Car Review: The new Subaru Forester Wilderness is a sensible crossover that can actually handle the dusty trail

The 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness looks to gain more buyers by making a more off-road worthy crossover vehicle. Subaru gave the Forester Wilderness more ground clearance, now 9.2 inches, that rivals many other larger SUV models.

There are front skid plates to help protect vulnerable items while on the trail. The suspension is upgraded and it will serve you well on the road and off the beaten path.

The Subaru Forester Wilderness is also fitted with all-terrain tires however, the tires cause a bit more noise on the highway. With just 182hp, this Forester is no speed demon. With the seats filled, you will wish for more power.

The Forester Wilderness looks more like an SUV and less like a wagon. There are also black wheels that now sport all-terrain tires and lend credibility to its off-road personality.

A serious roof rack system looks like it’s ready for one of those rooftop tents and has an 800 lb. limit. Some unique badging and an abundance of black plastic cladding conveys that off-road ready look. Subaru adds gold-colored trim pieces to signal that this is not a regular Forester.

Hop in the cabin and this Subaru is more rugged looking with a unique to Wilderness models StarTex water-repellent upholstery. All-weather rubber floor mats cover most of the carpet in the cabin and even the trunk.

The cabin is spacious with good head and legroom for those sitting in the front and even the back seats. Golden stitching and accents set off the shifter and steering wheel.

A large touch-screen handles Radio/NAV functions. Volume and tuning can be handled with large knobs. The HVAC controls are large and very easy to use.

Cost: $32,995; as tested $36,015

MPG: 25 MPG City; 28 MPG Highway. I managed 26.3 in 200 miles of mixed driving.

Options: $220 engine under guard; $1,850 optional package $1,125 destination and delivery.

Safety: rear vision camera; X-mode with hill descent control; EyeSight driver assist technology with advanced adaptive cruise with lane centering; high beam assist; steering responsive LED headlights; brake assist and brake override system

Things to know: The Subaru Forester Wilderness is a more off-road worthy version of the popular compact crossover.


  • Good fuel economy for an AWD crossover
  • Wilderness model has increased ground clearance and off-road capability
  • Good space for front and rear seat riders


  • Gold trim color is a bit garish for some buyers
  • Some road noise at highway speeds thanks to the aggressive tires
  • Not much power in this crossover

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on Twitter and Instagram to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2022 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up