SUV Overview: 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness

Does all of the off-road mojo damage the Wilderness’ on-road civility?

I’ve all the time been a fan of the Subaru Forester, primarily as a result of it’s simply so sq.. As in boxy and kinda uncool. However therein lies its attraction. It has a tall greenhouse, nice visibility, tons of room, Subaru’s all-wheel-drive, wise ergonomics, and it’s comfortable as effectively. Yeah, with 182 horsepower the Forester is not any rocket, however what’s the frenzy?

Subaru has given its fifth-gen Forester a mid-cycle refresh for 2022, and with that comes this new variant, the Wilderness. Like its large brother the Outback Wilderness, the 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness will get an additional serving to of legit off-road functionality. This new rough-and-tumble Forester has an all-in worth of $38,995 — that’s about $8,000 over the bottom mannequin and $4,000 beneath the top-tier Premier.

Subaru’s next-gen EyeSight security system debuts within the 2022 Forester. The digicam that friends forward from the highest of the windshield has a wider discipline of view, enhancing features of adaptive cruise management, collision mitigation, lane centring, and lane departure help. It takes up much less actual property on the windshield too. If a collision is imminent, new-for-2022 auto emergency steering will examine fast environment and make avoidance maneuvers as much as 80 km/h if the driving force doesn’t react.

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As with all Foresters, the Wilderness runs with a 182-hp, 176 lb-ft 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated flat-four hooked to a constantly variable transmission. You received’t be successful any drag races, and there’s some moaning when your mud-caked Wellie hits the rubber flooring mat, however general that is an agreeable, and fairly gasoline environment friendly drivetrain.

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So what turns the common Forester right into a Wilderness? Its stability management and suspension are tuned for extra off use, and trip peak is raised by 15 mm over the common Forester, though with its engine and rear differential skid plates, general floor clearance will increase by 9 mm to 299 mm. Yokohama Geolander 17-inch all-terrain tires are customary, and the corners of the decrease entrance fascia are tucked in to supply a greater method angle. Must you slice a tire in your outback journey, there’s a full-size spare within the underfloor wheel effectively.

For 2022, the dual-function X-Mode (selectable by a rotary dial aft of the shifter) will get a brand new “standby mode.” Beforehand, when exceeding 40 km/h, X-Mode would shut off and must be re-enabled manually. X-mode now mechanically re-engages when speeds drop beneath 35 km/h. A brand new entrance view digicam with a close to 180-degree view is a bonus when negotiating blind crests, and the Wilderness additionally will get LED steering responsive headlights.

The Wilderness will get a shorter remaining drive ratio (4.11 vs 3.70), giving it extra pull and higher low velocity throttle management. It could actually tow as much as 3,000 lbs — double of its secure mates.

If rooftop tenting is your factor, the Wilderness roof can assist a static weight of 363 kg, which interprets to a three-person tent. All Foresters get a brand new pair of hooks within the hatch ceiling, excellent for hanging dripping moist fits or your dry cleansing.

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With the Ford Bronco Sport, Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk and Toyota RAV4 TRD in its sights, the Forester Wilderness ups the visuals with additional physique cladding, anodized copper-look accents, a flat-black hood decal, and white lettering on the tires. Inside we see extra copper trim, water-resistant upholstery, aluminum pedal and rubber flooring mats emblazoned with large Subaru Wilderness logos.


After all, we needed to get as a lot muck as doable on these clear mats, so it was off to our secret off-road locale for some splashing, jostling, and mud-plugging. Time for the Wilderness to place its cash the place its skid plates are.

2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness
2022 Subaru Forester WildernessPicture by Peter Bleakney

Seems this scrappy little Subie ain’t no poseur. It takes to the muck with unbridled glee. I’m undecided who was having extra enjoyable, me or the Wilderness, such was its ebullience whereas bouncing over this goopy, rutted and half frozen tract passing loosely as a highway. With Twin X-Mode within the deep snow/mud setting, it felt unstoppable. And sure, I hit the skid plates fairly arduous a few occasions on some deep ruts. Hill-descent management kicked in when nosing down a very metal incline, with the brand new 180-degree giving a superb view. The Forester’s tidy dimensions, terrific outward visibility and direct, pure steering add to this gratifying cocktail.

So does all this off-road mojo damage the Wilderness’ on-road civility? A bit of bit. It’s not fairly as planted on the highway because the common variants, the all-terrain tires generate a bit extra noise, and with its shorter remaining drive, gasoline economic system drops marginally. However it nonetheless rides comfortably, tracks effectively on the freeway and handles effectively. Let’s face it, most will purchase the Wilderness for the visuals. As Huey Lewis stated, “It’s Hip to Be Sq..” And even hipper when jacked up and sporting knobby tires.

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