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New Subaru Forester Now Ranks The Best Small SUV With Outdoor Enthusiasts

The Subaru Forester has always been popular with outdoor enthusiasts. A new report says the 2022 Forester now tops the list of small SUVs that owners will use to go camping and carry outdoor gear this summer.

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How often will Subaru Forester owners use their all-wheel-drive vehicles to go camping this summer? It’s a substantial number according to new research from Maritz Automotive. Subaru is still known as the outdoor brand and the 2022 Forester ranks at the top of all SUVs in a recent Maritz Research New Vehicle Customer Study.

In the small SUV category, nearly 25 percent of Subaru Forester owners will use their vehicles to go camping. The Jeep Cherokee is number one (26%) followed by the Subaru Forester (25%). The Volkswagen Tiguan is third (20%), Toyota RAV4 (18.5%), and Mazda CX-5 (18%) round out the top five models. The segment average is 17.5 percent.

2022 Subaru Forester features, specs, pricing, fuel mileage

In the same Maritz study more than one-third of all Subaru Forester owners use their small SUV for carrying outdoor gear and equipment (a kayak, snowboards, and mountain bicycles).

The Subaru Forester scores number one among all small SUVs at 37 percent, followed by the Volkswagen Tiguan (33%), Jeep Cherokee (30%), Mazda CX-5 (27.5%), and Toyota RAV4 (25%). The small SUV segment average is 24.5%).

2022 Subaru Forester features, specs, pricing, fuel mileage

Why does the Subaru Forester rank highest?

The 2022 Subaru Forester offers above-average off-pavement abilities for customers with active lifestyles. It could be mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, camping, or even more extreme Overlanding.

The 2022 Forester Sport trim level now offers dual function X-Mode with improved off-road abilities over the standard X-Mode which was already good. Now the Forester has the outermost reach.

For the 2022 model year, Subaru of America added the rugged Forester Wilderness trim level. For outdoor enthusiasts, the new Wilderness offers a revised CVT automatic transmission gear ratio, an oil cooler, and an upgraded final drive ratio for active customers who will go off-road.

The upgrades allow customers to trek further and tow more (3,000-lb. towing capacity). Forester Wilderness also features an off-road-tuned suspension, increased ride height (9.2-inches vs. 8.7-inches for all other trim levels), Yokohama Geolandar all-terrain tires, an aluminum engine skid plate, and a steel rear differential skid plate.

What is the 2022 Subaru Forester's fuel mileage?

With gas prices high this spring (AAA national average is $4.10 per gallon), fuel mileage is important to travelers. The 2022 Subaru Forester compact SUV comes with standard all-wheel drive and gets an EPA estimated 29 combined mpg and 26/33 city/highway mpg. The Forester comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder Boxer engine.

What is the price of the 2022 Forester?

For the 2022 model change Forester comes in six trim levels; The base Forester starts at $26,320, Premium ($29,320), Sport ($30,890), Limited ($33,000), new Wilderness ($33,945), and Touring ($36,420). Pricing includes destination and delivery fees ($1,125).

All 2022 Forester trim levels come with Subaru’s Symmetrical all-wheel-drive and getting away from the crowd sets the Forester apart from other compact SUVs. With the Wilderness sub-brand, Subaru of America is growing its influence with campers and outdoor enthusiasts, and improving on what they were already doing well. 

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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: main image Austin Subaru

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Cory Frantz (not verified)    April 20, 2022 - 12:44AM

Does the 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness come with an aluminum engine under guard & a steel differential under guard OR are these optional accessories that must be purchased separately ?