forester offers more of the same. 

What’s new for the 2021 Forester?

2019 Subaru Forester Sport on the track.
2019 Subaru Forester Sport | Subaru

The Forester has basically been a mega-hit since Subaru first introduced it over two decades ago. Subaru last redesigned its Forester for the 2019 model year, but for the most part, the crossover has stuck to the same formula. There aren’t many significant changes for the 2021 Forester. 

The most notable change for the new Forester is that it is now standard with responsive LED headlights and an automatic high-beam assist function. These fixtures were previously only for the upper-level trims. Each Forester also now has a rear-seat belt reminder that prompts passengers in the back to fasten their seat belts. Plus, base models have a $25,845 price tag, a $300 increase compared to the 2020 model. 

The Forester rides the same 

2019 Subaru Forester Sport parked in front of mountains
Subaru Forester Sport | Subaru

All Foresters will still feature the same 182-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder Boxer engine linked to a continuously variable automatic transmission. The Forester’s four-cylinder doesn’t provide the most exhilarating experience, but it is a sensible and comfortable ride. This crossover can also tow up to 1500 pounds and has a standard Trailer Stability Assist function. What makes the Forester even better is its excellent fuel economy ratings. 

This Subaru’s well-rounded nature makes it more attractive compared to models like the Toyota RAV4 and the Jeep Cherokee. Unlike other models in its class, the Forester is standard with all-wheel-drive. The Forester is also one of the more capable options in the market for its ability to handle paved roads and ventures off-road respectably. For the best off-roading capabilities on the Forester, you’ll want to go for the Premium trim, which adds X-MODE with Hill Descent Control.

Its car cabin remains mostly unchanged too

2020 Subaru Forester Touring interior is the most luxurious option to get/
2020 Subaru Forester Touring interior | Subaru

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The Forester’s minimalist interior cabin persists for 2021. Cavernous space and exceptional outward visibility are among this crossover’s main selling points. It also boasts more cargo room than a few of its competitors. Base models come with high-quality cloth upholstery. You can upgrade your Forster with perforated leather-trimmed seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel for more luxurious amenities. 

Regarding in-car electronics, the Forester still comes with a 6.5-inch touchscreen and other desirable features, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. An 8-inch touchscreen is available on the upper-level trims. Subaru’s EyeSight safety package returns on the Forester and comes with adaptive cruise control and more. The most significant update here is that the Sport trim now adds blind-spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert to its standard equipment list.

So should you get the 2020 version or the 2021 model?

For 2021, the Forester is still a great deal. This crossover delivers on comfort, style, and efficiency. But as we discussed, there aren’t many changes for the 2021 Forester. This new model will hit dealerships come October. If you are particularly interested in the Forester’s newly standard LED lights, you might want to wait until then.