2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness review: Stand tall

Table of Contents

The glimpse surely functions.

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If you are a Subaru lover of a sure age, you can bear in mind when the Outback was the Legacy wagon’s slightly ruggeder, taller flavor. Now, just about twenty a long time later, you are not able to even invest in a Legacy wagon in the US: The Outback pulled fifty percent an Oedipus and killed its father with its possess level of popularity. And so it really is time to welcome an even taller automobile to stake its claim as the king of Subaru wagons. It truly is known as the Subaru Outback Wilderness and, however it may perhaps glimpse a little bit uncomfortable perched .8 inches taller than its brethren, it has the rugged appears to be, moves and options to make it a true applicant — even if you in no way cross a path extra rugged than 1 to the shops.


  • Improved off-street ability
  • Unaffected on-street manners
  • Terrific price

Don’t Like

  • Marginally lessened fuel economy
  • A great deal of copper

So what’s new? The massive story is that carry. The Wilderness Outback delivers a healthier nine.five inches of floor journey. If you need to have context, as my colleague Steven Ewing pointed out in his Wilderness initially generate, that matches the clearance offered by the Mercedes-Benz G-Course. Couple would dilemma that thing’s stance.

Mind you, general performance after the asphalt ends has as substantially to do with drivetrain, and the Wilderness makes do with mainly the identical setup as the typical Outback. That is, open up front and rear differentials driven from a continually variable transmission and a clutch-sort middle differential. However, a change to a 4.forty four:1 ultimate generate ratio in comparison to the 4.11:1 in the typical Outback means extra torque for low-pace rock crawling. Unfortunately, it also means fuel economy reduction: 22 mpg town, 26 mpg highway and 24 mpg blended in comparison to 23, thirty and 26, respectively. In my tests all those figures proved accurate, with a 24.two mpg normal in combined driving.

I predicted an even greater effects on the driving dynamics. Given the ruggedized vibe utilized to the exterior and that prolonged stance, I figured the Outback Wilderness would be possibly extremely rigid or so roly-poly that it’d scrape its side-watch mirrors on the asphalt in every corner. I was pleasantly astonished to be improper.

The Outback Wilderness rides like an even extra plush Outback, soaking up potholes, frost heaves, railroad crossings and every thing else I threw at it. In spite of that, it maintains the comparatively sharp flip-in and responsive experience of a Legacy. It truly is only in longer corners taken at pace that the higher roll-middle begins to component into the equation, but even then it really is a minor thing to consider. Place simply, the Wilderness drives seriously properly equally on-street and off.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

Augmenting the Wilderness’ off-street talents are a slender skidplate and a retuned X-Method procedure. This is Subaru’s moniker for its terrain-concentrated balance and generate manner procedure, which for the Wilderness stays enabled at speeds greater than 25 mph.

The other massive modify is discovered on the inside of, with the inside trimmed in StarTex fabric. This h2o-repellant content has an just about neoprene-like experience to it and a groovy waffle texture that not only appears to be purposeful but feels truly long lasting. I didn’t get the inside of the motor vehicle you see in this article thoroughly filthy (this was just a loaner, after all), but it surely seemed extra than up to the job of the normal Subaru way of life, muddy Labrador claws and all.

What’s not this kind of a highlight? Nicely, Subaru’s infotainment procedure, to get started. Starlink appears to be extra dated by the minute, maybe even extra so on the large, 11.six-inch touchscreen. Android Automobile and Apple CarPlay, however, mitigate that to a significant diploma. Embedded navigation is section of the Wilderness’ lone choice package deal, a relatively scattershot collection of options that for $1,845 also nets you a electricity moonroof and rear automatic crisis braking.

The h2o-repellant StarTex upholstery feels superior and need to resist anything you toss at it.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

Subaru’s lively protection suite, on the other hand, will come typical. Eyesight has been recalibrated to deal with the Wilderness’ abilities and nevertheless options adaptive cruise command, lane-maintain help with centering, automatic crisis braking and the typical goodies. It functions properly but beeps incessantly — every time it places or loses sight of a motor vehicle forward of you, every time the lane-centering procedure engages or disengages — all the time. It truly is functional but irritating.

And what about that glimpse? The Wilderness basically stands out future to its Outback predecessor, but the visible variations lengthen further than the carry. The excess system cladding fits the aggro glimpse which is also offered by a set of simple but powerful six-spoke wheels wrapped in chunky Yokohama Geolandar all-terrain tires. The crystal white pearl colour of my check automobile is great for showing off the mud and functions properly with all that black plastic, but I am a massive lover of the hero geyser blue colour too.

What I am not this kind of a lover of are the anodized copper accents, if only since it really is a very mustardy shade of copper and the matters are all above the area. Highlighting tow points and tie downs? That I can dig. But the steering wheel, shifter and random tags on the doorway cards are a little bit too substantially for me.

Go on. Get out there. 

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

No matter, the inside is comfortable and roomy, front or back again, with 32.five cubic feet of cargo room driving the rear seats and 75.seven cubic feet if you fold all those seats down. That is almost fifty{446c0583c78045abf10327776a038b2df71144067b85dd55dd4a3a861892e4fa} extra cargo room than the longer, extra luxurious Volvo V90 Cross Nation.

That Volvo is also substantially extra costly at $55,995 after a $1,095 spot rate. The Outback Wilderness you see pictured in this article, with the $1,845 moonroof package deal, came out to $39,965 after a $1,125 spot rate. That is considerably less costly than even the smaller Volvo V60 Cross Nation, which begins at $forty six,545. Given the dearth of wagons in the US current market correct now it really is really hard to know where else to examine, but a in the same way optioned Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk comes out at $43,305 after $1,495 spot. The Jeep will do considerably far better off-street, certain, but the Subaru promises a considerably extra nice journey to the trailhead.

So other than the fuel economy strike and the $1,850 upcharge above an Outback Onyx Edition XT, you are not sacrificing substantially need to you tick that Wilderness box when buying by yourself a Subaru. The lifted suspension and other tweaks make for a extra capable equipment, though the ruggedized superior appears to be encourage journey with every glance, even if modern quest is simply the commute property.