2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness review: Stand tall

The look certainly operates.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

If you are a Subaru admirer of a specified age, you’ll try to remember when the Outback was the Legacy wagon’s marginally ruggeder, taller taste. Now, almost twenty decades later, you cannot even get a Legacy wagon in the US: The Outback pulled 50 % an Oedipus and killed its father with its very own popularity. And so it really is time to welcome an even taller car to stake its declare as the king of Subaru wagons. It really is known as the Subaru Outback Wilderness and, although it may perhaps look a little bit uncomfortable perched .eight inches taller than its brethren, it has the rugged seems, moves and capabilities to make it a actual prospect — even if you in no way cross a path additional rugged than 1 to the outlets.

Table of Contents


  • Improved off-highway ability
  • Unaffected on-highway manners
  • Wonderful benefit

Do not Like

  • A little diminished gasoline economy
  • A ton of copper

So what’s new? The major tale is that raise. The Wilderness Outback gives a healthy 9.five inches of ground travel. If you want context, as my colleague Steven Ewing pointed out in his Wilderness first travel, that matches the clearance presented by the Mercedes-Benz G-Course. Couple of would query that thing’s stance.

Brain you, performance immediately after the asphalt ends has as significantly to do with drivetrain, and the Wilderness would make do with largely the very same setup as the frequent Outback. That is, open entrance and rear differentials driven from a continually variable transmission and a clutch-sort center differential. Having said that, a shift to a four.forty four:1 closing travel ratio in contrast to the four.11:1 in the common Outback suggests additional torque for lower-speed rock crawling. Regrettably, it also suggests gasoline economy reduction: 22 mpg metropolis, 26 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined in contrast to 23, thirty and 26, respectively. In my screening those people figures proved exact, with a 24.2 mpg average in combined driving.

I predicted an even more substantial affect on the driving dynamics. Given the ruggedized vibe used to the exterior and that extended stance, I figured the Outback Wilderness would be possibly extremely stiff or so roly-poly that it’d scrape its facet-perspective mirrors on the asphalt in each and every corner. I was pleasantly shocked to be improper.

The Outback Wilderness rides like an even additional plush Outback, soaking up potholes, frost heaves, railroad crossings and everything else I threw at it. Even with that, it maintains the fairly sharp turn-in and responsive truly feel of a Legacy. It really is only in more time corners taken at speed that the larger roll-center starts off to factor into the equation, but even then it really is a small thought. Place merely, the Wilderness drives really effectively both on-highway and off.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

Augmenting the Wilderness’ off-highway talents are a slender skidplate and a retuned X-Mode method. This is Subaru’s moniker for its terrain-focused stability and travel method method, which for the Wilderness stays enabled at speeds increased than 25 mph.

The other major modify is identified on the inside, with the interior trimmed in StarTex fabric. This h2o-repellant content has an almost neoprene-like truly feel to it and a groovy waffle texture that not only seems purposeful but feels genuinely resilient. I didn’t get the interior of the automobile you see in this article properly filthy (this was just a loaner, immediately after all), but it certainly appeared additional than up to the endeavor of the usual Subaru lifestyle, muddy Labrador claws and all.

What’s not these kinds of a spotlight? Perfectly, Subaru’s infotainment method, to begin. Starlink seems additional dated by the minute, perhaps even additional so on the large, 11.6-inch touchscreen. Android Car and Apple CarPlay, however, mitigate that to a huge degree. Embedded navigation is element of the Wilderness’ lone solution deal, a relatively scattershot collection of capabilities that for $1,845 also nets you a ability moonroof and rear computerized crisis braking.

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

The h2o-repellant StarTex upholstery feels very good and need to resist something you toss at it.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

Subaru’s energetic safety suite, on the other hand, comes common. Vision has been recalibrated to deal with the Wilderness’ abilities and still capabilities adaptive cruise handle, lane-preserve support with centering, computerized crisis braking and the regular goodies. It operates effectively but beeps incessantly — each and every time it spots or loses sight of a automobile in advance of you, each and every time the lane-centering method engages or disengages — all the time. It really is purposeful but annoying.

And what about that look? The Wilderness basically stands out next to its Outback predecessor, but the visible modifications prolong past the raise. The excess body cladding satisfies the aggro look which is also introduced by a established of uncomplicated but persuasive 6-spoke wheels wrapped in chunky Yokohama Geolandar all-terrain tires. The crystal white pearl coloration of my examination car is good for exhibiting off the mud and operates effectively with all that black plastic, but I’m a major admirer of the hero geyser blue coloration far too.

What I’m not these kinds of a admirer of are the anodized copper accents, if only since it really is a extremely mustardy shade of copper and the matters are all above the position. Highlighting tow details and tie downs? That I can dig. But the steering wheel, shifter and random tags on the doorway playing cards are a little bit far too significantly for me.

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

Go on. Get out there. 

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

Irrespective, the interior is at ease and roomy, entrance or again, with 32.five cubic toes of cargo room at the rear of the rear seats and seventy five.7 cubic toes if you fold those people seats down. That is almost 50% additional cargo room than the more time, additional luxurious Volvo V90 Cross State.

That Volvo is also significantly additional pricey at $fifty five,995 immediately after a $1,095 destination fee. The Outback Wilderness you see pictured in this article, with the $1,845 moonroof deal, arrived out to $39,965 immediately after a $1,one hundred twenty five destination fee. That is significantly more affordable than even the smaller Volvo V60 Cross State, which starts off at $46,545. Given the dearth of wagons in the US current market ideal now it really is really hard to know where else to evaluate, but a equally optioned Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk comes out at $forty three,305 immediately after $1,495 destination. The Jeep will do significantly much better off-highway, sure, but the Subaru promises a significantly additional nice journey to the trailhead.

So other than the gasoline economy hit and the $1,850 upcharge above an Outback Onyx Version XT, you are not sacrificing significantly need to you tick that Wilderness box when purchasing by yourself a Subaru. The lifted suspension and other tweaks make for a additional capable equipment, even though the ruggedized very good seems inspire experience with each and every glance, even if present day quest is merely the commute home.

Maria J. Danford

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