The Subaru Forester is a popular compact SUV with high owner satisfaction ratings. Among the 2023 Forester’s perks are its many options. They can improve this compact crossover’s comfort levels, features, and capabilities. One of these options is the 2023 Subaru Forester Wilderness. Here’s what you get with this outdoorsy trim and whether it’s worth buying.
2023 Subaru Forester price and overview
Subaru offers six 2023 Forester trims. Starting at about $26,000, the base model has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque. It’s the same engine Subaru offers in the other Forester trims, and all-wheel drive is also standard across the board. This engine gets about 33 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway for all trims except the Wilderness (more about that in the next section).
The next trim level is the Premium, starting at around $29,000.
After that comes the Sport, which starts at about $31,000.
Then there’s the Limited, priced at about $33,000 to start.
The second-most expensive trim is the Wilderness, starting at about $34,000.
Finally, the range-topping Touring model starts at about $36,500.
2023 Subaru Forester Wilderness features
Despite costing about $34,000, the 2023 Subaru Forester Wilderness doesn’t add leather upholstery like the other higher trims. However, the Wilderness adds capabilities. For example, despite having the same engine as the other models, the Forester Wilderness boasts a towing capacity of 3,000 pounds, double what the other trims can pull.
That said, the Forester Wilderness loses some fuel economy, getting only 28 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. Another area where the Wilderness is different is its size. It’s the only Forester model with a wider wheelbase, thanks to its higher ground clearance. The Forester Wilderness has 9.2 inches of ground clearance, compared with the 8.7 inches on the other trims.
The Forester Wilderness’ interior isn’t too different from the other trims. For example, it has heated front seats and a leather steering wheel. It also has an 8.0-inch touchscreen and an 8.3-inch digital gauge cluster display. In addition, it has a Wi-Fi hotspot and numerous advanced safety features. It even has a few driver assists that most other Forester trims don’t have, such as reverse automatic braking.
Is the Wilderness worth the price?
As with any car-buying decision, it ultimately comes down to your wants and needs. As far as the experts are concerned, Car and Driver recommends the Premium trim. And Edmunds says most buyers chose the Premium. That doesn’t mean the 2023 Subaru Forester Wilderness trim is terrible, but it’s not for everyone.
For example, most compact crossover SUV drivers don’t need to tow much. So unless folks can use the Forester Wilderness’ towing capacity, that capability isn’t necessary. In addition, the Forester Wilderness has worse fuel economy than the other trims, which could turn off some buyers. That said, Subaru designed the Wilderness with the wilderness in mind, so its higher ground clearance and other outdoorsy features might be worth the price for more adventuresome drivers.