2022 Subaru Forester, Subaru Forester Wilderness
Denis Flierl's picture

Will The New Subaru Forester Wilderness Be Wild? Why It Needs A Turbo

Subaru of America will launch an all-new 2022 Subaru Forester and Outback Wilderness edition models this year, but how wild will they be? See why Subaru will miss if they don't bring a Forester turbocharged Wilderness model.
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Subaru of America asked for more rugged Forester and Outback models, and U.S. customers will get them in 2021. Torque News reported on the new Wilderness models last November, and further information surfaced earlier this month.

Automotive News (by subscription) reported Subaru told retailers about the new Wilderness branding that will launch with the 2022 Subaru Forester and Outback models at its winter meetings. Patrick Wergin, chairman of the Subaru National Retailer Advisory Board, told AN, the new Wilderness models will feature a "rugged appearance package and better tires for off-road pursuits."

2022 Subaru Forester, Subaru Forester Wilderness
Photo credit: Competition Subaru

The 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer engine will likely power the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness, but what about the 2022 Forester Wilderness? The current Forester comes with the 2.5-liter naturally-aspirated powerplant. What the new Forester needs are a turbocharged engine to be wild enough for U.S. customers.

A new report from Motoring says the Australian-specification 2022 Forester will not be turbocharged. When asked whether a turbocharged Forester would return to the lineup, Subaru general manager Blair Read said no, "Not at this point." Australia will not get the Forester Wilderness models, at least not this year, as they will come to the U.S. market first.

2022 Subaru Forester, Subaru Forester Wilderness
Photo credit: LP Aventure

The new Wilderness trim will be more than an appearance package. "The Wilderness is going to give additional capabilities in those car lines, additional style, and the look of off-roading to a greater degree than we have right now," said Wally Sommer, president of Sommer's Subaru in Mequon, Wisconsin. "It does fit the Subaru character perfectly."

Wergin says, "We're hoping the Wilderness edition will attract consumers that are active lifestyle families and that do like to go out and maybe do a little bit more off-roading. We're excited about the opportunity to have this vehicle capture new clients in the segment."

Sommer says, "People are going to be very pleased with the product when they see it." Subaru of America will make the official Forester and Outback Wilderness model announcement soon. If the new 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness will be successful with an active generation, Subaru needs to offer the 2.4-liter turbocharged engine. Stay tuned.

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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: LP Aventure


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Comments

Agree that a turbo is needed but one that boosts both mileage and power would be preferred by more Subaru customers than one that only boosts power and sacrifices mileage. The 1.8 litre turbo with over 220 lb ft of torque would fit the bill very well.
Subaru needs more power in a Forester....a 3.5 V6 non turbo and better insulation and as somebody here has said, more glass like the Rovers...taller and with more clearance.
I hope there's a turbo. But I'd prefer a 6-8sp automatic over a turbo IF both aren't on the table. At minimum, I'm hoping it's geared lower for offroading
The double Xmode found in the new Widerness edition Outback gives you a perfect setup of control off road. It holds speed control down hills automatically based on your throttle foot input so you don't need to brake to hold speed down inclines. It also allows higher rpm/ground speed as you "crawl" through the unknown.
Subaru needs to go back to having large side glass. With those cutesy windows, you can only view wildlife well from the windshield. The wildlife does not always cooperate.
I just bought a new 2021 Forester. I get 28.5mpg and still increasing after almost 4,000 miles in one month of ownership. I love turbos. Forester isn't a race car. If it's more reliable as is, leave it. It's a great family car. Will likely do a 2" lift and add a tow hitch for bicycle rack. How about making bicycle rack and gps standard options?! Necessities for adventurous families. Android auto is unreliable with connectivity. Maybe it's my phone. However, I would have paid more for a model with built in gps.
Did the lift kit on my 2011 Forester. Looked good and helped in deep snow, but ate half shafts. After 3 sets of front shafts pulled the lift kit. Not fond of the CVT transmission in my 2017 Forester either. Actually rather have a manual. Once spring rolls around I average around 1000 miles per week.
I rather have a normal transmission over the crap as hell, elastic trash CVT and of course, a proper manual, stick shift transmission. A turbo would work, but a turbo CVT is just a disaster.
Besides a small turbo my wish list includes more clearance, skid plates, easy to clean seats (which it sounds like the Wilderness will deliver), a built in trailer hitch and more towing capacity. It certainly has all the ingredients of a great vehicle, just needs some fine tuning.
Several months ago I suggested a model with a rear window that opens separately And removing the carpet and place heavy duty rubber mats . A wilderness model is meant to get dirty, so removing the carpets only makes sense.
My wife's Forester XT does great in the mountains and just okay when we go camping because the CVT is just not cut out for low speed/rough trails. I wish they would just source an 8-speed ZF transmission instead continuing to 'develop' their CVT. Or to others' points, a manual transmission option... can you imagine a turbo Forester with a WRX manual? Oh yes, like the old XT's!
Subaru, you want success like the current Bronco craze? Listen to your customers. Start with me. Haha Put the manual transmission in this Forester. I'll buy it. I promise.
It needs a manual transmission, period.