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WANTED: Subaru Forester Wilderness for Oz

Off-road-focused Forester adds ground clearance, lower gearing, and rugged styling

6 Sep 2021

SUBARU has launched its refreshed 2022 Forester range in the United States this week, the model line-up sporting a new, beefier, off-road-focussed Wilderness variant certain to appeal to Australian tastes.

Following a non-committal response to the conceptually similar Outback Wilderness wagon in late March, Subaru Australia has told GoAuto it is watching reception of the Forester Wilderness in the United States keenly before deciding on considering the model for the local market.

The Forester Wilderness, which tops the North American MY22 Forester line-up, brings features similar to those of the larger Outback Wilderness.

Based on US pricing, in Australia the model would be positioned closely to the range-topping Forester 2.0 Hybrid S at $47,190 before on-road costs.

Upgrades for the Forester Wilderness include longer-travel coil springs and revised dampers for an increased ride height of 233.7mm (up 12.7mm), new matte black 17-inch alloys shod in 255/60 Yokohama Geolandar G015 all-terrain tyres, and a full-size spare wheel.

The Forester Widerness also features improved off-road geometry with a 23.5-degree approach angle (+3.5), 21.0 degrees ramp-over (+1.4), and 25.4 degrees departure (+0.8).

Its final drive ratio also jumps to 4.11:1 (up from 3.70:1), with revisions to the continuously variable transmission also present.

Subaru has increased the performance of the transmission’s X-Mode abilities, adding Snow/Dirt and Deep Snow/Mud settings, revised hill-descent control, and a faux low-range or “crawling mode” aided by the stability control and ABS systems.

Bash plates are available optionally to protect the sump, fuel tank, and rear differential. Towing capacity increases to 1360kg, up 160kg on the standard US model, while the roof racks are uprated to take 100kg on the move and 360kg while parked – perfect for a roof-top camper.

The cabin of the Forester Wilderness is enhanced by water-resistant StarTex upholstery, alloy pedals, gunmetal grey and copper trim garnishes, copper contrast stitching on the dashboard, seats, armrest, gearshift knob, and steering wheel.

Elsewhere in the range, the MY22 Forester receives new front and rear bumper covers, upgraded EyeSight driver assistance technology, and various equipment upgrades. The range is set to go on sale Stateside in October (2021).

Australian launch timing for the regular MY22 Subaru Forester range is yet to be confirmed but an October arrival has been mooted.

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