Subaru makes their intrepid Outback even more adventure ready with the new off-road focused Wilderness package.
Subaru is taking their already capable AWD crossovers and adding a new “Wilderness” off-road package to make them even more ready for that next family overlanding adventure. First of the new Wilderness vehicles will be the 2022 Outback Wilderness and it looks to be the most rugged Outback yet. And there’s a lot more than just a bold new paint job and beefier plastic cladding. We’ll dive into all the details of this exciting new trim below.
The first thing you notice about the new Outback Wilderness is the increased height. Subaru added .8 inches to the ride height, now a full 9.5 inches off the ground. There are also new matte black wheels sporting Yokohama all-terrain Geo-lander tires and framed by new wider fenders (1.6 inches wider).
The next most prominent change is to the Outback’s front end with gets an updated grille, shaper headlights, and a truncated front (and rear) bumper to improve approach and departure angles. The new approach gained two degrees from 18.6° to 20.0° and the departure goes from 21.7° to 23.6°. There’s also a new skid plate up front and options for additional aluminum or steel skid plating for the rear differential and other under bits.
Subaru’s X-Mode also received revision with the addition of new functions for snow/dirt and deep snow/mud. A new static ladder roof rack replaces the standard fold out rack of the Outback. The new ladder roof rack is studier and can now accommodate up to 700 lbs. for additional gear like a roof top tent.
As we mentioned, the Outback Wilderness gets its own distinct new color, “Geyser Blue” that is complimented by Anodized Copper accenting and matte black on the wheels and the hood (for both glare reduction and because it looks cool). All-in-all, the Outback Wilderness looks the part of the most capable Outback yet.
Under the hood of the Outback Wilderness is the 2.4L turbo flat-four borrowed from the Subaru Ascent. It makes 260 horsepower and 277 lb.-ft. of torque. Also borrowed from the Ascent is the CVT and rear differential which improves the Outback’s gear ratios and allow it to scale grades of up to 40 degrees on gravel surfaces. The lower gearing should also boost torque response, making the Wilderness likely the fastest factory Outback you can buy.
All that added power does diminish fuel economy, which drops a full 2 mpg to 22 city and 26 highway.
The inside of the Outback Wilderness also receives updates with a new gray SoftTex leatherette seats (like those found in the Onyx trim) complimented by plenty of matte black and copper accenting. The Wilderness also features signature rubber floormats and these, along with the waterproof SoftTex seats, mean the Outback Wilderness is ready for all the mud and dirt you’ll encounter on the trail. You’ll also find the same 11.6-inch infotainment screen as all the but the base Outbacks carry. Despite the upgrades, Subaru is still serving some premium items like the Harmon Kardon premium stereo for the Touring trim.
Overall, the 2022 Outback Wilderness looks like it should please Subaru lovers looking to take their next vacation off the beaten trail. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet but we expect he Wilderness to slot in right below the top Touring trim level and command a price roughly equivalent to the Onyx XT at around $35,000.
The Outback won’t be the only Subaru getting the Wilderness treatment, either. This is all part of what Subaru calls a “new Wilderness family” for the company which we can only assume implies the Forster and Crosstrek, at minimum, are due for their own Wilderness editions in short order.