This explains the new for 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness, a new level of trim first seen on the Subaru Outback that adds exterior, increases the car’s ride height, adds studded off-road tires and adds touches of golden trim that is almost garish. But Subaru has long prospered as the automotive equivalent of Merrell’s outdoor gear.
The Subaru Forster starts at $ 26,320, including a destination charge of $ 1,125, for the base version. From there, Subaru offers upward Premium, Sport, Wilderness, Limited and Touring models, fetching $ 36,420.
The Wilderness model starts a little higher at $ 33,945. Opting for it guarantees a considerable amount of comfort and convenience features, including heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors, wiper defroster, 10-way power driver’s seat, stainless steel rims. 17 inch aluminum alloy in black with mechanical finish; roof bars; dark tint privacy glass; an electrically operated panoramic sunroof; leather-wrapped steering wheel, two USB ports in the front seats, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and, nod to the 20th century, a CD player. There’s also an X-Mode all-terrain display with a roll and pitch indicator. Cared for.
Most importantly, the Wilderness’s seats are covered with water-resistant StarTex polyurethane, perfect for dirty and soggy clothes. The only option of the Wilderness is a $ 1,850 package that adds an 8-inch touchscreen with a navigation system, a premium Harman Kardon audio system and a power tailgate.
More than that, however, the Wilderness gets a number of mechanical and design changes that make it unique in the Forester lineup. Consider coil springs and shock absorbers; they’re longer than those of other models to provide 9.2-inch ground clearance, rather than the standard 8.7-inch Forester. It also wears Yokohama all-terrain tires on 17-inch wheels, and Subaru includes a full-size spare tire under the cargo area floor. The added functionality continues on the exterior, where a ladder-type roof rack can carry 220 pounds of gear and support 800 pounds when parked, enough to accommodate larger roof tents. Just be careful when you roll over in your sleep.
Other modifications include a unique hexagonal grille and fairing, acres of additional rocker panel skin, gold color accents, a front skid plate, unique LED fog lights and a matte black hood sticker and anti-glare. The changes herald the primitive trends of this Forester with a modern twist. But the wheels look small compared to the overall height of the body, which is accentuated by the extra ride height, giving it an awkward look, something Subaru owners are used to.
The Forester Wilderness benefits from the large cabin used throughout the range, allowing for an equally high and upright seating position. For those who like to sit on church pews, you will appreciate this driving position. It also makes the most of the legroom in both rows. Visibility to the outside is excellent. The overall vibe lives up to its price, feeling neither cheap nor expensive. The on-screen graphics have a very bright and aggressive design, with the smaller, center-mounted information display battling for your attention with the larger infotainment display below. A little design hierarchy might help here.
While the Wilderness sets itself apart from its siblings in upgrades, the only element that stays the same is under the hood. You’ll find the same 2.5-liter, horizontally opposed, dual overhead camshaft four-cylinder engine used in other Foresters. It develops 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque and is mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission with all-wheel drive. Uniquely, the transmission has more low end torque than other Foresters, although it won’t overwhelm you with its plentiful torque. But towing capacity is 3,000 pounds, more than double that of other Forester models thanks to the addition of a transmission oil cooler. Thoughtfully, Subaru also equips the Wilderness with Trailer Stability Assist to lighten the burden of towing. Other driver assistance safety systems include automatic emergency steering, pre-collision braking, blind spot detection with lane change assist, hill descent control and rear cross traffic alert.
The Subaru Forester Wilderness seems ideal for those who just want a little more off-road capability, though it’s not a die-hard all-terrain boulder basher. But the suspension revisions set the Forester Wilderness ready for unpaved roads and hilly trails. Compliance can be felt on the road, sparing the worst that crumbling US infrastructure deals with. The lean body is built up gradually, clearly communicating its capabilities. The only real issue with this vehicle’s handling is the steering, however. The sense of centering is lacking and there is a lot of play where nothing is happening.
The changes give the 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness a more rugged appearance and off-road-focused upgrades. It will more than be worth the premium of this model, if you can tolerate its looks.
- Base price: $ 33,945
- Engine: 2.5-liter horizontally opposed DOHC four-cylinder
- Horsepower / Torque: 182/176 lb-ft
- EPA fuel economy (city / highway): 25/28 mpg
- Observed fuel economy: 26.5 mpg
- Fuel required: 87 octane
- Length / Width / Height: 182.7 / 72.2 / 68.9 inches
- Ground clearance: 9.2 inches
- Loading capacity: 26.9 to 69.1 cubic feet
- Towing capacity: 3,000 pounds
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