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  2. 2022 Subaru Forester Review

Crossover pioneer with a very rational approach

Price From $26,570 – To $36,420

Source: www.subaru.com

by | Apr 27, 2022

Overview

This 2022 Subaru Forester review will explore the characteristics, driving demeanor, and standard features of this new compact crossover SUV, and help you decide whether this is going to be your next ride. 

Every automaker has one model which represents itself the most accurately – or had it in the past. The Subaru Forester is a beautiful case of that: it was released in the 1990s, back when SUVs were still a market niche and featured a combination of minivan-like practicality with off-road intentions which turned out to be unique for being rational: there were no attempts of being sporty or fancy.

The Forester spent its first years in the market being an alternative option; something people chose when they were not satisfied with the “regular” offerings. Over the years, it saw the market take an ironic turn: the crossover trend took off at first, with car models trying to concentrate on the advantages of several body styles, then the SUVs took over by giving that recipe a light off-road appearance.

Nowadays, after five generations and 26 years, the Forester has become mainstream, but the weird part is how comfortable it has become in that new role. As you are going to see below, it features a rather mundane package of powertrain, comfort, and safety items. That is actually impressive when we remember that compact SUVs are now a whole category and one of the most competitive ones.

Pros
External design boosts internal space and brings a nice outdoorsy touch to the segment.
The standard equipment list is good enough to make the base version actually considerable.
Now, there are trim levels for all subcategories of the Forester’s narrow market niche.
Base price is competitive in its class and upscale versions are not so much more expensive
Cons
The single powertrain option offers mediocre performance and has no electrification at all.
Upscale trims may be desirable in terms of design but make the whole car too expensive.
No emotional appeal at all – even the off-road flair is mostly limited to the appearance.
The cabin seems roomy enough for seven passengers, but that is not even an option here.

Performance, Engine, and Comfort

(4/5)

While the tall ride height, the rugged-ish appearance, and the occasional trim items in black plastic are there, they only convey an off-road experience at the appearance level. In practice, the 2022 Subaru Forester is a family-oriented SUV with positive aspects, such as the nice equipment list, and some negative aspects as well, such as the apathetic performance and inexpressive design.

Engine & Performance

(4/5)

The boxer engine and the standard all-wheel drive scream “Subaru”, but all the rest in the Forester makes it a typical family car. The powertrain provides tepid performance, steering and suspension are comfortable and responsive but not to the point of being engaging– you will definitely have no surprises here.

Engine

The only engine available is a boxer, four-cylinder 2.5L with natural aspiration which makes 182 hp of power and 176 lb-ft of torque. The specialized press usually considers it too little for the model, especially when compared to key competitors.

Transmission

The only transmission available is of the continuously variable kind (CVT) which simulates the dynamic response of a seven-speed conventional transmission.

Suspension

While the 2022 Subaru Forester is primarily urban, the suspension dedicates any intention of being emotional to off-road capabilities, so the dynamic behavior ends up focusing on being comfortable and compliant rather than stiff and precise.

Steering

The specialized press has complimented the model for having accurate steering, that is, for properly transmitting the car’s responses and effectively leaving the driver in control of what is happening.

Safety & Reliability

(3/5)

It is painfully common to see compact SUVs, above all, forcing their base prices down by pushing all desirable items to the list of options and/or to their upscale trim levels. Unfortunately, that creates a problem for the 2022 Subaru Forester because, in the end, its base package is so poor that it is almost impossible to be happy with the model in such a trim level despite the low price.

Brakes

This model is equipped with disc brakes on all wheels. It also offers ABS, a lane-keeping system, and pre-collision braking even at the cheapest version.

Airbags

The standard equipment list features front and side airbags for the driver and the front passenger, curtain airbags for both seat rows, and knee airbags for the driver. It also features an occupancy sensor to prevent unnecessary deployments.

Electronics

The 2022 Subaru Forester is also equipped with driver monitoring and stability control – the safety package becomes larger when you add options at extra cost and/or move to the fancier versions. One of the restricted items is an all-new Automated Emergency Steering system.

Lights

The base package includes halogen headlights with automatic activation of the high beam, auto-leveling, and directionally adaptive lights.

Traction control

The standard all-wheel drive is helped by electronic stability and traction controls. The 2022 model year also marked the introduction of the torque-vectoring system as standard along with the SI-Drive driving mode selector.

Fuel Economy

(3/5)

Even though those figures are good for a gasoline-only engine, it is difficult to understand that a compact SUV has made its way the year 2022 without having adopted at least a downsized engine with a turbocharger, let alone an electrified option. Such an obsolete course of action will only limit the Forester’s potential when it comes to fuel efficiency.

Engine size

The only engine available is a boxer, gasoline-only 2.5L of four cylinders and natural aspiration.

Gas per mileage consumption

According to the EPA, this model makes 26 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway, and 29 mpg combined.

Interior

(5/5)

Being a compact SUV focused on small families, it is not surprising that this category is where the 2022 Subaru Forester comes to shine. Great room for five plus luggage, no-frills dashboard design which is modern and intuitive, and an up-to-date infotainment system.

Subaru is a practical automaker, more than sporty or outdoorsy, and it shows on the Forester’s cabin: well-built, filled with leather seats and trim and high-quality plastic parts, but designed in the blandest possible way. A good consequence of that is making every command easy to find and use.

Driving Seat

The tall windows contribute to great outward visibility, and the driver enjoys a particularly comfortable position. If you opt for the fancier upscale trims such as Limited or Touring, you’ll be greeted with a luxurious 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat. 

Dashboard

The standard Starlink system uses a 6.5” touchscreen with standard Wi-Fi hotspot via 4G LTE, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and two USB ports. Upscale versions can get an upgraded version of that system, either as an option or as standard, with an 8” touchscreen, a navigation system, and two extra USB ports on the rear of the center console.

Passenger Seats

The Forester’s boxy greenhouse helps make decent room in all seats even for adults. As there are only two rows, the back seats are comfortable and spacious. Reclining rear seatbacks are available for Limited and Touring trims. 

Overall height and space

The 2022 Subaru Forester has a total height of 68.9 inches and a total passenger volume of 108 ft³. That space is used by up to five occupants arranged in two rows of seats.

Trunk space

The base volume is 28.9 ft³. If you fold down the third row of seats, you will unlock an impressive trunk space of 74.2 ft³.

Price and Extras

(4/5)

While the standard all-wheel drive is a nice touch, the average warranty plan makes our impression go down. Considering the standard of modern compact SUVs, the 2022 Subaru Forester has the strong suit of making its base version actually usable; it does not exist merely for the purpose of lowering the base price, as in some key competitors.

Market Price

The 2022 Subaru Forester is available in the following trim levels:

TRIM LEVELSSTARTING PRICE
Base$26,570
Premium$29,320
Sport$30,890
Limited$33,000
Wilderness$33,945
Touring$36,420

Most versions differ primarily in terms of the equipment list. The Wilderness is new for 2022 and adds extra accessories focused on an off-road appearance, just like on the Outback model. Limited and Touring add some trim updates as well to look fancier.

AWD/FWD

As in many other Subaru models, all-wheel drive is a standard offering.

Warranty

Basic coverage here. The limited coverage accounts for three years or 36,000 miles while the powertrain coverage lasts five years or 60,000 miles. There are no complimentary scheduled maintenance plans available.

Verdict

Since Subaru also sells the Crosstrek and the Outback, it had the opportunity to make the Forester stand out by investing more than ever in its off-road potential – nowadays, the only model on sale with such an idea is the Ford Bronco Sport, which makes the outdoorsy counterpart to the Escape. However, the Japanese automaker opted for making all three models similarly family-oriented.

In the end, the Forester poses as the second level in Subaru’s offering. It features more room than the Crosstrek (minus the optional electrified powertrain, unfortunately) but leaves the cool factor to the Outback and any attempts at elegance to the Ascent. If you are looking for a rational, no-frills compact SUV with affordable prices, a hint of off-road flair, and nothing else, look no further.