We guessed wrong.
Subaru teased a second Wilderness model earlier this month. It was set to be a pair with the Outback Wilderness we recently drove, but we didn't know which model would get the new trim. We speculated that it could be a Crosstrek Wilderness, which would have made sense. But today we found out, via The Torque Report and the EPA, that it will be a Forester Wilderness coming next.
We now know that the 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness will sport a 2.5-liter four returning 25 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. That's lower than the standard Forester, which is rated at 26 mpg city and an excellent 33 mph highway.
We expect the Forester Wilderness to get similar upgrades to the ones that came on the off-road Outback. That means a lifted ride height compared to the current 8.7-inch ground clearance, a new exterior treatment with that cool Geyser Blue color, more suspension travel, revised X-Mode tuning for better low-down torque delivery, and more.
Expect redesigned bumpers front and rear, to improve upon the Forester's 22.9-degree approach angle, 24.6-degree departure angle and a 19.6-degree breakover angle. The Outback received a revised rear differential and a CVT adjusted to match; we're expecting the same deal here.
We are a little worried about the new Forester's on-road manners, as we found that was where the Outback Wilderness was lacking. It felt tall on the highway, and a little wobbly. We said then that the off-road chops of the Outback were already great, and pondered if we needed a more hardcore one.
We have the same reservations now. The Forester was already better than it had any right to be off-road, but with the likes of the Ford Bronco Sport now on the scene, perhaps Subaru is feeling the pressure as other manufacturers tread on its adventure-oriented image.
We don't have a price yet, but the Outback Wilderness landed in between the price of the Limited and Touring trims, albeit with a more powerful engine. Without a new powertrain here, a price of around $30,000 for the new Forester Wilderness should be plausible. We expect a debut to happen soon.