The Battle of Versatile SUVs: Subaru Crosstrek vs. Subaru Forester

Subaru has established itself as a maker of automobiles that expertly blend utility, durability, and a feeling of adventure in the market for SUVs with many applications. Two of its best-selling models, the Subaru Crosstrek and the Subaru Forester, are outstanding instances of this dedication to adaptability. Despite originating from the same manufacturer, each of these vehicles is distinct to meet the diverse demands and tastes of prospective purchasers.

Design and Size

The first notable difference between the Subaru Crosstrek and Forester is their size and design ethos. The Crosstrek, positioned as a compact SUV, exudes a more youthful and sporty appeal. Its compact dimensions make it manoeuvrable in urban settings while still accommodating light off-road adventures.

On the other hand, the Forester boasts a larger footprint, offering more interior space and cargo capacity. Its design leans towards a classic SUV profile, providing ample room for families and cargo without compromising Subaru’s signature off-road capabilities.

Performance and Power

Subaru Crosstrek and Forester engines are competent. Crosstreks normally use a 2.0-litre flat-four engine; however, higher model levels may have a 2.5-litre. All trim levels of the Forester use a 2.5-litre flat-four engine that produces more power and torque than the basic Crosstrek.

All versions come equipped with Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive technology, which provides excellent stability and grip on any route. This feature is a significant draw for those seeking vehicles capable of handling diverse terrains and weather conditions.

Interior Comfort and Technology

Step inside, and you’ll find that both the Crosstrek and Forester offer well-thought-out interiors. The Crosstrek, being more compact, might feel slightly snugger but still manage to provide comfort for passengers. Its interior is practical and user-friendly, featuring modern infotainment systems with smartphone integration and safety technologies.

Comparatively, the Forester’s larger dimensions translate to a more spacious cabin. The increased roominess offers enhanced comfort for passengers, especially during longer journeys. Its cargo space is also notably generous, making it an ideal choice for families or individuals with active lifestyles.

Safety Features

When it comes to safety, Subaru has consistently excelled, and both the Crosstrek and Forester are no exceptions. Both models come equipped with Subaru’s suite of advanced safety features, including EyeSight Driver Assist Technology. This includes features such as adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, lane departure and sway warning, and lane-keep assist.

Price and Value

Starting price-wise, the Subaru Crosstrek is often less costly than the Forester. The price gap between the two vehicles, however, may close if you add extras and move up to a higher trim level.

In the end, personal tastes and requirements determine which of the Crosstrek and Forester is best. The Crosstrek appeals to those seeking a more compact and agile vehicle, ideal for city driving and occasional off-road adventures. Meanwhile, the Subaru Forester caters to individuals or families requiring more space, cargo capacity, and a smoother ride on longer journeys.

Off-Road Capabilities

Both the Subaru Crosstrek and Forester are designed to tackle off-road adventures with ease. While the Crosstrek’s smaller size might imply slightly better manoeuvrability on narrow trails, the Forester’s higher ground clearance and larger dimensions offer advantages when traversing rough terrain or encountering deeper ruts or obstacles. Subaru’s X-MODE, available in both models, optimises the engine, transmission, and all-wheel-drive systems for enhanced traction on slippery surfaces or challenging terrains.

Fuel Efficiency

Owing to its reduced dimensions and weight, the Crosstrek often achieves somewhat better fuel efficiency ratings. However, the two models’ fuel economy isn’t all that different, and both have competitive efficiency for their classes. Factors such as driving habits and terrain can significantly influence actual fuel consumption.

Choosing Your Subaru Adventure: Crosstrek vs. Forester

Choosing between the Subaru Crosstrek and Forester often comes down to your specific needs, preferences, and lifestyle. Here’s a concise breakdown to guide your decision-making:

Choose the Crosstrek if:

  • 1. Compact Versatility: You prioritise a smaller, more agile vehicle for urban driving with occasional off-road capability.
  • 2. Fuel Efficiency: It tends to offer slightly better fuel economy due to its smaller size and lighter weight.
  • 3. Budget Considerations: It usually starts at a lower price point compared to the Forester, making it more budget-friendly.
  • 4. Youthful Appeal: Its sportier design and compact build might resonate with those seeking a more youthful and adventurous vibe.

Choose the Forester if:

  • 1. Spacious Interior: You need ample room for passengers and cargo, making the Forester ideal for families or those who require more space.
  • 2. Enhanced Towing Capacity: If towing trailers or heavier loads are a priority, the Forester’s higher towing capacity might be more suitable.
  • 3. Longer Trips and Comfort: For extended journeys where comfort and a smoother ride matter, the Forester’s larger size offers more comfort for occupants.
  • 5. Comprehensive Safety Features: Typically equipped with more standard safety features and potentially advanced technological options.


In the battle of versatile SUVs, the Subaru Crosstrek and Subaru Forester both showcase Subaru’s commitment to creating reliable, capable, and versatile vehicles. The Crosstrek offers a sportier and more compact option, while the Forester presents a larger, more family-oriented SUV. Both models, however, share Subaru’s renowned all-wheel-drive capability, safety features, and reliability, making either a compelling choice for various lifestyles and driving needs. Ultimately, the decision between the two rests on personal preferences, lifestyle requirements, and the specific needs of the driver and passengers.