The 2023 Subaru Forester, is a compact crossover that exudes rugged appeal and practicality in equal measure. With a street cred that’s tailored for the outdoorsy types, this vehicle boasts a cabin that’s both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Though it may not provide the same level of driving satisfaction as its competitors, such as the Honda CR-V and Volkswagen Tiguan, its quiet and smooth ride ensures that your journey to your next camping destination is nothing short of sublime.
But that’s not all. With ample cargo space and an abundance of thoughtful storage cubbies sprinkled throughout the cabin, the Forester makes hauling your gear a breeze. And let’s not forget about its standard all-wheel drive, which provides an added layer of confidence and control on even the most treacherous terrain.
True, the 182-horsepower flat-four engine may not be the most potent in its class, but it still manages to get the job done. And with a suite of driver-assistance features that come standard on all models, coupled with the generous equipment levels across the range (excluding the spartan base model), the Forester is a vehicle that delivers on all fronts.
Where This Vehicle Ranks
The hierarchy of automobiles is fiercely contested, and the upper echelon is a coveted position for any vehicle. Amongst the array of cars vying for such a position, five contenders stand out: The Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-50, Volkswagen Tiguan, Mazda CX-5, Kia Sportage, and Subaru Forester.
At the apex of this list lies the Honda CR-V, starting at a lofty $29,705, a testament to its unparalleled excellence. The Mazda CX-50, starting at $28,825, follows closely behind, with the Volkswagen Tiguan trailing at $28,245.
The Mazda CX-5 and Kia Sportage, both commencing at $27,975 and $27,615, respectively, display exceptional aptitude, but it is the Subaru Forester that brings up the rear, commencing at a moderate $27,620. These automobiles are a testament to human ingenuity and serve as a benchmark for the automobile industry.
What’s New for 2022?
In light of the recent styling rejuvenation, the Forester remains unaltered for the year of our Lord 2023. It persists in its capacity as a value-attuned foundation or superior Premium alternative, with the inclusion of the rugged and untamed Wilderness and the pinnacle of opulence and luxury, the Touring models.
The monetary value of each model, ranging from the modest Base to the lavish Touring, is as follows: Base: a paltry $27,620
Premium: a mere $30,620
Sport: an unassuming $32,190
Limited: a modest $34,300
Wilderness: a formidable $35,245
Touring: a princely sum of $37,720
Potential buyers can select the model that best aligns with their budget, ranging from the meager sum of $10k to the staggering height of $60k.
Albeit the Limited and Touring trims exude extravagance, we contend that the Premium model proffers a superlative amalgam of value and characteristics. The exterior enhancements, including 17-inch wheels, a rear spoiler, and body-color side-view mirrors, eschew the mundane appearance of a commonplace rental car.
Meanwhile, the interior is laden with indulgences, such as a panoramic sunroof, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, reclining rear seatbacks, an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot, and a six-speaker sound system, that exude an air of grandeur.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Every iteration of the Forester is driven by the indomitable 2.5-liter flat-four-cylinder powerhouse, which exerts a forceful 182 horsepower and possesses an impressive towing capacity of 1500 pounds. Transferring the might of the engine to the roads beneath it, a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) lies at the heart of Subaru’s famed all-wheel-drive system.
Whilst the Wilderness test vehicle we scrutinized clocked in at 8.0 seconds to attain a speed of 60 mph, a performance that may not be overwhelmingly exhilarating, it is nevertheless more than satisfactory for the majority of consumers.
For those seeking an extra dose of vim, the CR-V, or even the turbocharged varieties of the Mazda CX-5 and the Kia Sportage should be considered. Despite Forester’s lack of overt athleticism, its handling is more than competent, with the suspension offering a pliant and refined ride.
The precision of the steering and the strength of the brakes during critical moments combine to deliver a driving experience that is utterly satisfying.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The illustrious Forester, boasting EPA fuel-economy ratings commensurate with much of the compact-crossover sector, stands ready to gratify the insatiable appetites of efficiency-seeking consumers. With a remarkable 26 miles per gallon in urban areas and a staggering 33 miles per gallon on the open road, this vehicular masterpiece is certain to catch the eye.
During our trial of the Forester Touring trial automobile, while effortlessly gliding at a steady 75 miles per hour on the highway, the vehicle narrowly missed its fuel-efficiency rating by a paltry 1 mile per gallon, resulting in a remarkable 32 miles per gallon. Notably, this figure matches the outcome yielded by the Toyota RAV4. For those who thirst for further knowledge on Forester’s fuel economy, the EPA’s website is a veritable cornucopia of information.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The abode of the woodsman is a simplistic, yet functional affair, bereft of ostentation, featuring a commendable driving position and an unparalleled panoramic outlook. Our Touring edition, of exquisite pedigree, boasted a resplendent caramel leather finish on the seats, door panels, and dashboard; with the remainder of the cabin adorned in textured plastic of the highest caliber.
Adorned with glossy black plastic, the center stack, and the chromed and matte-metallic plastic trims accentuate the decor with suave sophistication. The rear seating area is generously spacious, with no superfluous third-row options. Comfort is assured for even the most discerning of road-trippers on the commodious bench seat.
An impressive 11 of our travel suitcases were able to be stowed behind the back seat, with a gargantuan 23 cases fitting effortlessly when the back seats were folded. This is a remarkable feat, as both the CX-5 and RAV4 paled in comparison. Only the CR-V could surpass our Forester Touring edition, with its maximum capacity of 25 suitcases when the rear seats were stowed.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The entire suite of Forester models boasts an impeccable touchscreen infotainment system, featuring the illustrious Starlink interface from the esteemed Subaru brand. While the Base, Premium, and Sport models come equipped with a modest 6.5-inch display, the Sport is given the option to upgrade to a grandiose 8.0-inch unit, which is already standard on the luxurious Limited and Touring models.
Front-seat passengers are granted two USB ports for their mobile devices, with an additional two optional ports conveniently located at the rear of the center console, providing rear-seat passengers with a convenient source of power.
Although navigation is available as an option, those opting for a lower model need not fret, as standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities can supply users with navigation and turn-by-turn directions sourced from their personal devices. And let us not forget about the onboard Wi-Fi connectivity via a 4G LTE data connection, a standard feature in all but the base model Foresters.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Each and every model is unequivocally equipped with Subaru’s cutting-edge EyeSight suite of state-of-the-art camera-based driver-assistance features. For more erudite elucidation regarding Forester’s crash test results, we implore you to peruse the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Prominent safety measures incorporated in the Forester are as follows:
Automated emergency braking as a non-negotiable standard Lane-departure warning augmented by lane-keeping assist as standard Adaptive cruise control as standard.
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The Forester’s warranty is insipid and insubstantial, leaving patrons to foot the bill for maintenance appointments. In contrast, contenders like the Sportage and Hyundai Tucson boast a resplendent 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, whilst the RAV4 offers two years of gratis scheduled maintenance. Thus, the Subaru pales in comparison in terms of value.
The warranty encompasses a trifling 3-year or 36,000-mile duration, whilst the powertrain warranty endures for a measly 5 years or 60,000 miles. No complimentary scheduled maintenance is provided.
The 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness is a spectacular front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon that exudes unmatched performance and excellence.
At a base price of $33,945, this vehicle is a steal, given its impeccable features and capabilities. With its Audio and Navigation package, worth $1850, and engine skid plate, valued at $220, this wagon is an absolute must-have for any automobile enthusiast.
Under the hood, this magnificent beast boasts a DOHC 16-valve flat-4, aluminum block, and heads, with direct fuel injection, featuring a displacement of 152 in3, 2498 cm3. The vehicle delivers an awe-inspiring 182 hp @ 5800 rpm and a torque of 176 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm.
Its continuously variable automatic transmission adds to the vehicle’s ease of operation and smooth handling, making for a truly sublime driving experience.
The chassis comprises struts/multilink suspension, with 12.4-in vented disc/11.2-in vented disc brakes, and Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015 tires, measuring 225/60R-17 99T M+S 3PMSF. These features make the wagon highly adaptable to various terrains, making it perfect for adventure seekers.
In terms of dimensions, the vehicle boasts an impressive wheelbase of 104.9 in, a length of 182.7 in, a width of 72.2 in, and a height of 68.9 in, all while providing a passenger volume of 108 ft3 and a cargo volume of 27 ft3. With a curb weight of 3659 lb, the wagon is incredibly sturdy and built to last.
The majestic 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness, is a vehicle that evokes wonder and awe with its impressive capabilities. As revealed in the C/D test results, this beast can go from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 8.0 seconds and can cover a quarter-mile in 16.3 seconds while reaching a speed of 86 mph. Incredibly, it takes just 24.1 seconds to reach 100 mph. These results do not even include the 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec, highlighting the astounding power of this vehicle.
The Subaru Forester Wilderness also performs well in rolling starts, as it can go from 5 to 60 mph in just 8.7 seconds. Meanwhile, its top gear speed is impressive, with the vehicle able to go from 30 to 50 mph in 4.3 seconds, and from 50 to 70 mph in 5.9 seconds. This mighty vehicle can achieve a top speed of 115 mph, according to C/D estimates.
In terms of stopping power, the Forester Wilderness can go from 70 to 0 mph in 181 feet, showcasing its impressive braking capabilities. Additionally, it has a road holding capacity of 0.77 g on a 300-ft skidpad.
When it comes to fuel economy, the Forester Wilderness is no slouch either. In observed testing, it was able to achieve 22 mpg, while on the highway at a speed of 75 mph, it achieved an impressive 28 mpg. The vehicle has a highway range of 460 miles, ensuring that its passengers can travel long distances without worrying about fuel.
In conclusion, the 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness is a remarkable vehicle that defies expectations and exceeds performance benchmarks. It is a true marvel of modern engineering and a worthy addition to any automobile collection.