Which is bigger: Crosstrek or Forester?

As compact SUVs, the Crosstrek and Forester seem to be very similar in size, but there are a few aspects where they diverge. While they share the same wheelbase of 105.1 inches (or 104.9 inches for the Crosstrek and Forester Wilderness trims), the Crosstrek is 176.4 inches long, 70.9 inches wide, and up to 63 inches high. The Forester is slightly larger, measuring out to a 182.7-inch length, up to 72.2-inch width, and up to 68.9-inch height. 

Since the Forester is 6.3 inches longer, the Crosstrek has a minor edge in extremely tight parking situations, while the Forester offers the driver a higher seating position for a more commanding view of traffic. The Crosstrek is built on a unique hatchback SUV design that, while providing a slightly more responsive highway driving, allows a little less passenger and cargo room compared to the compact SUV layout of the Forester.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Dimensions

Length:

176.4 inches

Width:

Up to 71.7 inches

Height:

Up to 63.6 inches

Wheelbase:

Up to 105.1 inches

Base Curb Weight:

3,277 – 3,369 pounds

2024 Subaru Forester Dimensions

Length:

182.7 inches

Width:

Up to 72.2 inches

Height:

Up to 68.9 inches

Wheelbase:

Up to 105.1 inches

Base Curb Weight:

3,454 - 3,620 pounds

Which has a more powerful engine and greater towing capacity: Crosstrek or Forester?

Power and towing capacity are two key differences between Crosstrek and Forester but the engines of both crossovers share the same reliable Subaru engineering. The Crosstrek and Forester are both equipped with the time- and trail-tested SUBARU BOXER® engine to power their standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive systems. Every SUBARU BOXER engine is built with a unique horizontal layout, giving both vehicles a lower center of gravity and a finely tuned balance between power and fuel efficiency. 

The Crosstrek offers a choice between prioritizing fuel economy or horsepower. You can pick the standard 2.0-liter direct-injection SUBARU BOXER engine with up to 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque for a balance of power and efficiency or choose the available 2.5-liter engine with up to 182 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque for fun everyday driving. The Forester on the other hand, features a single standard 2.5-liter direct-injection SUBARU BOXER engine that provides 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. For towing capacity, most Crosstrek and Forester models can tow up to 1,500 pounds. However, the Forester Wilderness trim can tow up to 3,000 pounds while the Crosstrek Wilderness has an even greater towing capacity at 3,500 pounds.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek

Engine:

2.0-liter SUBARU BOXER engine

Available 2.5-liter SUBARU BOXER engine

Horsepower:

152 hp at 6,000 rpm (2.0-liter SUBARU BOXER engine)

182 hp at 5,800 rpm (2.5-liter SUBARU BOXER engine)

Towing Capacity:

1,500 pounds

3,500 pounds (Wilderness)

 

2024 Subaru Forester

Engine:

2.5-liter SUBARU BOXER engine

Horsepower:

182 hp at 5,800 rpm

Towing Capacity:

1,500 pounds

3,000 pounds (Wilderness)

Which has more ground clearance: Crosstrek or Forester?

The Crosstrek and Forester both feature the same standard ground clearance of at least 8.7 inches, which lets them rise above rough terrain and deep snow for more standard off-road and all-weather capability. However, both vehicles’ rugged Wilderness trims feature greater ground clearance, with the Forester Wilderness offering 9.2 inches and Crosstrek Wilderness an improved 9.3 inches. Both Wilderness models feature a standard front skid plate along with many other trail-ready upgrades for off-road adventuring.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek

Ground Clearance:

8.7 inches

Wilderness Ground Clearance:

9.3 inches

2024 Subaru Forester

Ground Clearance:

8.7 inches

Wilderness Ground Clearance:

9.2 inches

Which has more passenger and cargo space: Crosstrek or Forester?

Even though both crossovers are five-passenger vehicles, the Crosstrek is built on a hatchback design that’s slightly smaller than the Forester. Still, the Crosstrek offers up to 100.5 cubic feet of impressively roomy passenger volume and up to 54.9 cubic feet of versatile cargo space with the standard 60/40-split flat-folding rear seatbacks lowered. The Forester, with its larger compact SUV layout, gives passengers up to 111.6 cubic feet in its spacious interior and up to 74.2 cubic feet of cargo room with its similar rear seats folded. While each SUV makes the most space possible out of their design footprint, drivers looking for maximum cargo capacity or needing lots of headroom will love the Forester interior.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek

Passengers:

Seating for up to 5

Maximum Cargo Space:

Up to 54.9 cubic feet

Interior Passenger Room:

99 cubic feet (Premium, Sport, Limited, and Wilderness trims with moonroof)

100.5 cubic feet (Base, Premium, Sport, Limited, and Wilderness trims without moonroof)

Passenger Legroom:

42.9 inches (front)

36.5 inches (rear)

 

Passenger Headroom:

Up to 39.8 inches (front)

Up to 38.0 inches (rear)

2024 Subaru Forester

Passengers:

Seating for up to 5

Maximum Cargo Space:

Up to 74.2 cubic feet

Interior Passenger Room:

107.6 cubic feet (Premium, Sport, Wilderness, Limited, and Touring trims with moonroof)

111.6 cubic feet (Base trim without moonroof)

Passenger Legroom:

43.3 inches (front)

39.4 inches (rear)

Passenger Headroom:

Up to 41.2 inches (front)

Up to 39.6 inches (rear)

Build and Price

Now you’ve explored some of the major differences in specs and features between the Subaru Crosstrek and Forester, but online research can only take you so far. Each vehicle has its own unique personality, driving feel, and customization options. You can start by building your own Crosstrek and Forester with our online tools and try each vehicle out in a test drive at your local retailer to find the Subaru SUV that’s perfect for you.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek

MSRP:

$25,195 - $32,195*

MPG:

Up to 34/27 MPG highway/city**

2024 Subaru Forester

MSRP:

$27,095 - $37,395*

MPG:

Up to 33/26 MPG highway/city**

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Exterior Color Options

Alpine Green

+ $395 paint upgrade

Crystal Black Silica

Crystal White Pearl

Geyser Blue

Horizon Blue Pearl

Ice Silver Metallic

Lithium Red Pearl

Magnetite Gray Metallic

Offshore Blue Metallic

+ $395 paint upgrade

Pure Red

Sapphire Blue Pearl

Sun Blaze Pearl

2024 Subaru Forester Exterior Color Options

Autumn Green Metallic

Brilliant Bronze Metallic

Cascade Green Silica

Crimson Red Pearl

Crystal Black Silica

Crystal White Pearl

 

Geyser Blue

Horizon Blue Pearl

Ice Silver Metallic

Magnetite Gray Metallic

Sapphire Blue Pearl

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Available Trims

Base

Premium

Sport

Limited

Wilderness

2024 Subaru Forester Available Trims

Base

Premium

Sport

Wilderness

Limited

Touring

 

Both the Crosstrek and Forester are made to protect every passenger on every drive. They’re both designed with trusted Subaru safety engineering like the Subaru Global Platform. Both the Crosstrek and Forester are built on this protective architecture, which uses high-strength steel to provide durable crash protection and rigidity. They are also both equipped with industry-leading active safety systems like standard EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, which gives you an extra set of eyes on the road and, if need be, an extra foot on the brake when you drive. EyeSight also features the convenience of Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering, which can take some of the stress out of driving by helping with steering, braking, and throttle control — both in daily traffic and on long road trips. One safety feature which is standard on the Forester Touring trim is the Subaru DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System, which acts as an attentive co-pilot along for the ride, ready to give a helpful alert if you become distracted or drowsy.

 

The Crosstrek and Forester both feature standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive across every trim for outstanding capability. The balanced design of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive creates uniform stability and delivers an optimal distribution of power for maximum traction in virtually any weather or road condition. It delivers better handling, improved efficiency, and a quicker response to road conditions than competitors’ optional systems. 

X-MODE®, also standard on both vehicles, works in conjunction with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive to optimize your traction on slippery surfaces and includes Hill Descent Control, which helps you descend difficult grades. Select Crosstrek and Forester trims offer a dual-function X-MODE that lets you choose settings for specific conditions like deep snow, dirt, and mud.

The Crosstrek and Forester both use the Subaru Lineartronic® Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). The CVT system features two pulleys that can vary in width connected by a steel chain. By changing this width, the CVT can create an infinite “gearing” across its range, which lets it continuously and smoothly adapt to performance demand by keeping the engine in its most efficient operating range. Both vehicles also offer available manual modes, which allow you to move through these “gears” using paddle shifters and give you more precise engine control.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Transmission

  • Lineartronic® CVT with Adaptive Control and Incline Start Assist (Standard on Base trim)
  • Lineartronic® CVT with Adaptive Control, Incline Start Assist, and 8-speed manual mode with paddle shifters (Standard on Premium, Sport, Limited, and Wilderness trims)

2024 Subaru Forester Available Transmissions

  • Lineartronic® CVT with Adaptive Control (Standard on Base and Premium trims)
  • Lineartronic® CVT with Adaptive Control and 7-speed manual mode (Standard on Sport, Limited, and Touring trims)
  • Lineartronic® CVT with Adaptive Control and 8-speed manual mode (Standard on Wilderness)

Like every new Subaru, the Crosstrek and Forester feature two standard warranties. The Subaru Limited Factory Warranty provides limited bumper-to-bumper coverage for three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first, and the Powertrain Warranty covers the engine, transmission, and all-wheel drive and lasts for five years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. 

You can also purchase extended coverage for both vehicles through the Subaru Added Security Program, which offers two different plans. The Classic Plan covers major parts, including the engine, all-wheel drive (AWD), and transmission (as well as towing and car rental), while the Gold Plus Plan adds coverage to air conditioning, electrical, steering, front suspension, brakes, and other systems.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Multimedia Touchscreens

  • SUBARU STARLINK® Multimedia with dual 7-inch touchscreens (Standard on Base trim)
  • SUBARU STARLINK® Multimedia Plus with 11.6-inch touchscreen (Standard on Premium, Sport, Limited, and Wilderness trims)
  • SUBARU STARLINK® Multimedia Navigation with 11.6-inch touchscreen (Optional on Limited trim)

2024 Subaru Forester Multimedia Touchscreens

  • SUBARU STARLINK® Multimedia with 6.5-inch touchscreen (Standard on Base trim)
  • SUBARU STARLINK® Multimedia Plus with 6.5-inch touchscreen (Standard on Premium and Sport trims)
  • SUBARU STARLINK® Multimedia Plus with 8-inch touchscreen (Standard on Wilderness and Limited trims. Optional on Sport trim)
  • SUBARU STARLINK® Multimedia Navigation with 8-inch touchscreen (Standard on Touring trim. Optional on Wilderness and Limited trims)

Since both the Crosstrek and Forester are compact SUVs that feature the balanced engineering of the SUBARU BOXER engine, both vehicles have similarly excellent gas mileage. As the slightly smaller and lighter of the two vehicles, the Crosstrek has a minor advantage in fuel economy with its Base and Premium trims reaching 34/27 MPG highway/city compared to the Forester at 33/26 MPG highway/city. Both Wilderness models, engineered for off-road power, have slightly lower fuel economy, with the Forester Wilderness providing 28/25 MPG highway/city and the Crosstrek Wilderness coming it at 29/25 highway/city.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Miles Per Gallon**

  • 34/27 MPG highway/city (Base and Premium trims)
  • 33/26 MPG highway/city (Sport and Limited trims)
  • 29/25 MPG highway/city (Wilderness)

2024 Subaru Forester Miles Per Gallon**

  • 33/26 MPG highway/city (Base, Premium, Sport, Limited, and Touring trims)
  • 28/25 MPG highway/city (Wilderness)

 

Fuel capacity is another area where the Crosstrek and Forester are exactly the same. Both vehicles feature a 16.6-gallon fuel tank. But when it comes to driving range, the smaller and lighter Crosstrek can reach about 20 miles farther on that tank with a range of over 560 miles compared to the over 540-mile range of the Forester.

 

2024 Subaru Crosstrek

Fuel Capacity:
16.6 gallons

Driving Range:
Over 560 miles

 

 

2024 Subaru Forester

Fuel Capacity:

16.6 gallons

Driving Range:

Over 540 miles