The 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness is an off-road-themed trim level of the easy-to-recommend Forester, bringing increased off-road and towing capabilities. It is fortified with more than just stickers and plastic fenders. The Forester Wilderness is more suited to its purpose than most off-road-themed compact SUVs.
The 2022 Subaru Forester is a perennial Cars.com favorite: It’s finished on the podium in our past two compact SUV tests, placing second in 2019 and third in 2021. For 2022, the standout change for the Forester is a new Wilderness trim level, which takes a small SUV with impressive ground clearance and standard all-wheel drive and turns it up a notch, making what Subaru says is the most trail-capable Forester yet.
The 2022 Subaru Forester is your outdoorsy choice for a small SUV. It can go places most rivals can’t thanks to its higher-than-average ground clearance and standard all-wheel drive. It’s also packed with standard safety features and offers a generous amount of cargo space. Now, for 2022, Subaru is enhancing Forester’s strengths even further with the new Wilderness trim.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
All Forester models are powered by the same 2.5-liter flat-four-cylinder engine that makes 182 horsepower and can tow 1500 pounds. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) routes the engine’s power to Subaru’s trademark all-wheel-drive system. At our test track, our 2022 Forester Wilderness test vehicle required 8.0 seconds to reach 60 mph—not exactly thrilling performance, but it’ll meet the needs of most buyers.
Those looking for more oomph should check out the Honda CR-V or the turbocharged versions of the Mazda CX-5 and the Kia Sportage. For an SUV without any sporting intentions, the 2022 Subaru Forester’s handling is competent. The ride is compliant and refined, the steering is accurate, and the brakes are adequately strong for emergency stops.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
With EPA fuel-economy ratings that match much of the compact-crossover segment (26 mpg city, 33 mpg highway), the 2022 Subaru Forester will likely satisfy buyers seeking efficiency. In our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test, our Forester Touring test vehicle missed its highway-fuel-economy rating by 1 mpg, returning 32 mpg. However, that figure matches the result that the CR-V Touring and the Toyota RAV4 Adventure delivered. For more information about Forester’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The 2022 Subaru Forester‘s cabin is a straightforward, frill-free affair with a good driving position and great outward visibility. Our Touring model’s interior was nicely finished with caramel-colored leather on the seats, door panels, and dash; textured plastic trim layered on the rest of the cabin looked and felt of high quality, too, while glossy-black plastic on the center stack and the chromed and matte-metallic plastic trims spruced things up quite well.
The back seat is plenty spacious (there is no third-row option), and even adults should find the bench seat a comfortable perch for road trips. We fit 11 of our carry-on suitcases behind the back seat and a whopping 23 with the back seats folded. That’s more than either the CX-5 or the RAV4 could muster, but the CR-V maxed out at 25 carry-ons with its rear seats stowed.
Infotainment and Connectivity
All Forester models come standard with a touchscreen infotainment system using Subaru’s latest Starlink interface. Base, Premium, and Sport models come standard with a 6.5-inch display, but a larger 8.0-inch unit is optional on the Sport and standard on the Limited and Touring models.
Two USB ports are provided for front-seat passengers; two more are optional and reside on the back of the center console, giving rear-seat passengers a way to juice their smartphones. Navigation is optional, but for those who decide to stick with a lower model, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability are both standard and can provide turn-by-turn directions broadcast from the user’s device. Onboard Wi-Fi via a 4G LTE data connection is standard on all but the base Forester.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
All models come standard with Subaru’s EyeSight suite of camera-based driver-assistance features. For more information about 2022 Subaru Forester’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.
2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness
Vehicle Type: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
Base/As Tested: $33,945/$36,015
Options: Audio and Navigation package, $1850; engine skid plate, $220
DOHC 16-valve flat-4, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 152 in3, 2498 cm3
Power: 182 hp @ 5800 rpm
Torque: 176 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
continuously variable automatic
Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 12.4-in vented disc/11.2-in vented disc
Tires: Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015
225/60R-17 99T M+S 3PMSF
Wheelbase: 104.9 in
Length: 182.7 in
Width: 72.2 in
Height: 68.9 in
Passenger Volume: 108 ft3
Cargo Volume: 27 ft3
Curb Weight: 3659 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 8.0 sec
1/4-Mile: 16.3 sec @ 86 mph
100 mph: 24.1 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 8.7 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 4.3 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 5.9 sec
Top Speed (C/D est): 115 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 181 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.77 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 22 mpg
75-mph Highway Driving: 28 mpg
Highway Range: 460 mi
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 26/25/28 mpg