Subaru Forester Wilderness 2022: A Review of Subaru’s Most Off-Road Car!

YouTube video
Subaru Forester Wilderness 2022: A Review of Subaru’s Most Off-Road Car!
YouTube video
Video subaru forester wilderness reviews

Subaru has built a reputation for producing cars that prioritize functionality, substance, and off-road capabilities. With a loyal fan base that loves venturing off the beaten path, it was only a matter of time before Subaru introduced the 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness, following the success of the Outback Wilderness.

A Fresh New Face

The 2022 Forester lineup offers a slightly refreshed look, with each trim level sporting its own distinctive features. The Wilderness variant stands out with its more aggressive grille, front skid plate, unique wheel arches, cool LED fog lights, and a matte anti-glare hood. The boxy shape, combined with Subaru’s signature quirkiness, gives the Forester its distinct personality.

The Power Beneath

Compared to other trims, the Forester Wilderness sits half an inch higher, thanks to longer dampers and taller springs, providing a ground clearance of 9.2 inches. Improved breakover angles and reduced overhangs enhance the approach and departure angles, making it more capable on challenging terrains. However, even with these improvements, we found ourselves momentarily stuck while navigating a large rut across the trail. Thankfully, the copious amounts of black cladding protected the vehicle from damage.

Performance and Off-Road Prowess

Unfortunately, the 2.0 turbo engine is no longer available in the Forester, leaving only the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter flat-four engine, delivering 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. Despite the lack of turbocharging, the Forester Wilderness still offers a satisfying amount of power. Its CVT transmission, which simulates eight speeds, provides smooth acceleration and an ultra-low first gear for crawling. Keep in mind that the Wilderness is not built for rapid performance, reaching 60 mph in around 8.1 seconds.

READ  Road Trip Ready: Exploring the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse

The Forester Wilderness is equipped with an exclusive Dual-mode X-Mode that automatically adjusts according to the steepness of the terrain. This system, combined with hill-descent control features, offers excellent off-road capability. The improved logic of X-Mode allows you to exceed the maximum operating speed of 25 mph, put it in standby mode, and automatically reengage when the speed reduces to 22 mph.

Safety Features

All Foresters, including the Wilderness, come standard with the EyeSight Driver Assist Technology. The Wilderness variant also boasts a new Automatic Emergency Steering system that works in tandem with the Pre-Collision Braking System, assisting with steering control to help avoid collisions at speeds below 50 mph. While the EyeSight system is generally reliable, it can occasionally be overcautious, as it interpreted entering a garage at speed as a potential collision, triggering an abrupt braking maneuver.

A Thrilling Off-Road Experience

Although we didn’t have much time to drive the Forester on paved roads, we made our way to the Otay Mesa border area, a vast expanse of mountainous BLM land with numerous trails to choose from. The Wilderness-specific shock absorbers and springs soaked up the washboard and rocky surfaces, providing a comfortable and enjoyable ride. Of course, since we were driving a borrowed vehicle, we exercised caution throughout our off-road adventure.

The Forester Wilderness is equipped with Yokohama Geolandar A/T tires, offering excellent traction on various surfaces. The rims, however, could benefit from taller profiles. The white-letter sidewalls add a touch of flair to the black background of the alloy wheels and cladding. Additionally, the vehicle comes with a matching full-size spare tire with its own TPMS sensor.

Interior Comfort and Cargo Space

Inside the Forester Wilderness, you’ll find a tastefully designed cabin, balancing ruggedness and luxury. The use of upscale materials and Subaru’s StarTex water-repellent upholstery adds a premium touch, making it both comfortable and easy to maintain. Subaru has left no doubt about the Wilderness branding, adorning multiple badges and stamped headrests throughout the interior.

READ  Unmasking the Truth About Turbo Spy App: A Comprehensive Review

The eight-inch touchscreen, with physical HVAC controls, integrates seamlessly into the dashboard, offering a user-friendly interface. The front seats are exceptionally comfortable, with power adjustments for the driver, including height and lumbar support. Unfortunately, manual adjustments and no seat height control are provided for the passenger. A second digital screen above the infotainment display provides essential vehicle information at a glance, eliminating the need to toggle through menus.

The Forester Wilderness offers ample rear seat passenger space and comfortable seating with adjustable backrests and power functions. The powered tailgate provides access to a generous cargo space of 28.9 cubic feet, expandable to 74.2 cubic feet with the rear seat area. The flat-folding seats, wipe-clean plastic backrests, and included luggage cover make it practical for both everyday use and accommodating four-legged companions. The cargo area also features a fitted rubber floor cover and a full-size spare tire.

Pricing and Options

Starting at a base price of $32,820, the Forester Wilderness offers excellent value for money. Our test vehicle, equipped with Option Package 22 ($1,850), which includes a power tailgate with memory, a 9-speaker Harmon/Kardon audio system, and the STARLINK Multimedia Navigation System, brought the total price, including destination charges, to $35,795. With its competitive pricing, the Forester Wilderness proves to be an appealing choice for off-road enthusiasts.


Whether on-road or off-road, the Forester Wilderness delivers a solid and capable performance. As an all-rounder, it may not be the quickest, but it excels in providing a comfortable and reliable driving experience. Its off-road capabilities, enhanced ground clearance, and protective cladding make it a delightful choice for outdoor adventures. However, some may yearn for the option of a turbocharged engine to further enhance its off-road prowess.

READ  Car News: Rediscovering AC/DC's 'The Razors Edge' on Cassette Tape


Q: Is the turbo engine available in the 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness?

Unfortunately, the turbo engine is no longer available in the Forester lineup, including the Wilderness variant.

Q: What is the ground clearance of the Subaru Forester Wilderness?

The 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness offers a ground clearance of 9.2 inches, providing ample capability for off-road adventures.

Q: Does the Forester Wilderness come with advanced safety features?

Yes, the Forester Wilderness comes standard with the EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, and it also offers additional safety features such as the Automatic Emergency Steering system.

Q: How much cargo space does the Forester Wilderness offer?

With the rear seats in place, the Forester Wilderness provides 28.9 cubic feet of cargo space. Folding the seats flat expands the cargo area to 74.2 cubic feet.

Q: What is the starting price of the Subaru Forester Wilderness?

The base price of the Subaru Forester Wilderness starts at $32,820, offering excellent value for its off-road capabilities and features.


The 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness combines Subaru’s signature functionality and off-road prowess, making it an excellent choice for adventurous individuals. With its refreshed design, capable engine, impressive handling, and practical interior, the Forester Wilderness offers a well-rounded driving experience. Whether you’re tackling challenging trails or cruising on the highway, the Forester Wilderness is a reliable companion that won’t disappoint.

Car news