2018 Forester vs 2018 Crosstrek

"What is the difference between Forester and Crosstrek?" 

Video Comparison


All new Foresters and Crosstreks come standard with:
  • Many safety features, including symmetrical full-time all wheel drive  (with no buttons to push), Vehicle Dynamics Control  (VDC) to prevent skids, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, and much more.  See our Planet-exclusive Subaru Safety page. 
  • Many convenience features, including Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio connectivity, air conditioning, keyless entry, cd player, power windows, power mirrors, and much more. 
  • The utility and all-weather prowess of a sport utility vehicle without the sacrifices in cost, fuel economy, ride, and poor outward visibility.

Both purchased new at Planet come standard with:

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY for people bored with details:

The Forester is bigger, inside and out.  Young families usually go for the Forester, singles and couples for the Crosstrek (no diaper bags to stuff in the smaller cargo area).  Most people think that the Crosstrek looks cooler and more sporty.  Comparably equipped, the Forester is about $1,500 more expensive.  Here are a few of the things you get in the Forester for the extra money:

  • Upgraded audio;
  • More interior space for people and cargo;
  • More luxurious options such as power rear lift gate and heated steering wheel;
  • A more powerful 2.5 liter engine vs. 2.0 liter in the Crosstrek.

 Review and Specs



Ground clearance

is identical at just shy of 9 inches. 

They are the same width.

Forester is almost six full inches longer.
That's a lot, especially when you're parking in Boston. 

Forester is four inches taller.
And you notice that you sit higher in the Forester, even though both vehicles give you a "command driving position" (the auto industry term that describes that great feeling of sitting high in a vehicle so you can see what's ahead).

Ride Quality

The Forester weighs a couple hundred pounds more, so it feels a little more substantial than the Crosstrek.  With their raised suspensions, they both have more "travel" than most vehicles.  "Travel" is just a fancy way of saying that there is more space for the suspension to compress, which results in a more compliant ride. 


Lots of "dead cat space"
between the top of the tire
and the bottom of the
wheel well.  (That's the
technical industry term,
believe it or not.)


Even though we
hired a dog as our greeter,
we really do love cats
Lots of "dead cat space"
on the Forester too.


Outward Visibility
Both use this ingenious little window in the corner so the mirror doesn't block your view.  Rearward visibility is great in both cars compared to competitors but Forester is  slightly better because of even bigger rear windows.  



Comparably equipped, the Forester is $2,500 more, which buys you everything described in the executive summary above. 


Image Perception

We think the Crosstrek looks a little more edgy and aggressive than the sophisticated Forester.  Similar to the difference between hiking boots and a nice pair of flats?  You be the judge.




2.0 liter four cylinder
152 horsepower

2.5 liter four cylinder
170 horsepower

Optional 2.0 liter four cylinder turbo
250 horsepower

Fuel Economy
Standard engines in both cars run regular unleaded. 
Continuously variable
automatic transmission:

27 city, 33 highway

Six-speed manual:
23 city, 29 highway

Continuously variable
automatic transmission:

 26 city, 32 highway

Six-speed manual:
22 city, 29 highway

Optional 2.0 liter turbocharged
four cylinder with

Continuously variable
automatic transmission
23 city, 28 highway.

Lots more!
Visit our Planet-exclusive Crosstrek and Forester centers for pictures, videos and links.

Planet Crosstrek Center


Search our inventory for your next vehicle!





Planet helps those in Boston, Cambridge, South Shore, North Shore, and Quincy decide between the Subaru Crosstrek and the Subaru Forester.