2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness review: Stand tall

The seem unquestionably is effective.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

If you are a Subaru lover of a certain age, you’ll bear in mind when the Outback was the Legacy wagon’s marginally ruggeder, taller flavor. Now, practically twenty decades later, you cannot even buy a Legacy wagon in the US: The Outback pulled fifty percent an Oedipus and killed its father with its own acceptance. And so it’s time to welcome an even taller vehicle to stake its declare as the king of Subaru wagons. It really is called the Subaru Outback Wilderness and, while it could seem a bit awkward perched .eight inches taller than its brethren, it has the rugged seems, moves and options to make it a serious candidate — even if you hardly ever cross a path much more rugged than a person to the retailers.

Table of Contents


  • Enhanced off-highway functionality
  • Unaffected on-highway manners
  • Good value

Really don’t Like

  • A little lessened gas overall economy
  • A whole lot of copper

So what is actually new? The huge tale is that carry. The Wilderness Outback gives a healthier 9.five inches of floor travel. If you need to have context, as my colleague Steven Ewing pointed out in his Wilderness first drive, that matches the clearance available by the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. Few would query that thing’s stance.

Mind you, overall performance following the asphalt finishes has as significantly to do with drivetrain, and the Wilderness helps make do with largely the very same set up as the typical Outback. That is, open up entrance and rear differentials driven from a repeatedly variable transmission and a clutch-kind heart differential. However, a change to a 4.44:1 closing drive ratio when compared to the 4.eleven:1 in the conventional Outback means much more torque for small-velocity rock crawling. Unfortunately, it also means gas overall economy reduction: 22 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 24 mpg blended when compared to 23, thirty and 26, respectively. In my screening people figures proved accurate, with a 24.two mpg average in blended driving.

I expected an even even larger effect on the driving dynamics. Provided the ruggedized vibe utilized to the exterior and that prolonged stance, I figured the Outback Wilderness would be either extremely rigid or so roly-poly that it’d scrape its side-perspective mirrors on the asphalt in each and every corner. I was pleasantly amazed to be completely wrong.

The Outback Wilderness rides like an even much more plush Outback, soaking up potholes, frost heaves, railroad crossings and all the things else I threw at it. Regardless of that, it maintains the rather sharp turn-in and responsive come to feel of a Legacy. It really is only in extended corners taken at velocity that the larger roll-heart commences to component into the equation, but even then it’s a small thought. Place basically, the Wilderness drives really effectively both equally on-highway and off.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

Augmenting the Wilderness’ off-highway skills are a slender skidplate and a retuned X-Manner technique. This is Subaru’s moniker for its terrain-targeted security and drive method technique, which for the Wilderness stays enabled at speeds larger than 25 mph.

The other huge alter is uncovered on the within, with the interior trimmed in StarTex fabric. This drinking water-repellant materials has an practically neoprene-like come to feel to it and a groovy waffle texture that not only seems purposeful but feels truly sturdy. I failed to get the interior of the motor vehicle you see here correctly filthy (this was just a loaner, following all), but it unquestionably seemed much more than up to the task of the regular Subaru life-style, muddy Labrador claws and all.

What is not these kinds of a highlight? Nicely, Subaru’s infotainment technique, to get started. Starlink seems much more dated by the moment, possibly even much more so on the large, eleven.6-inch touchscreen. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, having said that, mitigate that to a big diploma. Embedded navigation is part of the Wilderness’ lone possibility package deal, a to some degree scattershot choice of options that for $1,845 also nets you a electricity moonroof and rear automatic unexpected emergency braking.

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

The drinking water-repellant StarTex upholstery feels fantastic and should resist anything you toss at it.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

Subaru’s lively safety suite, on the other hand, will come conventional. Vision has been recalibrated to deal with the Wilderness’ capabilities and continue to options adaptive cruise management, lane-continue to keep aid with centering, automatic unexpected emergency braking and the common goodies. It is effective effectively but beeps incessantly — each and every time it places or loses sight of a motor vehicle ahead of you, each and every time the lane-centering technique engages or disengages — all the time. It really is functional but frustrating.

And what about that seem? The Wilderness basically stands out next to its Outback predecessor, but the visual adjustments prolong further than the carry. The excess overall body cladding suits the aggro seem which is also presented by a established of basic but compelling six-spoke wheels wrapped in chunky Yokohama Geolandar all-terrain tires. The crystal white pearl color of my examination vehicle is excellent for exhibiting off the mud and is effective effectively with all that black plastic, but I am a huge lover of the hero geyser blue color much too.

What I am not these kinds of a lover of are the anodized copper accents, if only mainly because it’s a incredibly mustardy shade of copper and the factors are all around the place. Highlighting tow details and tie downs? That I can dig. But the steering wheel, shifter and random tags on the door cards are a bit much too significantly for me.

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

Go on. Get out there. 

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

No matter, the interior is cozy and roomy, entrance or again, with 32.five cubic toes of cargo space guiding the rear seats and 75.seven cubic toes if you fold people seats down. That is practically fifty% much more cargo space than the extended, much more luxurious Volvo V90 Cross Place.

That Volvo is also significantly much more expensive at $fifty five,995 following a $1,095 place payment. The Outback Wilderness you see pictured here, with the $1,845 moonroof package deal, arrived out to $39,965 following a $1,125 place payment. That is far less expensive than even the smaller Volvo V60 Cross Place, which commences at $forty six,545. Provided the dearth of wagons in the US sector appropriate now it’s hard to know exactly where else to review, but a likewise optioned Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk comes out at $43,305 following $1,495 place. The Jeep will do far better off-highway, confident, but the Subaru promises a far much more pleasurable journey to the trailhead.

So other than the gas overall economy hit and the $1,850 upcharge around an Outback Onyx Edition XT, you are not sacrificing significantly should you tick that Wilderness box when buying your self a Subaru. The lifted suspension and other tweaks make for a much more able machine, when the ruggedized fantastic seems encourage adventure with each and every look, even if present-day quest is basically the commute property.