Why Isn’t Anyone Buying the 2022 Subaru Forester?

The 2022 Subaru Forester is one of the most popular compact SUV models available. Consumer Reports considers it the best overall model in its class for many reasons. However, statistics show that Forester sales are declining rapidly. What could be the reason people aren’t buying one of the best compact SUVs? Why isn’t anyone buying the 2022 Subaru Forester?

2022 Subaru Forester is losing sales

A gray 2022 Subaru Forester small SUV is driving on the road.
The 2022 Subaru Forester | Subaru

Since the new model year began, the 2022 Subaru Forester has been the automaker’s most popular all-wheel-drive model. However, according to Subaru of America’s reported May sales, the compact SUV’s sales have dropped for the third month straight. According to Torque News, it’s the most significant drop in the Subaru SUV lineup. Do the compact SUV’s sales suffer from more than just a chip shortage and supply chain issues?

Compared to May 2021, the Forester saw a 72.5% decrease in sales, selling just 5,496 models. During the same month in 2021, customers purchased 20,006 units of Consumer Reports‘ best compact SUV. One suggested reason is the plant that manufactures Forester’s shut down for two days. However, the automaker’s Crosstrek subcompact SUV is built in the same plant and didn’t see nearly as big of a decline in sales this month. Why doesn’t anyone want to buy the latest Forester?

Gas prices are hurting Subaru Forester sales

What is Subaru Starlink? This infotaiment system provides many features from safety and security to entertainment and convenience.
2022 Subaru Forester interior | Subaru

If you’re a car owner, you’ve been struggling as much as anyone else with absurd gas prices. Worldwide, thanks to the pandemic among other reasons, gas prices have skyrocketed. As a result, people are buying new cars, but especially hybrids or all-electric models. When considering a new vehicle, customers are much more likely to lean toward hybrid or electric when it costs $5 per gallon to fill up at the pump. That’s where one of the 2022 Subaru Forester’s shortcomings might be impacting sales.

Firstly, the Forester is in a very competitive compact SUV segment against the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Hyundai Tucson. All of which offer a hybrid variant, and therefore superior fuel economy. On the other hand, the Forester is only all-wheel drive and doesn’t come with a hybrid powertrain. Every model uses AWD and a 2.5-liter four-cylinder Boxer engine to deliver 29 combined mpg. Are 2022 Subaru Forester sales plummeting because of poor fuel economy?

The off-road Forester Wilderness is underwhelming

RELATED: The 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness Has 1 Disappointing Drawback

Another reason the 2022 Subaru Forester isn’t selling as well as other Subaru SUVs is that its Wilderness trim is underwhelming. Most thought the new off-road trim would be very popular among consumers. However, that isn’t the case so far, but it’s quite the contrary for the Outback. Customers love and are buying the Outback Wilderness, but not the Forester. What’s so much worse about the Forester?

Torque News suggests the engine is a significant problem for the Forester Wilderness. The Forester Wilderness comes with a 2.5-liter Boxer engine producing 182 horsepower instead of Subaru’s 2.4-liter turbocharged version which makes 260 horsepower. Given the option, customers almost always choose more power. If you truly want to take a Wilderness model off-road, hauling camping gear, climbing inclines, and other off-road activities will feel better and safer with more power.

Why isn’t anyone buying the 2022 Subaru Forester?

In conclusion, 2022 Subaru Forester sales are dropping because it doesn’t offer a hybrid engine and gas prices are too high, and because of the underwhelming Wilderness trim. The new off-road model is a highlight for the 2022 model year but doesn’t do enough to outsell the Outback Wilderness. Additionally, every other popular compact SUV offers exceptional gas mileage with a hybrid powertrain. However, the Forester is all-wheel drive only and comes standard with one non-hybrid engine. Could making a few changes increase sales for this once best-selling model?

RELATED: Consumer Reports Calls the 2022 Subaru Forester the Best Compact SUV for Tall Drivers