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Exploring the 2024 Subaru Forester Wilderness: A Comprehensive Review

April 24th, 2024 by

If you’re in the market for a rugged and capable SUV that’s ready to take on the wild, the 2024 Subaru Forester Wilderness might just be what you’re looking for. In this review, we’ll dive into the details of this off-road-ready variant of Subaru’s popular Forester model. From its design cues to its performance on and off the road, let’s explore what makes the Forester Wilderness stand out.

Exterior Design: Rugged and Purposeful

One of the first things you’ll notice about the Forester Wilderness is its rugged exterior design. Subaru has taken every opportunity to enhance the Wilderness’s off-road capabilities while giving it a distinctive look. The increased ground clearance, from the standard 8.7 inches to 9.2 inches, is immediately noticeable. This boost in clearance, along with the massive Yokohama Geolander tires, gives the Forester Wilderness a more aggressive stance.

The front end features a matte black grille surrounded by rugged plastic cladding, protecting it from potential damage on rough terrain. The Wilderness-specific hexagonal fog lights add a unique touch to the front fascia, while the front skid plate provides additional protection. The matte black hood decal not only adds a sporty look but also helps reduce glare.

Moving to the sides, you’ll find 17-inch black wheels with Yokohama Geolander tires, giving the Forester a robust appearance. The cladding around the wheel wells and along the bottom of the doors adds both style and protection. Copper accents, including the Forester badging, add a touch of contrast against the Geyser Blue paint color.

Interior: Practical and Weather-Resistant

Stepping inside the Forester Wilderness, you’re greeted with a cabin designed for durability and functionality. The interior materials are chosen with dirt and debris in mind, featuring soft-touch surfaces mixed with rugged, textured materials. The front seats, clad in Subaru’s StarTex weather-repellent material, offer a comfortable and supportive ride. The Wilderness-specific hexagonal pattern on the seats, along with copper stitching and accents, adds a touch of style.

The cabin is filled with thoughtful storage solutions, from the deep center console to the cargo area with 27 cubic feet of space (74 cubic feet with the rear seats folded). Subaru has ensured that every inch of the Forester’s interior is designed to handle the demands of an adventurous lifestyle.

Technology: Room for Improvement

While the Forester Wilderness excels in many areas, its infotainment system leaves something to be desired. The 8-inch display, while functional, can be laggy and unresponsive at times. Subaru’s infotainment systems have been a point of contention for some time, and unfortunately, the 2024 model continues this trend. For those who prioritize a cutting-edge infotainment experience, the 2025 model with the larger 11.6-inch display might be worth the wait.

Performance: Capable and Confident

Under the hood, the Forester Wilderness is powered by a 2.5-liter engine producing 182 horsepower. While this engine may feel underpowered to some, especially in demanding off-road situations, it provides adequate performance for daily driving and light off-roading. The Lineartronic CVT with an 8-speed manual shift mode offers smooth and efficient power delivery.

On the road, the Forester Wilderness offers a comfortable and composed ride. The increased ground clearance and specially tuned suspension absorb bumps and rough terrain with ease. The Dual-Function X-Mode with low-speed control and the 9.2 inches of ground clearance inspire confidence when venturing off the beaten path.

Off-Road Capability: A Taste of the Wild

Taking the Forester Wilderness off-road, even if it’s just a short adventure into grassy terrain, showcases its capabilities. The SUV handles bumps and uneven surfaces with ease, thanks to its rugged construction and capable suspension. While we didn’t push it to its limits, it’s clear that the Wilderness is ready for more challenging off-road excursions.

Pros and Cons Summary:


  1. Rugged and distinctive exterior design
  2. Spacious and practical interior with weather-resistant materials
  3. Comfortable and supportive StarTex seats
  4. Impressive cargo space and storage solutions
  5. Capable off-road performance with increased ground clearance
  6. Competitive pricing for the Wilderness trim


  1. Laggy and unresponsive infotainment system
  2. Mediocre camera quality for both front and rear views
  3. Underpowered 2.5-liter engine may not satisfy all drivers

Should You Buy the 2024 Forester Wilderness or Wait for 2025?

The decision to purchase the 2024 Forester Wilderness or wait for the 2025 model boils down to your priorities. If you value the larger 11.6-inch infotainment display, updated seating surfaces, redesigned exterior, and advanced safety features of the 2025 model, waiting might be worth it.

However, if you’re more interested in getting a great deal on a capable and rugged SUV right now, the 2024 Forester Wilderness delivers. With its competitive pricing, impressive cargo space, and off-road prowess, it’s a solid choice for those ready to hit the trails.

The 2024 Subaru Forester Wilderness offers a compelling package for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Its rugged design, practical interior, and capable performance make it a versatile SUV for both daily use and off-road adventures. While it has its drawbacks, particularly in the technology department, the overall package is well-rounded and worth considering for those in search of a dependable and adventurous vehicle.

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