It's the second high-riding Wilderness model after the Outback.
Subaru revealed the second entry into its Wilderness family of vehicles this week. The 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness will join the Outback Wilderness as slightly more off-road ready trail riders from the Japanese brand. We asked Subaru if fans were asking for these more rugged versions of the already rugged Outback and Forester. The brand rep said, "absolutely," and told us that the only thing keeping it from selling more Wilderness vehicles is that darn computer chip shortage.
The Forester Wilderness, we thought it might have been a Crosstrek from the teaser, gets 9.2 inches of ground clearance (up from 8.7 inches in the standard Forester), standard X-Mode off-road drive mode, special body cladding, and a revised drivetrain to making climbing out of loose gravel much easier.
This Wilderness model is still powered by the same 2.5-liter boxer engine with 182 hp and 176 lb-ft. That goes along with a continuously variable transmission with the adjusted ratios, all of which is good for towing 3,000 pounds. You can pretend to shift with steering wheel-mounted paddles if you really feel the need. It gets 17-inch wheels with Yokohama Geolandar tires with raised white letters.
The special Forester also gets chassis improvements including longer coil springs and shocks (for that added ride height), with longer travel to keep the wheels in contact with the ground. Subaru says a longer compression stroke helps absorb bumps too. Compared to other Forester models, the Wilderness has an approach angle of 23.5 degrees (up from 20), 25.4 degrees of departure (up from 24.6), and 21 degrees of breakover angle (up from 19.6 degrees).
The Forester Wilderness gets Subaru's latest EyeSight suite of safety technologies. They include automatic emergency steering, which Subaru says works in conjunction with pre-collision braking to "help avoid a collision as speeds less than 50 mph." Blind spot warning, lane change assist, rear cross-traffic alert and reverse automatic braking are also standard.
As for design, the show car you see here is painted in Geyser Blue, a color that took five years to create. The whole package looks a little rougher and tougher than the standard version with larger wheel arch cladding, new bumpers, new badges, a skid plate, and more. Its roof rack system increased its capacity from 176 pounds to 220 pounds while moving; static load limit went up from 700 pounds to 800 pounds.
Inside, buyers well get more tough materials that will resist dirt and moisture. The seats feature Subaru's StarTex material with embossed Wilderness logos. Copper accents are abound, and Subaru told us that color means "there's some function here." All-weather floormats are standard while the one-touch folding rear seatback is also protected with a waterproof material.
It comes standard with an 8-inch multimedia screen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and satellite radio. Over-air-updates are standard across the board. The Starlink 8-inch Multimedia Navigation System with a premium sound system is optional, as is a power rear gate.
The 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness comes in at $33,945 including destination. That puts it just over the Limited trim and a little bit less than the Touring, which starts at $36,420.