Subaru Forester Wilderness: What to Know About the Rugged SUV Designed for the Great Outdoors

by Jennifer Shea

Here at Outsider, we’re all about taking the rugged route. And that’s what the new Subaru Forester Wilderness is designed to do.

The Forester Wilderness debuted last week. It features retuned suspension, a reprogrammed traction management system, protective body cladding and a roof rack with a static rating of 800 pounds that can hold a tent, per Fox News. The new model also includes trim-specific wheels with knobby all-terrain tires and special interior accents.

This is the sixth Forester model Subaru has released. And the Forester Wilderness is decidedly upmarket. It starts at $33,945. That’s compared to the base model’s $26,320 price tag.

But for backcountry enthusiasts, the price hike may be worth it. The new model includes updates like a tow load limit of 3,000 pounds. And it’s got drivetrain and suspension mods to aid off-road capabilities. So the Forester Wilderness can prove pretty useful.

Subaru Forester Wilderness Has Some Distinctive Features

The new model is available in an exclusive Geyser Blue paint option, according to Car and Driver. But that’s not all that’s unique about the Forester Wilderness. It has a raised height – 0.5 inch for 9.2 inches of total ground clearance – anodized copper trim, optional skid plates, raised-white-letter tires and many model logos.

All-wheel drive is standard on this model, as on all Forester models. And the redesigned bumper, grille and LED headlights give it a different look.

Car and Driver rates the Subaru Forester Wilderness the best off-road Forester model available. Its angle of approach has been hiked from 20 degrees to 23.5 degrees. Likewise its angle of departure, from 24.6 degrees to 25.4 degrees. And its ramp breakover angle is 21 degrees, up from 19.6 degrees. It also boasts longer travel and dampening compression strokes on its bespoke shock absorbers.  

As if that weren’t enough, the Forester Wilderness also comes with water-repellent seating.

New Model Includes Standard Forester Features

Like all Foresters, the Forester Wilderness does come with full-speed adaptive cruise control. It also has pre-collision braking, lane-departure warnings and automatic emergency steering. The latter is supposed to help drivers avoid collisions at speeds under 50 mph, according to CNET.

Blind-spot monitoring, lane-change assist, and rear cross-traffic alert come standard on the Forester Wilderness. Also included is an air-cooled oil cooler for the engine and a rear differential temperature sensor.

Available as options are aluminum or steel skid plates to protect the engine and differential.  

All told, the Subaru Forester Wilderness is equipped for some serious off-road exploring. It’s not for everyone, but if you’re looking to prop a tent on your rooftop and take the scenic route, it just might be the vehicle for you.

To take a look at the new model, check out its website.