US sales in 2017 reflected the move from assembling 4th generation Imprezas in Japan to assembling 5th generation Imprezas in Indiana.
US sales in 2021 reflect a change in consumer taste away from the Impreza and towards the Crosstrek
US sales in 2022 had an unexpected massive change in rank between the Forester and Crosstrek
I suspect "younger buyers" focused on more power probably aren't shopping Subaru.
I suspect you are correct, and the rather modest sales of the new generation of WRX means that even fewer young buyers are shopping Subaru.
But the bottom line is a base Crosstrek and a base Forester don't look radically different. For only $1400, the base Forester has an additional 34% of cargo volume which should appeal more to older buyers and 30 hp in additional power which should appeal more to younger buyers. The fact that from 2021 to 2022 the Forester sold 40,000 fewer
units, while the Crosstrek sold ~30,000 additiona
l units in the fifth year of the second generation is unexplained. Since they are both assembled in Japan there is nothing obvious in part shortages or shipping costs.
It has occurred to me that the Crosstrek buyers might be more likely to upgrade to the Sport and Limited trim while the Forester buyers are more likely to stick with the base trim. That might make it more likely that scarce parts would be prioritized for Crosstreks instead of Foresters.
If production resumes at pre-part shortage levels, it will be interesting to see if 2023 is the year when Subaru finally outsells Nissan in the US. The 2023 Nissan Ariya starts at $43,190
while the 2023 Subaru Solterra starts at $44,995.
With Nissan ending the Rogue Sport and widespread consumer rejection of Nissan's turbocharged 3 cylinder 1.5 liter engine in the standard Rogue, it is almost certain that the Crosstrek will outsell the Rogue for 2023.