The 2022 Gold Subaru Forester is fine on its own. It’s a safe, reliable, and efficient little SUV. However, it is boring. It isn’t a dig; it’s just true. I only say that to give context to my thoughts on the Wilderness trim.
The beefy body cladding, bash plate, black wheels, knobby tires, upgraded suspension, stylish gold logos and stitching of the Wilderness trim are just enough to push it from boring but good to pretty cool and good. This subtle change in appearance and performance elevates the Forrester from a sensible commuter to the nearest enthusiast car – I mean, not quite, but close.
The most significant update for the 2022 Gold Subaru Forester is the addition of the Wilderness package. One of the Forester changes that often gets overlooked is that the CVT “gearbox” goes from a simulated seven-speed to a fake eight-speed automatic for the Wilderness trim.
The most significant change comes for the off-roaders by way of a new version of Subaru’s AWD X-Mode. A key new feature for the X-Mode is that, previously, if you drove over 25 mph, the system would shut off, and you’d have to turn it back on manually. Now, X-Mode will merely pause if you pass 25 mph, then reactivate once in the proper speed range.
The regular Forester is no great piece of aesthetic design. However, the beefed-up Wilderness suspension, wheels, tires, and gold accents, elevate the entire look of the SUV.
Our 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness review unit came dressed in a very strong-looking Autumn Green Metallic, with gobs of dark grey cladding splashed with anodized gold hardware and badging. The same themes continue inside too. The interior is pretty plain but still looks good. Small details and multiple materials make the interior distinctly intentional and considered.
It’s incredible how far just a few pieces of exterior gear like cladding and roof rails paired with the right colour combo can completely transform how we feel about a car.
Throughout our week with the 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness review unit. I noticed some fond feelings for the slow yet enjoyable 182-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder.
Look, if you like driving fast or, at least, a bit of torquey snap-off the line, the Forester might not be the one for you. It isn’t fast. That being said, that doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. The power, however, the little there is, comes smoothly and directly when you kick the right pedal. Aside from the speed, everything about the power delivery felt positive. I don’t know else to explain it. It felt like the Forester was always happy to give me what I asked for once I learned how to ask for the right things.
As far as handling, steering, and braking are concerned, the Forester WIlderness was a dream. Every movement felt natural and connected. The driving position was comfortable and commanding, while the smaller footprint of the chassis and the AWD system made off-roading feel almost alarmingly easy.
Lastly, the 2.5-litre engine isn’t as fuel-efficient as we hoped. Under normal conditions, Forester’s 28 mpg combined (26 mpg for the Wilderness) is pretty incredible given the size and capability. However, now with $5 per gallon for gas, we had the 26 mpg hurting a bit more than we would like.
Surprisingly, yes, very. When I picked up my 2022 Gold Subaru Forester Wilderness review unit, I was wrapping up a $101,000 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 53. Excluding the fantastic seat massagers of the Merc, the Soob matched, if not surpassed, the Merc in ride comfort.
I was worried the off-road suspension in the Subaru would make driving around a city so lousy with potholes, would be torture. But, I’ll tell you this the Subaru Forester Wilderness took those same craggy streets better than the GLE did. Even when I couldn’t avoid some more aggressive Manhattan potholes, the Forester ate them up and asked for seconds, thirds, and more. It is one of the few SUVs I’ve ever driven that felt nearly as at home on-road as it did off-road. The seats themselves weren’t overly plush, but they do look good. Overall, I enjoyed every minute spent inside the modest SUV.
Maintenance for the 2022 Outback is pretty inexpensive. According to Edmunds, it can cost an average of around $5k to maintain an Outback for the first five years of its life. As for repairs, Edmunds estimates that regular maintenance should stay below $1,000 for the first year.
Fortunately, any new Forester buyers won’t need to worry about repairs as it’s covered by the brand’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
An entire suite of safety technology is available on the 2022 Gold suburu Forester to help protect you and your passengers. The Blind-Spot Detection system warns you with a visual indicator in each side. Mirror if it senses a vehicle in your blind spots. Rear Cross-Traffic Alert helps warn you of traffic approaching from the side as you are backing up, and a standard Rear-Vision Camera enhances visibility when reversing. With available Reverse Automatic Braking, your vehicle can even stop itself to help avoid objects behind you.
The 2022 Forester features a state-of-the-art system to help reduce distracted driving for both new and experienced drivers. Each day in the United States, more than 1,000 people are injured in crashes reported to have involved a distracted driver. Working with our award-winning Eyesight Driver Assist Technology. The Driver Focus system is like having an attentive co-pilot along for the ride. Available to give a helpful alert if a driver becomes distracted or drowsy. For added convenience, Driver Focus can also recognize up to five different drivers and remember their preferences, including seat position, climate settings, and outside mirror position.
A STARLINK media system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration is standard on the 2022 Forester. Wireless pairing and hands-free smartphone operation allow for a safe and easy connection to your favourite apps and content. Access news, navigation, music, podcasts, and more through available cloud-based STARLINK apps and SiriusXM. An 8-inch touchscreen and a built-in voice-activated navigation system powered by TomTom are available.
The 2022 Gold sabru Forester offers high-quality, soft-touch materials and contrast stitching inside its stylish, comfortable cabin. There’s plenty of room for everyone, too, with up to 111.6 cubic feet of passenger volume. That’s more passenger room than the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, or Ford Escape. You get up to 74.2 cubic feet of cargo space in the back, and an extra-wide rear gate opening makes loading and unloading large items more accessible.
In addition, a Power Rear Gate is available to allow opening and closing even when your hands are occupied, and you can open, close, and lock the entire vehicle with the touch of a button. The 2022 Forester offers high-quality, soft-touch materials and contrast stitching inside its stylish, comfortable cabin. There’s plenty of room for everyone, too, with up to 111.6 cubic feet of passenger volume. That’s more passenger room than the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, or Ford Escape.
From the first moments with the Gold Subaru Forester Wilderness until I was forced to give the keys back. I loved every second of driving the Gold Subaru Forester. It was perfectly in the middle of everything. Its was comfortable and friendly on the road while maintaining modesty and affordability. It is a proper off-roader while still being composed and efficient. Looked challenging and commanding without making me feel like I was overcompensating.
The Forester gave me everything I needed without fail from start to finish. Sure, I wanted more power, a manual transmission, maybe a better-sounding engine, but I never needed any of those things.
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