2022 Subaru Forester

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2022 Subaru Forester Review: A Great Allround Package

The Subaru Forester is one of America's favorite compact crossover SUVs, thanks to a history of good reliability and the security of all-wheel-drive. The compact crossover SUV segment is filled with other choices like the Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5, but Forester vehicles have been outdoing these rivals for some time. The basic recipe of a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated boxer-four with 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque is unchanged and includes a continuously variable transmission that makes this an easy car to live with in traffic, just as its good ground clearance and all-weather grip make it easy to live with on the trail. But as cars get more and more luxurious and tech-forward, is the Forester still good enough to be the favorite?

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 7 /10
  • Performance 7 /10
  • Fuel Economy 8 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 10 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 8 /10
  • Reliability 10 /10
  • Safety 10 /10
  • Value For Money 9 /10
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2022 Subaru Forester Changes: 🚙What’s the Difference vs the 2021 Subaru Forester?

The most obvious change to the 2022 model is the redesigned front end, incorporating a new edgier grille, bumpers, and headlights. There are new wheel designs as well. A panoramic sunroof is made standard on all trims but the base car and inside, gesture controls are now optionally available for the climate control. The base trim's interior lighting is improved with a brighter new LED dome light (with off-delay) and LED lighting in the cargo area. The Premium trim's braking system is improved by the addition of new 12.4-inch front brake discs and the Touring trim receives new gloss-black window moldings.

New standard features across the board include a torque-vectoring system, an electronic parking brake (with auto-hold), an SI-Drive driving-mode selector, and an automatic stop/start system. The EyeSight driver-assistance suite is improved with the fitment of more advanced cameras to give a broader field of view and enable an optional new Automatic Emergency Steering system. 2022 sees the introduction of a Forester Wilderness trim as well, which gets rugged exterior styling features, an eight-speed manual mode for its continuously variable transmission, more ground clearance, stronger roof rails that can carry more weight, and a maximum towing capacity increased to 3,000 lbs.

Pros and Cons

  • Impressive off-road ability, especially for the Wilderness
  • Smooth ride
  • Great gas mileage
  • Plenty of standard safety features
  • Spacious seating
  • Generic styling
  • Unimpressive acceleration
  • CVT is boring

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2022 Subaru Forester Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.5L Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
2.5L Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
2.5L Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
2.5L Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
2.5L Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2022 Subaru Forester Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

With permanent symmetrical AWD that is a trademark of Subaru's offerings, the 2022 Forester is a car that handles better than you may expect, especially for a crossover. Thanks to a low center of gravity, there isn't too much body roll and the light but accurate steering contributes to making the Forester feel more agile and nimble than its size would suggest. That light steering also helps in traffic and when parking, making this a great car for those who have a family and live in the city. The suspension is good too, with a perfect balance between stiffness and comfort. Obviously, its Mazda-badged rival is a more adept vehicle when it comes to taking corners, but the Subaru is still one of the best out there. Whether it be a long-distance road trip or a quick run to the mall, the Forester won't give anyone back issues or car sickness. The brakes are good too, proving easy to modulate and powerful. Off-road, that AWD system again shows its worth with this vehicle able to maintain its good reputation even on the slipperiest of surfaces. The Wilderness adds an extra measure of off-road ability and control with its special tires, higher ground clearance, and eight-speed manual mode.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2022 Subaru Forester a Good SUV?

Subaru Forester ratings have always been high. It may not be the most engaging vehicle to drive or have the longest list of standard convenience features, but beyond that, it's a really good car and it's easy to understand why it's one of the most popular vehicles in the US. It comes loaded with safety features and has an economical engine that comes with a pretty good CVT. It also offers plenty of cargo space and has an attractive if generic design. The ride is good too, and you can comfortably seat adults in the front or back on long trips with no complaints. Coupled with its off-road ability, this is a great all-round package that suits various lifestyle types. Sure, there are some competitors that excel at things like driving dynamics or towing capacity, but the Forester combines good ability in all respects for a great package that is affordable, comfortable, and capable. That said, a test drive is always the final deciding factor.

2022 Subaru Forester Comparisons

Subaru Outback Subaru
Mazda CX-5 Mazda

2022 Subaru Forester vs Subaru Outback

The Subaru Outback is very similar to the Forester. It's also got a wagon-like design and has the exact same powertrain with the same output but starts at almost two grand more than the base Forester. However, rather than being a compact, this model is a midsize crossover SUV/wagon. However, unlike the Forester, you can spec a more powerful and more urgent turbocharged engine in models with the XT designation. This 2.4-liter turbo engine produces 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque, making it capable of towing up to 3,500 lbs. Even with the regular engine, the Outback can still out-tow all Foresters except the Wilderness with a rating of 2,700 lbs. There's also a little more space in the Outback, along with the availability of a large 11.6-inch touchscreen display and a Harman Kardon sound system. For these reasons, we recommend the Outback if you can afford it over the cost of the Subaru Forester.

See Subaru Outback Review

2022 Subaru Forester vs Mazda CX-5

The Mazda CX-5 is in the same league as the Forester with a base price of $25,370 and it has a lot going for it. Besides great handling and a proper automatic gearbox, the CX-5 has a more attractive design - in our opinion anyway. Its base 2.5-liter four-pot is a little more powerful too, with 187 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. Like the Outback, a turbocharged motor is available on this car that makes up to 250 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel-drive is standard on most models with AWD available as an option, but the top trim with the most powerful engine gets power sent to all four wheels by default. Inside, an attractive and modern cabin is complemented by a 10.25-inch touch display, although this is a little trickier to reach than the one in the Subaru. Nevertheless, the CX-5 gets our vote for multiple drivetrain configurations, the availability of a turbo engine, great handling, a proper gearbox, and much more attractive design inside and out.

See Mazda CX-5 Review

2022 Subaru Forester Popular Comparisons

The most popular competitors of 2022 Subaru Forester:

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