Subaru Australia was able to secure greater supply of its Toyota RAV4 Hybrid rival last year, and it’s working to get more on the ground to continue to bring down wait times.

    “We actually doubled our supply on [Forester Hybrid] last year, and all we’ve been able to do is – let’s say – manage that lead time as we get more,” Subaru Australia managing director Blair Read told CarExpert.

    “We’re continuing to work on and again trying to increase that production capacity to meet the customer demand.”

    Subaru was able to bring down wait times from 9-10 months to 4-6 months, and the company says the fact it was able to double supply last year bodes well for a further improvement of supply for the model.

    Demand continues to grow, even as the current Forester is in the twilight of its life – a new model with a new, likely more efficient hybrid powertrain is due in Australia in 2025.

    The current Forester Hybrid features a 2.0-litre Boxer four with 100kW of power and 196Nm of torque mated with a 12kW/66Nm electric motor and a battery pack, but its combined cycle fuel economy of 6.7L/100km is shaded by rivals like the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD, which manages 4.8L/100km.

    The Forester had its best sales year yet in Australia, with Subaru delivering 16,381 examples – beating the previous record of 15,069 set in 2019.

    Hybrid versions accounted for 8.5 per cent of Forester sales in 2023, while hybrids accounted for 6.5 per cent of the new Crosstrek‘s sales.

    That’s in contrast with rival hybrid SUVs like the Nissan X-Trail (17.8 per cent hybrid), GWM Haval H6 (31.8 per cent hybrid) and the segment-leading Toyota RAV4 (a whopping 86.6 per cent hybrid)

    While Subaru offers hybrid versions of the Crosstrek and Forester here, it doesn’t have an Impreza Hybrid – despite one being available in Japan as a rival for the Toyota Corolla Hybrid.

    “We are always reviewing that in terms of the mix. [It’s] something that’s on the radar but not in the definitive stage at this point, but we’re watching,” said Mr Read.

    MORE: Everything Subaru Forester

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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