2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness First Look: Another Subie Gets the Tough Treatment09/02/2021
First, there was the very obvious teaser photo, then the pesky EPA listing, and now Subaru has made official what we already knew: The face-lifted 2022 Subaru Forester will be the next of the manufacturer’s cars to get a Wilderness variant. This beefier-looking, relatively more off-road-prepared Forester joins Subaru’s budding Wilderness lineup that kicked off with the Outback Wilderness.
What Is a Subaru Wilderness Model?
For those unfamiliar—in other words, people who haven’t seen the Wilderness version of the Subaru Outback—Wilderness is Subaru’s new outdoor-themed trim level that encompasses a pleasing blend of form and function. In the case of the 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness, ground clearance increases from 8.7 inches on the standard Forester to 9.2, and its matte black wheels are fitted with Yokohama Geolander all-terrain tires.
To help the Forester Wilderness tackle obstacles it can now climb and clear, the model gets a lower final-drive ratio and a reprogrammed X-Mode all-wheel-drive system. Among other things, the system senses when the Forster Wilderness climbs at steep angles and drops the car’s continuously variable transmission into its lowest ratio, effectively giving the Forester Wilderness a crawler gear. Skidplates are available to protect the engine, fuel tank, and rear differential.
With the revised gearing comes an increased towing capacity of 3,000 pounds, double that of the ordinary Forester. Roof rails are upgraded and can now carry a dynamic load of 220 pounds and a static load of 800, allowing the Forester to carry larger rooftop tents. Seats are upholstered with water-repellent fabric and all-weather floormats are standard, as is an all-weather cargo tray. Subaru even covered the rear seatback with waterproof material (a similar rubber pad is available as an option on regular Foresters), so you can fold down the seats and toss in your muddy gear with reckless abandon. On the non-functional side, the 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness gets copper trim inside and out, plus unique badging.
We could take or leave most appearance packages, but one that improves a vehicle’s functionality always gets our attention. Our off-road testing of the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness demonstrated this isn’t just an appearance package: The extra ground clearance really does make the Outback a better off-roader, and we imagine the same will be true for the Forster. And hey, who knows, maybe we’ll actually get that BRZ Wilderness we’ve been dreaming of.
More Changes for the 2022 Subaru Forester
This is as good a time as any to mention all Subaru Foresters get a refresh for the 2022 model year, with improvements including revised front and rear fascias, new features for the EyeSight driver assistance package, and equipment upgrades. Pricing for the Forester Wilderness will start at $33,495, while the regular Forester ranges from $26,320 for the base model to $36,420 for the top-of-the-line Touring trim, plus options. You can order the 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness now, and it should start arriving in dealerships in November.
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