The search undoubtedly functions.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

If you might be a Subaru lover of a selected age, you can expect to don’t forget when the Outback was the Legacy wagon’s slightly ruggeder, taller taste. Now, virtually twenty several years later on, you are unable to even buy a Legacy wagon in the US: The Outback pulled half an Oedipus and killed its father with its very own level of popularity. And so it truly is time to welcome an even taller motor vehicle to stake its claim as the king of Subaru wagons. It is named the Subaru Outback Wilderness and, however it might search a little bit awkward perched .8 inches taller than its brethren, it has the rugged appears, moves and features to make it a serious applicant — even if you by no means cross a path extra rugged than 1 to the outlets.


  • Enhanced off-highway functionality
  • Unaffected on-highway manners
  • Great price

Don’t Like

  • Somewhat reduced fuel overall economy
  • A large amount of copper

So what is actually new? The major story is that carry. The Wilderness Outback presents a healthful nine.5 inches of floor vacation. If you will need context, as my colleague Steven Ewing pointed out in his Wilderness first push, that matches the clearance offered by the Mercedes-Benz G-Course. Handful of would query that thing’s stance.

Mind you, overall performance soon after the asphalt ends has as substantially to do with drivetrain, and the Wilderness will make do with mostly the similar set up as the typical Outback. That is, open entrance and rear differentials driven from a consistently variable transmission and a clutch-variety middle differential. Even so, a shift to a four.44:1 ultimate push ratio compared to the four.eleven:1 in the conventional Outback means extra torque for very low-pace rock crawling. Unfortunately, it also means fuel overall economy reduction: 22 mpg town, 26 mpg freeway and 24 mpg combined compared to 23, thirty and 26, respectively. In my testing those figures proved accurate, with a 24.two mpg regular in mixed driving.

I envisioned an even bigger influence on the driving dynamics. Supplied the ruggedized vibe utilized to the exterior and that extended stance, I figured the Outback Wilderness would be both extremely rigid or so roly-poly that it’d scrape its aspect-perspective mirrors on the asphalt in just about every corner. I was pleasantly shocked to be incorrect.

The Outback Wilderness rides like an even extra plush Outback, soaking up potholes, frost heaves, railroad crossings and everything else I threw at it. Irrespective of that, it maintains the fairly sharp change-in and responsive feel of a Legacy. It is only in extended corners taken at pace that the higher roll-middle starts off to aspect into the equation, but even then it truly is a minor thing to consider. Put basically, the Wilderness drives seriously well equally on-highway and off.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

Augmenting the Wilderness’ off-highway talents are a slender skidplate and a retuned X-Mode system. This is Subaru’s moniker for its terrain-centered balance and push manner system, which for the Wilderness stays enabled at speeds better than twenty five mph.

The other major modify is observed on the within, with the inside trimmed in StarTex cloth. This drinking water-repellant material has an virtually neoprene-like feel to it and a groovy waffle texture that not only appears purposeful but feels genuinely durable. I did not get the inside of the car or truck you see right here properly filthy (this was just a loaner, soon after all), but it undoubtedly appeared extra than up to the task of the standard Subaru way of living, muddy Labrador claws and all.

What is not this sort of a spotlight? Well, Subaru’s infotainment system, to start out. Starlink appears extra dated by the moment, maybe even extra so on the large, eleven.six-inch touchscreen. Android Car and Apple CarPlay, nonetheless, mitigate that to a large diploma. Embedded navigation is aspect of the Wilderness’ lone option deal, a to some degree scattershot assortment of features that for $1,845 also nets you a electric power moonroof and rear computerized emergency braking.

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

The drinking water-repellant StarTex upholstery feels superior and need to resist nearly anything you throw at it.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

Subaru’s active basic safety suite, on the other hand, will come conventional. Eyesight has been recalibrated to offer with the Wilderness’ abilities and nonetheless features adaptive cruise manage, lane-keep guide with centering, computerized emergency braking and the usual goodies. It functions well but beeps incessantly — just about every time it spots or loses sight of a car or truck in advance of you, just about every time the lane-centering system engages or disengages — all the time. It is useful but irritating.

And what about that search? The Wilderness virtually stands out subsequent to its Outback predecessor, but the visual modifications extend past the carry. The more physique cladding suits the aggro search that is also introduced by a established of very simple but powerful 6-spoke wheels wrapped in chunky Yokohama Geolandar all-terrain tires. The crystal white pearl colour of my take a look at motor vehicle is fantastic for demonstrating off the mud and functions well with all that black plastic, but I’m a major lover of the hero geyser blue colour much too.

What I’m not this sort of a lover of are the anodized copper accents, if only for the reason that it truly is a pretty mustardy shade of copper and the factors are all above the position. Highlighting tow factors and tie downs? That I can dig. But the steering wheel, shifter and random tags on the doorway playing cards are a little bit much too substantially for me.

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

Go on. Get out there. 

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

Irrespective, the inside is cozy and roomy, entrance or again, with 32.5 cubic toes of cargo area driving the rear seats and cubic toes if you fold those seats down. Which is nearly fifty% extra cargo area than the extended, extra luxurious Volvo V90 Cross Nation.

That Volvo is also substantially extra high-priced at $55,995 soon after a $1,095 location fee. The Outback Wilderness you see pictured right here, with the $1,845 moonroof deal, came out to $39,965 soon after a $1,125 location fee. Which is significantly cheaper than even the smaller Volvo V60 Cross Nation, which starts off at $46,545. Supplied the dearth of wagons in the US marketplace suitable now it truly is tough to know where by else to assess, but a equally optioned Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk comes out at $forty three,305 soon after $1,495 location. The Jeep will do significantly better off-highway, confident, but the Subaru promises a significantly extra enjoyable journey to the trailhead.

So other than the fuel overall economy strike and the $1,850 upcharge above an Outback Onyx Version XT, you might be not sacrificing substantially need to you tick that Wilderness box when buying your self a Subaru. The lifted suspension and other tweaks make for a extra capable machine, while the ruggedized superior appears encourage journey with just about every glance, even if modern quest is basically the commute residence.