2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness, 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness features specs, price, fuel mileage
Denis Flierl's picture

Subaru Forester Wilderness Vs Outback Wilderness - There’s A Clear Winner

The 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness and the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness are the automaker's newest models for outdoor enthusiasts. Which one is the best for off-road adventures? There is a clear winner.
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The 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness joined the Wilderness off-road sub-brand along with the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness that Subaru of America introduced early this year. Which one is the best for outdoor enthusiasts who want to get further away from civilization?

We'll compare the Forester Wilderness Vs. Outback Wilderness and see which model is the best for extreme off-road adventures. Here is why the new Outback Wilderness is the clear winner.

2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness, 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness features specs, price, fuel mileage

Ground clearance

The Outback Wilderness will handle more challenging trails with 9.5-inch ground clearance, a nearly one-inch increase over the standard model's 8.7-inches. The Outback has an almost half-inch advantage over the Forester.

The 2022 Forester Wilderness comes with 9.2-inches of ground clearance, a half-inch increase over the other Forester models. It has longer coil springs, shock absorbers, and unique tuning for ride and handling performance.

2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness, 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness features specs, price, fuel mileage

We asked Subaru for an explanation, and a company spokesman told us there are several factors why Forester has less ground clearance. The Forester is taller and has a shorter wheelbase which affects the ride height, including ride quality, handling, comfort, and rollover. The Outback also has a longer wheelbase which allows it to have additional ground clearance.

The extra clearance also allows the Outback to handle more extreme terrain. Approach angles on the Outback Wilderness have been extended from 18.6 degrees to 20.0, ramp break-over angle shifts from 19.4 degrees to 21.2 degrees, and the departure angle increases from 21.7 degrees to 23.6 degrees.

2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness, 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness features specs, price, fuel mileage

Subaru did not announce the approach and break-over angles on the Forester Wilderness, but they would be considerably less than the Outback. The additional ground clearance in the Outback Wilderness allows the break-over angle to make a drop without squashing the rocker panels and leaving your exhaust system behind.

Advanced dual-function X-Mode vs. standard X-Mode

The Outback Wilderness features a new advanced feature for X-MODE that allows the wagon/SUV to switch automatically from low-speed managed driving to speeds over 25 mph without interruption of power or performance. The X-Mode display also features a new roll-angle indicator to help the driver navigate off-road terrain.

The 2022 Forester Wilderness comes with standard X-Mode and not even dual-function X-Mode like the Forester Sport. It's a surprise that Subaru did not upgrade the Forester Wilderness X-Mode.

2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness, 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness features specs, price, fuel mileage

Outback has more horsepower and torque

Outback Wilderness is powered by a 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer engine producing 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque.

Forester Wilderness is powered by a 2.5-liter naturally-aspirated Boxer engine producing 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque. Outdoor enthusiasts were disappointed Forester Wilderness did not get the FA24 2.4-liter turbocharged engine upgrade.

Outback has more towing capacity

The 2022 Outback Wilderness will tow up to 3,500 lbs. vs. 2,700 lbs for the Outback with the 2.5-liter engine. The Outback has a 500 lb. advantage over Forester.

The 2022 Forester did get a towing increase up to 3,000-lb. towing capacity (vs. 1,500) and features standard trailer stability assist. The additional tow rating will now allow customers with active lifestyles to pull a small boat or camper.

Cost and fuel mileage

The Forester Wilderness has two advantages over the Outback Wilderness. It has a lower price and gets better fuel mileage.

What is the price of the 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness?

The Forester Wilderness has a lower starting price than the Outback Wilderness, starting at $33,945, including destination and delivery fees.

What is the price of the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness?

The Outback Wilderness is priced from $38,120, including destination and delivery fees. That's $4,175 more than Forester, but we think its upgrades are worth the extra cost.

What is the fuel mileage of the 2022 Forester Wilderness?

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

What is the fuel mileage of the 2022 Outback Wilderness?

The EPA says the new Outback Wilderness gets an EPA estimated 22/26 city/highway mpg and 24 combined mpg. The 2022 Outback XT with the 2.4-liter turbocharged engine gets an estimated 23/30 city/highway mpg and 26 combined mpg.

Other than cost and fuel mileage, the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness is the clear winner over the 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness.

The Outback has additional ground clearance, more horsepower power and torque, additional towing capacity, and advanced dual-function X-Mode for outdoor enthusiasts who want to get further away from civilization. The 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness is the more capable model, able to handle extreme off-road terrain.

You Might Also Like: The 12-Best SUVs Under $40,000 - 2022 Subaru Outback Now Scores #2 Overall

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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Comments

Under Subaru's own specifications for the Forester Wilderness is says it does get Dual function X-mode.
Both under the specifications and the promotional video that Subaru put out for the Forester Wilderness, it clearly states that it comes equipped standard with a new “advanced dual function x-mode”. Every other publication or material I have read about the Forester Wilderness also confirms that it is just like the x-mode in the Outback Wilderness. Are you sure you haven't made a mistake?
I agree that turbo would be a nice bonus, but I feel like most of the people who are upset about the lack of are WRX drivers who are looking for street performance. Heck my 2006 Outback only has 162 HP. I think the fact that they got the towing capacity on the Forester to 3000lbs is being understated, pretty impressive IMO.
I’ve seen the same statement from Subaru online, namely that the 2022 Forester Wilderness comes with a more advanced dual function X-mode which can function at speeds up to 25mph as a standard feature.
I would like to see the maths on how the Outback is the "clear winner" with regards to approach, departure and break over angles. I understand it has more ground clearance but it also has a longer wheel base. The shorter wheelbase of the Forester will require less lift to achieve the same break over angle.
It seems whoever wrote this really doesn't understand what they're talking about. I bet the Subaru rep tried to explain that the short wheelbase meant they didn't HAVE to increase the ride height by as much as the Outback.
Even the 2021 base Forester has better approach and departure angles than the Outback Wilderness. The Forester Wilderness is 23 degrees, which is better than the Outback Wilderness.
You got almost every fact wrong in your comparison of these two vehicles, which is truly an accomplishment. Keep up the excellent journalism.
I own a Outback Wilderness, I would have waited for the Forester Wilderness, but I wanted the better engine. The Outback is fast, the turbo motor makes a HUGE difference.
I have had both...a new forrester and a new outback........The forester had much better front bumper clearance and with a shorter wheelbase was for Me the better car.....It also had more head and shoulder room........My favorite car EVER was the forester...............Paul
This is what Denis wrote in his Sept 20 article - IS SUBARU'S WILDERNESS AWD THE BEST?: “The new rugged 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness and Outback Wilderness come with a new advanced X-Mode that allows the two SUVs to switch automatically from low-speed managed driving to speeds over 25 mph without interruption of power or performance. The X-Mode display also features a new roll-angle indicator to help the driver navigate off-road terrain.The 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness and 2022 Outback Wilderness all-wheel-drive system is set apart from the pack and will get you deep off-road.” But now you say this: “The 2022 Forester Wilderness comes with standard X-Mode and not even dual-function X-Mode like the Forester Sport. It's a surprise that Subaru did not upgrade the Forester Wilderness X-Mode.” So which is it Denis?
Classic. You do realize the more you comment, the more he gets paid…
So why are you posting?
Wish I could get inside Subaru's head. It seems like they are afraid of success so they intentionally aim low so they miss the mark. One would expect pretty much everything the outback comes with to be on the Forrester unless the platform couldn't accommodate it. The 2.4 T engine was an absolute must have, then the new xmode would be the next. The ground clearance argument sounds plausible but if it won't be worse than a 4Runner or other competing vehicle for stability I suspect the wilderness bunch would accept the sacrifice. So in the end is there really a Wilderness Forester? Should we even bother to wait for a Crosstrek Wilderness? Come on Subaru, you can do this.