2020 Subaru Crosstrek vs Forester Small SUV Comparison in Olympia, WA

Thanks to the advancements in automotive technology and engineering, it's now possible to get more cargo space and a higher ground clearance in a small SUV with similar fuel economy and price tag as a sedan. So, it's no wonder that small and compact SUVs have become so popular. Among the most popular models in these crowded segments, you'll find the renowned Subaru Crosstrek and the Subaru Forester. They both come standard with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, award-winning safety, comfortable seating for five passengers, and 8.7 inches of ground clearance. So, what's the difference between these new Subaru SUVs? Perhaps most noticeable are the size and price, but there are other distinctions to be aware of. Find out more below, then come visit our dealership for more information at 2300 Carriage Loop SW, Olympia, WA 98502.

2020 Subaru Crosstrek vs Forester: Size Comparison

With starting price tags that differ by only about $2,000, you'll find impressive value in either the new Subaru Crosstrek or Forester. Of course, we'd expect nothing less from a Subaru SUV. Perhaps the biggest difference between these two popular models is the size. While the new Subaru Crosstrek is a crossover between a car and SUV, the new Subaru Forester sits comfortably atop the small SUV segment. That means you'll find a bit more room for passengers and cargo in the Forester. How much more room?

2020 Subaru Crosstrek vs Forester Exterior

While other crossover SUVs offer roughly the same amount of passenger room you'd find inside a small car, the new Subaru Crosstrek is much more comfortable with up to 100.9 cubic feet in which five people can enjoy the ride. Even with every seat occupied, there's still a convenient 20.8 cubic feet of cargo volume in the back. Fold the rear seats down to accommodate up to 55.3 cubic feet of cargo.

The new 2020 Subaru Forester was recently redesigned, and it now stands even further above the competition in the crowded small SUV market. This two-row AWD SUV from Subaru seats five occupants in up to 111.9 cubic feet of passenger space while still providing up to 35.4 cubic feet behind the back seats. Fold those seats flat, and you'll have up to 70.9 cubic feet of cargo space for helping a friend move or making sure that no camping gear is left behind. When it comes to cargo, there is one difference you should be aware of. Every Subaru Crosstrek comes standard with roof rails and cross bars, while these are available as an upgrade on the Subaru Forester.

2020 Subaru Crosstrek vs Forester: Features & Technology

As capable all-wheel drive SUVs from Subaru, the latest Crosstrek and Forester come well equipped with the latest technology and generous features. This includes the intuitive STARLINK® infotainment system providing seamless connection to most smartphones and access to popular apps. Both models also feature 4G LTE Wi-Fi capability on all but the entry-level model, and these are just a couple examples of the impressive value that comes with both models. However, there are a few subtle distinctions in terms of features and technology.

While these Subaru SUVs both come standard with automatic climate control, it's only in the Subaru Forester that you'll find the added convenience of dual zone climate control. Step above the entry-level Subaru Forester configuration and you'll get a 10-way power driver's seat, while a 6-way power seat is available in the Subaru Crosstrek. Something else you can get in the Forester, but not the Crosstrek, is heated outboard rear seats.

View our new Crosstrek inventory in Olympia, WA
View our new Subaru specials in Olympia, WA
Browse our new Forester inventory in Olympia, WA
2020 Subaru Crosstrek vs Forester Interior

How Does The Performance Compare Between These Subaru SUVs?

The recently redesigned Subaru Forester and the popular Subaru Crosstrek are both in a league of their own when it comes to performance for their segments. That has a lot to do with the flat BOXER® engine and 8.7 inches of ground clearance that comes standard in both models. The 2.5-liter engine in the Subaru Forester provides an efficient 182 horsepower while the lighter Subaru Crosstrek provides a responsive 152 horsepower. Due to the weight difference, you likely won't notice much difference behind the wheel. In fact, these Subaru SUVs achieve virtually the same fuel economy with up to 33 MPG. Of course, the Subaru Crosstrek and Forester both come standard with the world-acclaimed traction of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive for a level of capability and safety that the competition can't match for the price. One other key difference is that the Crosstrek starts out with a manual transmission, while every 2020 Subaru Forester is equipped with an advanced automatic transmission.

2020 Subaru Crosstrek vs Forester: Safety

Once you've narrowed your search for a new SUV down to the Subaru lineup, you won't have to worry about safety being a factor in which model you choose. The new Subaru Forester and Crosstrek are great examples of how the Subaru engineers put safety as their top priority. No matter which one you decide best fits your needs, you'll be driving an AWD SUV that has earned the highest possible 2019 IIHS Top Safety Pick + Award. That means these SUVs have not only proven to be among the safest vehicles available when it comes to protecting you in the event of a collision, they're also equipped with advanced driver assist technology to help you avoid danger in the first place.

2020 Subaru Crosstrek vs Forester Features

2020 Subaru Crosstrek vs Forester: Driver Assistance Technology

You may have heard that today's vehicles are now available with advanced driver assistance technology that can anticipate certain imminent collisions and apply the brakes along with a range of other features. For Subaru models, this technology is called EyeSight®, and it was among the first systems of its kind to be available in an affordable AWD SUV. In fact, Subaru has been offering EyeSight® for nearly a decade now. This advanced safety technology is found in both the new Subaru Crosstrek and Forester SUV models and provides other features like lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and lane sway warning among others. The difference is that EyeSight® is standard in every new Subaru Forester model while standard on every Subaru Crosstrek model that's equipped with an automatic transmission. 

View our new Crosstrek inventory in Olympia, WA
View our new Subaru specials in Olympia, WA
Browse our new Forester inventory in Olympia, WA

2020 Subaru Crosstrek vs Forester: Summary

Clearly, you'll find superior value, comfort, performance, and safety no matter which Subaru SUV you choose. Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is standard on the new Crosstrek and Forester to further enhance the leading capability and award-winning safety. The value-packed price tags aren't far from each other, so deciding which of these Subaru SUVs is right for you comes down to a few considerations. If you're looking for a small SUV that provides a bit more room for cargo and family, the new 2020 Subaru Forester may well be the better bet. However, those looking for a capable daily driver and weekend warrior that won't need to carry people and extra cargo that often, the Subaru Crosstrek may be ideal. Ultimately, we recommend stopping by our dealership in Olympia, WA to take a close look at both models and take them for a test drive. By the time you're done here, we're confident that you'll head home in the ideal Subaru AWD SUV for your journey.

2020 Subaru Crosstrek2020 Subaru Forester
$22,145Starting MSRP*$24,495
33 Highway / 27 CityFuel Economy (MPG) With Automatic Transmission33 Highway / 26 City
152Horsepower182
StandardRoof RailsAvailable
100.9 Cubic FeetPassenger Space111.9 Cubic Feet
20.8 Cubic FeetCargo Volume35.4 Cubic Feet
55.3 Cubic FeetMax Cargo Volume76.1 Cubic Feet
AvailableEyeSight® Driver Assist TechnologyStandard
AlloyStandard WheelsSteel
36.5 InchesRear Legroom39.4 Inches

*Manufacturer's suggested retail price does not include destination and delivery charges, tax, title and registration fees. Destination and delivery includes handling and inland freight fees and may vary in some states. Prices, specifications, options, features and models subject to change without notice.