The Most Popular 2021 Subaru Forester Trim Isn’t Necessarily the Best

The 2021 Subaru Forester continues to live up to Subaru’s reputation of making good, high-quality cars, and as a result, Subaru has sold quite a few Foresters already. That being said, not all Forester trims are created equal, and some are just better than others. Here’s a look at why the most popular 2021 Subaru Forester trim probably isn’t the best.

The 2021 Subaru Forester, according to Edmunds, has four trim options, and the most popular trim also happens to be one of the most expensive. The Limited trim, which starts at about $35,000 MSRP, is the second most expensive Forester trim. For comparison, a regular Forester starts at about $27,000 MSRP, and the most expensive trim, the Touring trim, starts at about $37,000 MSRP.

Like most expensive trims, the Limited trim builds on the other trims. For example, the Limited trim gets the other trim’s standard features, which include things like 18-inch alloy wheels, blind-spot monitoring, and a panoramic sunroof, just to name a few.

On top of that, the Limited trim also gets leather upholstery, an 8-inch touchscreen display, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a powered liftgate.

While those features as well as all the other features that come with the Limited trim make it a worthy purchase, it may not actually be the best trim. That honor would have to go to the Premium trim.

Why the 2021 Subaru Forester Premium is great

The green Subaru Motor Forester car is on displayed during the 19th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition
The 2021 Subaru Forester | Zhe Ji/Getty Images

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The Premium trim, which starts at about $30,000 MSRP, is the most affordable trim option for the Subaru Forester. As such, the Premium trim strikes a great balance between value and features, according to Car and Driver. 

This is largely because the standard Forester isn’t a bad car by itself, and the Premium trim, for a low premium of about $3,000, pushes the Forester into new heights. For example, Car and Driver said that the exterior upgrades, which include 17-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, and new side-view mirrors, all make the Forester look far better overall.

Furthermore, the interior upgrades are notable, too. The Premium trim gives the Forester tech upgrades by providing it with keyless entry, push-button start, and a Wi-Fi hotspot as standard. The Premium trim also gives the Forester comfort upgrades, as it comes with a panoramic sunroof, heated front-row seats, and a heated steering wheel, among many other things.

How the Premium trim compares to the Limited trim

Since the Premium trim of the Subaru Forester is supposed to strike a balance between value and features, it naturally doesn’t have as many features as the more expensive trims.

Indeed, the Limited trim has all the features that the Premium trim has, and then some, as the Limited trim also has features from the Sport trim. But of course, for those features, customers are paying a much higher price than they would if they had picked the Premium trim instead.

There’s a $5,000 difference between the Premium and Limited trims, and ultimately, it’s up to customers to decide whether that’s a fair price to pay for the additional features that the Limited trim offers.

But as Edmunds wrote, customers are ultimately deciding that the $5,000 premium is worth it, as the Limited trim is more popular than the Premium trim is. 

This may simply come down to the fact that the Forester is a very affordable SUV, no matter what. While the $35,000 MSRP price tag of the Limited trim isn’t cheap by any means, it’s also not a ridiculous amount of money.

As such, many Subaru fans probably think that the extra cost is worth it since they are buying an SUV that they know they’ll love.