The 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness is the next SUV to receive the rugged treatment and adds another trim level to the refreshed 2022 model range. The Forester Wilderness MSRP will start at $32,280.

The Subaru Wilderness trim level was first introduced on the 2022 Outback. It was speculated that the automaker would extend the Overlanding treatment for other models. If you like the Outback(wagon) Wilderness concept but prefer something more SUV-like, the Forester Wilderness is for you. Subaru Forester competes against other compact SUVs, such as the Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, and Toyota RAV4.

Under The Hood

You get a longer travel suspension and chassis tweaks that can handle rough terrain. The more rugged version bumps up the car's ground clearance to 9.2 inches, up from 8.7 inches in the standard Forester. But you won't get the 2.4-liter turbocharged motor of the Outback; the 2.5-liter, naturally-aspirated boxer engine still produces 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque. Subaru has increased the final drive ratio from 3.7 to 4.11:1, so the car should feel more punchy at the bottom end. Dual X-Mode can be found on the Sport model. However, the Wilderness has standard Hill Descent Control.

The added height brings with it improved approach, departure, and breakover clearance. It also has an improved off-road program built into its drive mode system designed for lower-speed trail driving—additional chassis tuning and a standard X-MODE function prove handy, particularly in slippery descents.

Fuel Economy

EPA published the 2022 Forester Wilderness economy ratings without knowing that the crossover was available in a Wilderness and standard version. Forester Wilderness would achieve 25 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. This gives it a combined economy rating of 26 mpg. For comparison, the standard 2022 Subaru Forester can dish out 29 mpg combined. 

Forester Wilderness Interior

Buyers will find more durable materials inside that can resist moisture and dirt. Subaru's StarTex material is used with embossed Wilderness logos on the seats. The seats have copper accents. Subaru explained that the color is used to indicate "there's some functionality here." Standard are all-weather floormats. The one-touch rear seatback can also be folded and protected by a waterproof material.

The standard model has an 8-inch multi-media screen that supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and satellite radio. All models include over-the-air updates. Optional features include a Starlink 8-inch Multimedia Navigation System and a premium sound system. A rear power gate is also available. As far as the new Wilderness trim goes, an option package adds a navigation system, a Harman Kardon premium sound system, and a power rear liftgate in exchange for $1,850. Also, Wilderness trims have a standard 180-degree forward-view camera system for more confidence while off-roading.

Exterior Features

The Wilderness model is similar to the Outback and fits right in the middle section of the Forester range. Exterior features include a new front grille and front skid plate, and an anti-glare decal in matte black. Unique hexagonal LED fog lamps make this model stand out. New badges are available, along with various anodized copper accents. 

The teaser has already shown that the vehicle is available in Geyser Blue. Subaru claims that this color was created by mixing a nature-inspired WR Blue of their rally cars. Subaru has made a notable change to all Forester's by installing a ladder-type roof rack. When the Forester is parked, the rack can hold up 220 pounds and 800 pounds when parked . This gives Forester owners more compliance to use larger roof tents.

Pricing

The base model Subaru Forester costs $26,320—this is a $400 gain compared to the 2021 Subaru Forester. Yet, we suggest the Premium at $29,320 with heated front seats and side mirrors, a 10-way power driver's chair, roof rails, and a power sunroof.

The Forester Sport begins at $30,890. It has black 18-inch wheels, an orange rear spoiler, and a black rear roof spoiler. It adds flash to the street rather than the trail.

The urbane Limited is available for $33,000 and rides on 18-inch alloy wheels. The touchscreen is 6.5 inches larger than the previous version, and leather covers the shift lever, steering wheel, and seats. It also highlights advanced safety features like blind-spot monitors and automatic emergency steering.

The Forester Wilderness MSRP will start at $32,280. This is slightly less than the Outback Wilderness, which cost $4,000 more. It's more than the Forester Limited trim, but it's less pricey than the top-level Touring trim. The Touring model is the most costly in the 2022 Forester lineup, available for $36,420. It adds hand gestures to power passenger seats, heated rear seats, and climate control. 

The Forester Wilderness gets Subaru's latest EyeSight suite of safety technologies. They include automatic emergency steering, which Subaru says works in conjunction with pre-collision braking to "help avoid a collision at speeds less than 50 mph." Blindspot warning, lane change assist rear cross-traffic alert, and reverse automatic braking are also standard.