Subaru Forester Wilderness vs Subaru Outback Wilderness

Which Compact Subaru SUV to Buy: the 2022 Subaru Forester or the 2022 Subaru Outback?

Subaru produces an array of excellent SUVs for the Sandy, UT area, from the subcompact Crosstrek to the three-row Ascent. However, its two other SUVs, the Subaru Forester and Subaru Outback, are both classified as compact SUVs. We know it can be hard to decide which of these SUVs is right for you, so we here at Mark Miller Subaru South Towne want to point out some of the key differences between the two.


Both of these SUVs come standard with Subaru's 2.5-liter BOXER® engine, which provides the same 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet to both vehicles. However, while this is the only powertrain available on the Forester, the Outback has a more powerful 2.4-liter turbocharged engine available on its Wilderness and XT trims. This engine produces 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque and ups its towing capacity to 3,500 pounds.

Speaking of the Wilderness trim, both the Forester and the Outback have one near South Jordan, UT. While the Outback Wilderness has greater approach and departure angles, as well as the more powerful engine, the Forester Wilderness comes with quite a few upgrades. Both Wilderness models have greater ground clearance, incredibly strong roof rails and increased towing capacity.


While both SUVs are in the same size category, they're on different sides of the compact class. The Forester is about 8.6 inches shorter than the Outback in length and 1.5 inches thinner, making it ideal for maneuvering through Salt Lake City, UT. However, it also stands about 2 inches taller than the Outback.

Both the standard and the Wilderness roof rails on the Forester can handle more weight than the Outback's. The standard Forester's rails can handle up to 176 pounds, while the Outback's, only 150 pounds. The Wilderness trims both get upgraded roof rails, putting the Forester's dynamic weight capacity at 220 pounds versus the Outback's 200 pounds.


The size differences on the outside don't make the difference you'd expect on the inside. The Forester has the extra headroom you'd expect, but also total passenger volume. While the Outback has more cargo space for West Jordan, UT errands with the rear seats upright, the total cargo space is quite comparable, as are other dimensions.

If you want the best comfort, then the Subaru Outback wins out, but not by much. Both models can get power-adjustable front seats, a heated steering wheel and heated front and rear outboard seats. In most cases, these amenities are available earlier on the 2022 Outback, but the Forester does get access to both the water-repellant StarTex® upholstery and leather-trimmed upholstery at trims that are more affordable.


The 2022 Subaru Outback stands tall when it comes to technology thanks to its recent redesign. Both models come with a STARLINK® infotainment system, however, the 2022 Forester has either a 6.5-inch or 8.0-inch Multimedia Plus or Navigation system. While the Outback's base system is only Multimedia, no Plus, it uses dual 7.0-inch screens, and an 11.6-inch Multimedia Plus system is standard on the next trim up.


Safety is an area where Draper, UT drivers don't have to compromise. Whichever Subaru SUV you get, you can expect Subaru EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology to be at your disposal. This system includes functions like Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering, Pre-Collision Braking and Lane Departure and Sway Warning.

Blind-Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert are not standard, but both the Forester and Outback have it available on the second trim and standard on every other trim. You can also pick up Reverse Automatic Braking and DriverFocus® Distraction Mitigation System on either 2022 SUV.

Which SUV you choose is going to come down to a bit of personal preference mixed with budgeting. The Forester is more affordable than the Outback, but tends not to have some of the more premium features at lower trims like the Outback does. If you're looking for a premium interior, excellent off-roading capability and advanced technology, the Outback is the SUV to go with. On the other hand, if you can go without some of these, you'll probably prefer the Forester.

Whichever you choose, we'll be happy to help you find the perfect model here at Mark Miller Subaru South Towne. If you need some more help deciding, feel free to come down to Sandy, UT to talk to our knowledgeable sales representatives. We look forward to seeing you soon!

  1. Mark Miller Subaru South Towne

    10920 S State St
    Sandy, UT 84070

    • Sales: 801-553-5200
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