Subaru is gradually revealing its 2022 range, and there’s one common thread we’re excited about: Wilderness. In the wake of the 2022 Outback Wilderness’ debut, the Japanese automaker has unveiled the 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness, taking the company’s compact SUV into the off-road adventure territory. With upgrades like increased ground clearance and a reinforced roof rack, it targets squarely camp and outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes.
The revamped Forester lineup includes several trim levels in addition to the Wilderness package, but all are powered by Subaru’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which makes 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. That power is sent to all four wheels via the company’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system and a standard continuously variable transmission. But those are just the basics, and the Subaru Forester Wilderness has been given a few major tweaks to make it more curb-capable.
The most notable changes are in the suspension and drivetrain. The Forester Wilderness comes with longer coil springs and shock absorbers to give it 9.2 inches of ground clearance—a half-inch bump over the standard Forester. This will help to get through obstacles (the front skid plate provides protection if you scrape a rock), and the increased suspension travel will better absorb bumps on rough trails too. It’s equipped with a terrain-specific X-Mode selector that can improve engine torque and CVT gear ratios to help you tackle snow and dirt, as well as deep snow drifts and muddy conditions.
The Wilderness also comes with exclusive 17-inch alloy wheels in a stylish matte black, and it wears Yokohama Geolandar all-terrain tires for dependable grip on the loose stuff. And if you can punch a hole in one, there’s a full-size spare space under the floor of the rear cargo area.
Love tents on the roof? You’re in luck: The SUV comes with a reinforced roof rack that can handle up to 220 pounds on the move and support up to 800 pounds while standing—100 pounds more than the 2021 Forester’s fixed roof load rating. The stand also features built-in hitch posts to keep your gear in place and bright orange metallic accents that match the trim of the rest of the vehicle. If you prefer back campers, the Forester Wilderness can accommodate that, too: It has a 3,000-pound towing capacity.
To complement the mechanical changes, the Wilderness package includes a redesigned front grille, larger wheel arch livery, and hexagonal LED fog lights. Even the interior is perforated to handle the outdoors: the seats are covered in waterproof fabric to prevent stains. The only optional upgrade will give you a more luxurious experience inside, including an 8-inch infotainment screen and Harman Kardon audio system. Who said you have to split it when you’re in your back town?
[Starting at $32,820; subaru.com]
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