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The folks at MotorTrend have named their pick for the best 2023 Subaru Forester trim, and they’re wild about it. They make a compelling case for the Wilderness. But let’s explore all 2023 Forester trims to see how they compare and which offers the best value.

Differences among the 2023 Subaru Forester trims

2023 Subaru Forester Wilderness exterior
2023 Subaru Forester Wilderness exterior | Subaru of America, Inc.

The 2023 Subaru Forester offers six trims, each providing different features.

Subaru starts the base model at $26,495. It has a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a standard rearview camera, and all-wheel drive.

Stepping up to the Premium trim for $29,695 adds a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen, a power moonroof, and heated front seats. It also offers an option package with an 11-speaker Harman Kardon premium sound system, a power liftgate, and the EyeSight advanced driver-assistance system.

Starting at $31,265, the Sport trim adds a sport-tuned suspension, 18-inch black-finish wheels, and LED fog lights.

The Wilderness trim, at $34,320, offers additional off-road capabilities. They include hill descent control, all-terrain tires, and a more robust suspension.

Meanwhile, the Limited trim, starting at $33,375, emphasizes comfort and luxury, with leather-trimmed upholstery, a heated steering wheel, and driver-seat memory settings.

Finally, the top-of-the-line Touring trim, with a starting MSRP of $36,795, includes all the features of the lower trims plus a power-adjustable passenger seat, ventilated front seats, and a heated steering wheel.

Why does MotorTrend recommend the Wilderness?

2023 Subaru Forester Wilderness dashboard
2023 Subaru Forester Wilderness dashboard | Subaru of America, Inc.

The reviewers at MotorTrend describe the 2023 Subaru Forester Wilderness as the “most focused off-road variant of a compact SUV.” In addition to its off-road capabilities, MT praises the Wilderness for its stylish appearance, setting it apart from the other Forester trims.

But the Wilderness is not just about looks. According to MotorTrend, its lower final drive ratio improves the SUV’s towing capacity to an impressive 3,000 pounds, double that of the standard model. The Wilderness also has a roof rack with a higher weight capacity, ideal for carrying more cargo on outdoor adventures. And with water-repellent seat upholstery and all-weather floor mats, this trim is easier to clean after any messes made during those adventures.

2023 Subaru Forester Wilderness cargo area
2023 Subaru Forester Wilderness cargo area | Subaru of America, Inc.

In summary, the Wilderness is a well-rounded Forester trim that excels on and off the road. Thanks to its stylish appearance and impressive towing and cargo capacities, MotorTrend says it’s the best 2023 Subaru Forester trim.

Why do other experts recommend the 2023 Subaru Forester Premium trim?

Despite the many 2023 Subaru Forester trims and options, most other automotive experts agree that the best value for money is the Premium. Edmunds, Car and Driver, and Autotrader share this sentiment.

One of the reasons the Premium stands out is its attractive price point. It comes at a mid-range price, making it accessible to many buyers. It also includes many features consumers value, such as heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof, and multiple drive modes for better handling in various weather conditions.

Another factor that sets the Premium apart from the other 2023 Forester trims is the mix of equipment. It strikes a balance between the necessities and more luxurious features, such as 17-inch wheels, body-color side-view mirrors, reclining rear seatbacks, an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot, and a six-speaker sound system. These features add comfort and convenience without driving up the price too much.

Finally, other higher-end trims, such as the Limited and Touring, provide even more features but at a significantly higher cost. That’s where the Premium trim’s value truly shines because it includes many of the same features at a fraction of the price.


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