2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness review: Stand tall

The look positively works.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

If you are a Subaru fan of a sure age, you will bear in mind when the Outback was the Legacy wagon’s barely ruggeder, taller taste. Now, virtually 20 years later, you’ll be able to’t even buy a Legacy wagon within the US: The Outback pulled half an Oedipus and killed its father with its personal recognition. And so it is time to welcome a fair taller automobile to stake its declare because the king of Subaru wagons. It’s referred to as the Subaru Outback Wilderness and, although it might look a bit awkward perched 0.8 inches taller than its brethren, it has the rugged seems to be, strikes and options to make it an actual candidate — even when you by no means cross a path extra rugged than one to the outlets.


  • Improved off-road functionality
  • Unaffected on-road manners
  • Great worth

Don’t Like

  • Slightly decreased gas financial system
  • A whole lot of copper

So what’s new? The massive story is that elevate. The Wilderness Outback affords a wholesome 9.5 inches of floor journey. If you want context, as my colleague Steven Ewing identified in his Wilderness first drive, that matches the clearance provided by the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. Few would query that factor’s stance.

Mind you, efficiency after the asphalt ends has as a lot to do with drivetrain, and the Wilderness makes do with largely the identical setup because the common Outback. That is, open entrance and rear differentials pushed from a repeatedly variable transmission and a clutch-type heart differential. However, a shift to a 4.44:1 closing drive ratio in comparison with the 4.11:1 in the usual Outback means extra torque for low-speed rock crawling. Sadly, it additionally means gas financial system discount: 22 mpg metropolis, 26 mpg freeway and 24 mpg mixed in comparison with 23, 30 and 26, respectively. In my testing these figures proved correct, with a 24.2 mpg common in combined driving.

I anticipated a fair larger influence on the driving dynamics. Given the ruggedized vibe utilized to the outside and that prolonged stance, I figured the Outback Wilderness could be both overly stiff or so roly-poly that it’d scrape its side-view mirrors on the asphalt in each nook. I used to be pleasantly stunned to be mistaken.

The Outback Wilderness rides like an much more plush Outback, absorbing potholes, frost heaves, railroad crossings and every little thing else I threw at it. Despite that, it maintains the comparatively sharp turn-in and responsive really feel of a Legacy. It’s solely in longer corners taken at velocity that the upper roll-center begins to issue into the equation, however even then it is a minor consideration. Put merely, the Wilderness drives rather well each on-road and off.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

Augmenting the Wilderness’ off-road talents are a slender skidplate and a retuned X-Mode system. This is Subaru’s moniker for its terrain-focused stability and drive mode system, which for the Wilderness stays enabled at speeds larger than 25 mph.

The different massive change is discovered on the within, with the inside trimmed in StarTex cloth. This water-repellant materials has an virtually neoprene-like really feel to it and a fab waffle texture that not solely seems to be purposeful however feels genuinely sturdy. I did not get the inside of the automotive you see right here correctly filthy (this was only a loaner, in spite of everything), but it surely positively appeared greater than as much as the duty of the everyday Subaru life-style, muddy Labrador claws and all.

What’s not such a spotlight? Well, Subaru’s infotainment system, to start out. Starlink seems to be extra dated by the minute, maybe much more so on the large, 11.6-inch touchscreen. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, nevertheless, mitigate that to a big diploma. Embedded navigation is a part of the Wilderness’ lone possibility bundle, a considerably scattershot number of options that for $1,845 additionally nets you an influence moonroof and rear automated emergency braking.

The water-repellant StarTex upholstery feels good and will resist something you throw at it.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

Subaru’s energetic security suite, then again, comes normal. EyeSight has been recalibrated to cope with the Wilderness’ capabilities and nonetheless options adaptive cruise management, lane-keep help with centering, automated emergency braking and the same old goodies. It works properly however beeps incessantly — each time it spots or loses sight of a automotive forward of you, each time the lane-centering system engages or disengages — on a regular basis. It’s purposeful however annoying.

And what about that look? The Wilderness actually stands out subsequent to its Outback predecessor, however the visible modifications prolong past the elevate. The additional physique cladding fits the aggro look that is additionally introduced by a set of straightforward however compelling six-spoke wheels wrapped in chunky Yokohama Geolandar all-terrain tires. The crystal white pearl shade of my take a look at automobile is nice for displaying off the mud and works properly with all that black plastic, however I’m a giant fan of the hero geyser blue shade too.

What I’m not such a fan of are the anodized copper accents, if solely as a result of it is a very mustardy shade of copper and the issues are in all places. Highlighting tow factors and tie downs? That I can dig. But the steering wheel, shifter and random tags on the door playing cards are a bit an excessive amount of for me.

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

Go on. Get on the market. 

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

Regardless, the inside is snug and roomy, entrance or again, with 32.5 cubic ft of cargo house behind the rear seats and 75.7 cubic ft when you fold these seats down. That’s almost 50% extra cargo house than the longer, extra luxurious Volvo V90 Cross Country.

That Volvo can also be far more costly at $55,995 after a $1,095 vacation spot payment. The Outback Wilderness you see pictured right here, with the $1,845 moonroof bundle, got here out to $39,965 after a $1,125 vacation spot payment. That’s far cheaper than even the smaller Volvo V60 Cross Country, which begins at $46,545. Given the dearth of wagons within the US market proper now it is arduous to know the place else to match, however a equally optioned Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk comes out at $43,305 after $1,495 vacation spot. The Jeep will do much better off-road, certain, however the Subaru guarantees a much more nice journey to the trailhead.

So apart from the gas financial system hit and the $1,850 upcharge over an Outback Onyx Edition XT, you are not sacrificing a lot must you tick that Wilderness field when ordering your self a Subaru. The lifted suspension and different tweaks make for a extra succesful machine, whereas the ruggedized attractiveness encourage journey with each look, even when in the present day’s quest is just the commute dwelling.

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