2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness Preview

FAST FACTS
  • Styling update for all 2022 Foresters
  • New Wilderness trim level adds an extra measure of off-roading capability
  • Improved driving-assistance and collision-avoidance technology
  • On sale in October 2021

Subaru first introduced the Wilderness trim level on the 2022 Outback, at the time hinting that it would expand the overlanding treatment to other models in its lineup. The 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness is the second of the automaker’s SUVs to get the design and hardware upgrade.

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The debut of the 2022 Forester Wilderness is just one of several changes for the popular compact crossover, which we’ll detail below. The new trim level slots into the middle of a lineup that now includes Base, Premium, Sport, Wilderness, Limited, and Touring. They all have a boxer-type 4-cylinder engine, a continuously variable transmission (CVT), and standard all-wheel drive (AWD).

Pricing for the 2022 Forester lineup starts at $28,195, not including the $1,125 destination charge, and it goes on sale in October 2021. The Wilderness window stickers for $32,820, plus destination.

Exterior Features - Find the best Subaru deals!

2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness Blue Rear Quarter View

All 2022 Subaru Foresters get new front styling, including the grille, headlights, fog lights, and bumper. New wheel designs are available, and the Touring trim adds blacked-out center roof pillars for what Subaru says is a more premium appearance.

Separately, the new 2022 Forester Wilderness gives the SUV specific styling to go along with its special purpose. Exclusive Geyser Blue paint is its signature color, but it comes in other hues. The Wilderness also wears unique grille, fog light, and bumper designs, as well as a front skid plate. Copper accents and a matte-black hood decal complete the look.

Wilderness versions ride on matte-black 17-inch wheels and Yokohama Geolandar all-terrain tires with raised white lettering. Subaru says the tires are made specifically for improved performance on muddy and gravel roads.

Subaru adds new tie-down locations for the roof rails of all 2022 Foresters. Wilderness versions get a new ladder-type roof rail design with a 220-pound dynamic load capacity, up from 176 lbs. It can also handle an 800-lb. static load limit, an increase from 700 lbs.

Interior Features - Find the best Subaru deals!

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Subaru makes few changes to the 2022 Forester’s interior. Brighter LED cabin lighting is standard, and new utility hooks are embedded into the roof over the cargo area.

Wilderness versions get metal pedals and copper accents to match the ones on the outside of the SUV. Subaru’s water-resistant StarTex simulated leather upholstery is standard, along with a rubber cargo mat and protective material lining the back of the 60/40 split-folding rear seat. Subaru also stows a full-size spare tire aboard the Forester Wilderness.

Under the Hood - Find the best Subaru deals!

All 2022 Subaru Foresters continue to use a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine making 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. The engine powers all four of the SUV’s wheels through a CVT, and Subaru says the Forester Wilderness can tow up to 3,000 pounds.

In Wilderness specification, drivetrain modifications enhance low-speed hill-climbing capability. The Wilderness also benefits from Subaru’s more capable dual-mode X-Mode off-road traction technology. It offers 9.2 inches of ground clearance thanks to longer coil springs and shock absorbers; that represents an increase over the 8.7 inches supplied by other Forester models.

Safety Systems - Find the best Subaru deals!

As was true before, every 2022 Forester has Subaru’s EyeSight collection of advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS). For 2022, EyeSight gets upgraded software, a wider field of view, and with Premium trim and higher, new Automatic Emergency Steering. This new feature is essentially an evasive steering assistance technology that works at speeds under 50 mph.

Touring trim continues to offer Subaru’s camera-based DriverFocus driver monitoring system. It watches for a distracted driver and issues alerts to remain focused on the task at hand. For 2022, it adds a gesture control function allowing a driver to raise or lower the Forester’s cabin temperature without touching the dashboard controls.

Infotainment and Technology - Find the best Subaru deals!

Subaru has announced no changes to the 2022 Forester’s infotainment technology. 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.

2022 Subaru Forester Competitors - Find the best Subaru deals!

With the 2022 Forester, Subaru competes against other compact SUVs in one of the most widely contested vehicle segments in America. It is among the best-sellers in the class, but the Honda CR-VNissan Rogue, and Toyota RAV4 are more popular with consumers.

Though it’s true there is no shortage of alternatives, standard AWD and a minimum of 8.7 inches of ground clearance helps the Forester to distinguish itself as one of the few crossover SUVs that can safely and competently travel well off the beaten path.

The new Wilderness trim level further separates the Forester from the pack, as no other vehicle in its class offers as much ground clearance. This version of the SUV is tailored explicitly for people who actually live rather than aspire to an active lifestyle.

Subaru is the source of information in this article. It was accurate as of September 2, 2021, but it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker’s website or your local dealership.