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Subaru Forester Buying Guide - Why Wilderness May Not Be Your Best Choice

The refreshed 2022 Subaru Forester is arriving in U.S. showrooms now with new features, safety technology, and upgrades. Which trim is best for you? Check out the 2022 model and trim guide with pricing here.


The 2022 Forester gets a refresh in the fourth year of its life cycle. It includes a new look with a redesigned front facia, new grille, headlights, fog light covers, new safety technology, and convenience features. Check out the complete trim guide here.

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).

2022 Subaru Forester, 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness, features, specs, pricing
photo credit: Boise Subaru

Subaru offers an all-new 2022 Forester Wilderness trim but is it a good choice for you, and what sets the Wilderness model apart? If you want to get further away on the weekends, the new Wilderness is the trim for you.

The 2022 Forester Wilderness ($33,945) has 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 the Wilderness model to trek further and tow more. Forester Wilderness 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.

2022 Subaru Forester, 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness, features, specs, pricing

Increased towing capacity

If you will be towing, the Forester Wilderness trims now offer up to 3,000-lb. towing capacity (vs. 1,500 for all other Forester trims) and features standard trailer stability assist. The additional tow rating will allow customers with active lifestyles to pull a small boat or camper.

What is the fuel mileage of the 2022 Forester?

The 2022 Forester gets an EPA estimated 26/33 city/highway mpg and 29 combined mpg. The EPA rated the new Forester Wilderness with an estimated 25/28 city/highway mpg and 26 combined mpg.

What are our top picks for the best Forester trim level?

Forester Premium

New for 2022, the Premium ($29,320) has enhanced roof rails and additional tie-down points for improved versatility. The Premium trim has steering responsive LED headlights, keyless access with push-button start, fog lights, heated seats and mirrors, a leather steering wheel, and windshield wiper de-icer.

Premium also comes with a 10-way power driver's seat with power lumbar support, 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels in black with machine finish, roof rails, dark tint privacy glass, and a panoramic power moonroof.

Forester Sport

The Forester Sport ($30,890) adds exterior and interior treatments. It gets black-finish 18-inch wheels, a black rear roof spoiler, and orange accents. Inside Sport features a dark gray material with orange stitching and accents. Sport also features dual-function X-Mode for increased capability off-road and extreme weather conditions.

The Sport also comes with additional safety technology like blind-spot detection, lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert.

Unless you will use your 2022 Forester for off-road use or need to tow a small camper or trailer, we like the Forester Premium that hits the sweet spot with the most features, and offers good value. The Forester Sport offers the additional severe all-weather capability and has a sportier look. Both are good picks for most compact SUV shoppers.

You Might Also Like: Subaru Forester Sport Vs The New Wilderness - Which Belongs In Your Garage?

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 Subaru of Wakefield


Kathie Cothern (not verified)    January 23, 2022 - 8:23AM

I like my sport so far. I have had it two weeks and am loving the gas mileage and new to me safety features.

Engineer dude (not verified)    January 24, 2022 - 6:12PM

I love articles like this, totally misleading.....
The Wilderness edition is awesome for the Forester. I just bought one, and traded up from a Premium. HUGE difference. Since Subarus don't have a 2 speed transfer case, the offroad capability is limited by the gearing. With the Forester's lower powered engine, the non-Wilderness models don't have enough wheel torque to do much other than drive over flat trails. The Wilderness gearing almost doubles the effective wheel torque, allow it to actually drive up moderately steep roads and over moderate sized obstacles that the non-Wilderness models absolutely can not do. Do your research before writing garbage articles like this.

Robert (not verified)    January 31, 2022 - 9:59PM

New ones valve covers and intake leak like a silf bad on oxygen censors my friends is in the shop more than they drive them.