Subaru gave its popular and best-selling crossover a thorough interior and exterior makeover for the 2022 model year. It’s the reason why the 2023 Subaru Forester is getting no significant changes except for higher base prices. The Forester joins a bandwagon of new vehicles with higher acquisition costs, no thanks to a lingering pandemic, a European war, and burgeoning chip shortages.
The entry-level 2023 Forester now starts at $27,620 (including the $1,225 destination fee), about $1,300 more than the 2022 Forester. It’s worth noting that Subaru implemented a mid-year price hike for 2022, adding $500 to Forester’s base price. The outdoor-ready Forester Wilderness is making a comeback for 2023 and continues to offer 9.2-inches of ground clearance, rugged suspension, and 17-inch wheels wrapped in Yokohama Geolandar all-terrain rubber.
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2023 Subaru Forester: Engine & Transmission
The 2023 Subaru Forester remains motivated by a 2.5-liter Boxer four-cylinder gas engine with 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft. of torque. The numbers may look good on paper, but we sorely miss the fire-breathing turbocharged Boxer-fours from Foresters of yore, particularly the rally-ready STi versions from the early 2000s. Typical of a Subaru (except the BRZ), all Foresters have symmetrical all-wheel drive, while a Lineartronic continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is the only gearbox option.
Despite the lack of oomph, the 2023 Forester delivers good fuel economy. EPA-estimated figures are 26 in the city, 33 on the highway, and 29 combined (although the more rugged Wilderness trim will not do as well in the fuel economy department). The Forester can tow up to 1,500 lbs., but the Wilderness trim is rated at 3,000 lbs. when properly equipped.
Standard Safety Features
The 2023 Subaru Forester is standard with the automaker’s EyeSight driver assist technology. The package includes adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, and forward collision mitigation.
Trim Levels & Pricing
The 2023 Subaru Forester is available in six trims: Base, Premium, Sport, Wilderness, Limited, and Touring. Below is a general overview of the standard equipment and pricing of each trim level.
As previously mentioned, the entry-level Forester starts at $27,620. It has all-power amenities, dual-USB ports, 17-inch steel wheels, remote keyless entry, and a 6.5-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Bluetooth, automatic climate control, and LED headlights are also standard. There’s a $625 option package that adds ladder-type roof rails and 17-inch silver-finished alloy wheels.
The Premium starts at $30,620. It has a 10-way power driver’s seat (with lumbar support), roof rails, a panoramic moonroof, rear privacy glass, keyless entry, a leather-wrapped tiller, dual rear USB ports, and a push-button start. The All-Weather Package is standard and adds heated front seats, heated side mirrors, and a windshield wiper de-icer among the list of upgrades.
Subaru offers the Forester Premium with an optional package ($1,165) that includes more advanced driving aids like automatic emergency braking, blind-spot detection, lane-changing assist, and rear cross-traffic alert. Moreover, Forester Premium has X-Mode with hill descent control to offer more driving smarts when the going gets tough. Also included is a power tailgate with automatic close and height memory.
The 2023 Subaru Forester Sport starts at $32,190. It has dual-function X-Mode (for improved off-road capabilities), gloss black exterior trim, black 18-inch wheels, a rear roof spoiler, and orange accents inside and out. It also has more driving assist features like blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency steering, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-changing assist.
An optional package ($1,645) adds an eight-inch touchscreen with Subaru Starlink, a Harman Kardon premium audio system, a power-operated liftgate, and reverse automatic braking.
With a starting MSRP of $35,245, the Wilderness builds upon the Premium trim and is well-equipped to explore the wild outdoors. In addition to the chunky rubber and increased ground clearance, the Wilderness receives a custom hexagonal front grille, ladder-type roof rails, unique LED fog lights, a front skid plate, wheel arch claddings, and a matte black anti-glare hood decal. In addition, it has all-weather floor mats, a cargo tray, and StarTex upholstery.
Subaru has a $1,850 option package for the Wilderness that comprises a power liftgate, a Harman Kardon audio system, and an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen.
The Limited starts at $34,300 and has all the goodies from the Premium trim but has numerous upgrades like 18-inch black alloy wheels, body-color wing mirrors with integrated turn signals, an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen, dual-zone climate control, and perforated leather upholstery.
The Limited has a $1,695 option package consisting of a heated steering wheel, Tomtom navigation, reverse automatic braking, and a Harman Kardon audio system.
The top-of-the-line Forester starts at $37,720. It has custom 18-inch dark grey alloy wheels, satin chrome mirror caps, LED fog lights, silver roof rails, silver rear and side valances, and chrome badging. Additional convenience and luxury features include a 10-way power driver’s seat with two-position memory settings, an eight-way power-operated passenger seat, heated rear seats, LED interior lighting, and Black or Saddle Brown cowhide upholstery.
Subaru Factory Warranty
The 2023 Subaru Forester has a three-year, 36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a five-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty. An extended warranty could prove beneficial if you drive more miles than the average person. Our comprehensive guide will help you discern if a Subaru extended warranty is worth considering.
Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.