What It’s Like To Drive The 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness

November 5th, 2021 by

The Subaru Forester is a compact SUV that has received a lot of praise over the past few years. Fans of the Forester note the exceptional ride quality, capability, and overall safety of the SUV. Subaru has made sure to create an SUV that goes beyond the typical vehicle. Their dynamic symmetrical all-wheel-drive system has gifted their vehicles with a quality unseen by other automakers. Now with the Forester Wilderness, Subaru has stepped up the quality of one of their iconic SUVs. The Japanese automaker has hinted that it will soon update the Forester with a new turbocharged engine, but for now, we’ll take a closer look at what it’s like to drive behind the wheel of the 2022 Forester Wilderness.

Driving the 2022 Forester Wilderness

The 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness is everything adventure-seekers could ask for. This goes for outdoor enthusiasts as well. The off-roading variant has the capability to take consumers where they want safely and efficiently. The Wilderness builds atop the base Forester by adding higher ground clearance, different gearing, all-terrain tires, a trail camera, increased towing capacity, and a roof rack. Each Forester comes equipped with a 2.5L four-cylinder engine capable of 182 horsepower and 176lb-ft of torque. This is mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT), but the Wilderness gets a different version. The Wilderness gets a higher final drive ratio of 4.11:1, compared to the regular Forester’s 3.70:1. It also gets a wider gear range and a different variator pulley.

Typically a higher final drive ratio means that the vehicle feels faster off the line, but with the Wilderness trim, flooring the gas pedal only leads to a nonchalant acceleration. It revs higher at highway speeds but similar to the Forester, the compact SUV isn’t in too much of a rush. On trails, however, the different gearing puts more useful torque down low. On the steepest of trails, the Wilderness does not hesitate. It has enough capability to traverse just about any terrain with ease.

The one downside to the higher final drive ratio is the hit to fuel economy. The EPA rating for the Wilderness is 25 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway compared to the Forester’s 26 mph in the city and 33 on the highway. This difference isn’t too bad since the Wilderness does improve capability and durability. Subaru fans will have to decide where their interests lie, but both are good choices. The Forester Wilderness starts at an MSRP of $32,820 (plus destination fee) while the regular Forester is $25,195 (plus destination fee).

How Well Does the 2022 Forester Wilderness Handle?

Driving the 2022 Forester Wilderness is great given its advanced features and specifications. Safety and driver-assist features included with Subaru’s EyeSight technology help traverse roads and trails. This safety technology includes adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane centering, and more. The Wilderness’ all-terrain tires make handling less precise on pavement and when hitting corners hard a screeching sound may be audible. Still, the tires make up for it when it comes to sand, gravel, or dirt.

The longer suspension on the Forester Wilderness keeps the SUV’s tires planted and bump-resistant. The SUV gently absorbs most bumps, even severe ones. When driving over different terrain types, the ride quality doesn’t suffer at all. Noise is soft and mostly rattle-free. The Wilderness trim comes with a full-size spare along with a tire pressure monitoring sensor in case any accident should occur. Overall, the 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness is a great choice for those looking to get in touch with their adventurous side. The compact SUV is ideal for trails and diverse terrain but it’s also solid in the city. We’ll have to see what Subaru adds to the next-generation Forester but as of now, this is a solid SUV.

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