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The Next-Gen Subaru Forester Wilderness Delay

Although delayed, the highly anticipated 2025 Forester Wilderness is a model worth waiting for. Here's a glimpse of what's in store and why it's worth the wait. 

Where's the new Forester Wilderness?

If you have wondered where the all-new, next-generation Forester Wilderness is, you are not alone. If you go to Subaru's website page for the 2025 Subaru Forester, you'll see the 2024 Forester Wilderness tab but not the new next-generation Forester. Where is the all-new Forester Wilderness?

I wrote in November that the new Forester Wilderness trim level was a no-show at the Los Angeles Auto Show. But there is new information on the outdoor-themed Forester.

William Stokes, Subaru of America's planning manager for the Forester, told Automotive News, "Subaru's Wilderness trim, which the automaker launched in 2021 as an overlanding subbrand, will continue to be offered on the Forester but not at launch."

More Forester trims are coming.

Stokes did not reiterate why the 2025 Forester does not have a Wilderness trim level. Still, I speculate that Subaru Corporation put so much of its resources into the sixth-generation Forester that they need more time to plan the Wilderness trim. 

We now know that Subaru is developing a new next-generation Forester Hybrid trim level, another reason for the Wilderness delay. For more information, you can read my Forester Hybrid report here

Back to the Wilderness

The next-generation Forester Wilderness requires the Japanese automaker to develop a new suspension, possibly a new engine or engine modifications, and add outdoor upgrades that set it apart from the standard model and the Sport trim.

Planet Subaru says, "The rugged 2024 Forester Wilderness will continue in production alongside the all-new 2025 Forester and has an unchanged starting price of $34,920."

What's the 2024 Forester Wilderness pricing?

The 2024 Forester Wilderness carries over with a starting price of $36,265, which includes destination and delivery fees ($1,345). Note: Subaru charges these fees to the dealer and customer.

There are unique features of the Forester Wilderness that make it stand out in the crowd.

The next-gen Wilderness trim level will likely maintain its unique front fascia, which features a hexagonal front grille and hexagonal LED fog lights over the standard model. It also has a practical anti-glare hood decal in matte black to diffuse direct sunlight on the trails. 

Inside, it will come with water-resistant StarTex seating surfaces, all-weather mats, and a cargo tray. All are well-prepared for muddy feet and gear with wash-and-ready attitudes.

Will the Wilderness get a power boost?

The 2025 Forester compact SUV is powered by a 2.5-liter Boxer engine with 180 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. That's two less horsepower and two more lb-ft of torque than the fifth-generation 2024 Forester. 

While Subaru has not confirmed any new engine upgrades, there's hope that the all-new Forester Wilderness will receive more power than the Base, Premium, Sport, Limited, and Touring trim levels. This potential upgrade could set it apart and allow it to carry extra gear up a steep mountain pass or trail, making it a compelling choice for outdoor enthusiasts. 

There's more to consider

As I previously reported, the next-gen Forester will be manufactured at a U.S. plant in Lafayette, Indiana, starting next year. This move ensures a steady supply for its North American customers. 

A Big Change

Wilderness trims will be built in Indiana as the new Forester production moves to the U.S., as well. This shift not only marks a significant change in Subaru's manufacturing strategy but also brings potential customer benefits, such as reduced delivery times and improved availability of the popular Forester model, ensuring you can get your hands on the new Forester Wilderness sooner.

Subaru Corporation said it will continue to build the new Forester in Japan for customers outside North America, including those in Japan, Asia, Australia, and Europe. 

So starting sometime next year, after the last Legacy rolls off the assembly line, every new Subaru Forester built in Indiana will stay in the U.S. and Canada. 

Forester customers will be able to get their new compact SUV sooner. 

Subaru of America had just a four-day supply of Foresters two years ago. Stokes says," We just couldn't get any cars, and that's been the story with Forester for years now that we just can't get as many as people will buy. We're really trying to improve the capacity and the production output for Forester because there's a lot of demand out there."

When will the Wilderness launch?

The good news for active customers is that Subaru is waiting and bringing the next-gen Forester Wilderness, emphasizing that it needs to be a competitive model in the lineup.

Subaru still has to announce the outdoor-themed 2025 Forester Wilderness, but it will likely launch sometime next year. Subaru is redesigning the rugged trim level now.

I expect Subaru Corporation and Subaru of America to upgrade the sixth-generation Forester Wilderness over the current model. The next-gen Forester Wilderness will launch a year from now or late next year. Stay tuned. 

What do you think of the all-new 2025 Subaru Forester?

Will you wait for the next-generation Forester Wilderness? Or buy another 2025 Forester trim level?  Click the red Add New Comment link below and join the conversation.

I am Denis Flierl, a top Torque News reporter since 2012. I’ve invested over 13 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role, working with every major car brand. I am an experienced Rocky Mountain Automotive Press member. You'll find my expert Subaru analysis here. Follow me on my X SubaruReportAll Subaru, WRXSTI, @DenisFlierlFacebook, and Instagram.

Photo credit: Subaru USA