Updated: Apr 1, 2022
Subaru, a brand beloved by outdoorsy types for decades, has decided to double down on its reputation for building go-anywhere (almost) vehicles by introducing a new, more purposeful trim level---the Wilderness Edition. I reviewed the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness Edition in August. Now comes the smaller sibling, the 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness Edition.
The formula is essentially the same as the Outback Wilderness Edition, just on a smaller canvas---an upgraded suspension, Yokohama GEOLANDAR all-terrain tires, an advanced dual-function X-MODE system, half an inch more ground clearance, improvements to approach, departure and breakover angles and some black plastic cladding "for resilience and durability."
Under the hood, it's the same 182-horsepower 2.5-liter horizontally-opposed four cylinder BOXER engine found in all Subaru Foresters. At 8.3 seconds, it's not fast, but it's not dreadfully slow, and Subaru faithful will find it to be just fine. EPA fuel economy average is a solid 25 city/28 highway. Towing capacity has been increased to 3,000 pounds and the Lineartronic continuously variable transmission now has wider ratios and revised final drive ratios. And, of course, Subaru's symmetrical all-wheel drive is standard.
The Wilderness Edition also brings StarTex water-resistant upholstery and other durability improvements to the interior, so you can bring a bit of the Wilderness back into the Forester with you.
The Forester has had a light refresh for the 2022 model year, but all the hallmarks of the model---large, clear instrumentation, good ergonomics---large, round dials instead of functions buried inside menus---are all still there.
The base price of the 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness is $32,820. The window sticker is at the end of this review so you can see for yourself, but among the standard equipment highlights not already mentioned at that price are EyeSight driver assist technology with adaptive cruise control, trailer stability assist, active torque vectoring, an all-weather package and automatic climate control.
Our tester had only one extra-cost option...an aluminum engine under-guard ($220). So, with $1,125 destination and delivery, the as-tested price of the 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness Edition is $34,165.
Unless you're a Forester owner who absolutely never ventures off the pavement, the Wilderness Edition strikes me as a must-have. It simply amplifies Subaru's strong points. The truly active Subaru enthusiasts are all about going, seeing and doing---and the 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness Edition lets you do more of all three.