2022 sees a mid cycle refresh for Subaru’s Forester utility, which includes introducing the brand’s adventure-ready Wilderness trim.

But before we get into the fun stuff, all 2022 Foresters get new headlights, updated front facia, two cargo hooks in the rear, and the newest version of Eyesight which has 2 times a wider field of view than before.

Moving on to the Forester Wilderness… It adds an anti-glare hood decal, unique grille, beefier fender flares, and copper accents.

But changes aren’t just cosmetic as ground clearance increases to 9.2-inches and the roof can now hold a static 800-lbs. A front skid plate comes standard as well as All-Terrain Yokohama Geolander tires with a full size spare in the trunk.

No changes to the standard 182-horsepower naturally aspirated 2.5-liter BOXER engine but improvements to the CVT make for better acceleration and a 3,000 lb. towing capacity.

Subaru brought us out to Bend, Oregon to test out the Wilderness’ off-road chops in the real world.

“So the Forester Wilderness takes an already very capable small SUV and makes it even more capable with only just a little bit of compromise. That compromise of course being the on-road capability, you have a slight lift, the all-terrain tires, then it absolutely excels off-road. But honestly this is still a great daily driver that is insanely capable.”   

The rocky and snowy public trails were a thrilling way to put the Wilderness to the test. Even sitting in the passenger seat was just as fun with the suspension managing the trail with ease.

You still have two different X-Mode options available but the Wilderness allows for X-Mode to stay on over 12 miles-per-hour, only turning off when you hit 25 miles-per-hour.

There’s also a 180-degree front camera to see any unexpected objects on the trail.

Inside sees your typical Forester interior but with more copper accents, waterproof StarTex seats, and a cargo light.

Base Foresters start at just over $26,000 with the Wilderness coming in around $34,000 after destination. All 2022 Foresters go on sale by the end of the year.

It is pretty clear that Subaru did their homework and their execution of the Forester Wilderness is definitely impressive.

We’ll have more information on all things Wilderness coming up soon, right here on MotorWeek!



  • Engine: 2.5L Turbo-4
  • Horsepower: 182
  • Torque: 176 lb-ft
  • Towing Capacity: 3,000 lbs