Subaru Announces Off-Road Ready 2022 Outback Wilderness

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - March 31, 2021

With the return of the Ford Bronco, continued success of the Toyota 4Runner, and expansion of available powertrains for the Jeep Wrangler, off-roaders continue to be popular options on the market. The Subaru Outback has always been known for its rugged qualities and ability to tackle a trail, but the automaker is raising the bar with a new model. The 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness is the most capable and rugged version of the wagon the automaker has ever made and also features an intimidating design.

Under the hood, the Outback Wilderness comes with the same turbocharged 2.4-liter flat-four as higher trim levels that produces 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission with a unique final drive for the Wilderness model. The final drive (4.44:1 compared to 4.11:1) results in more available low-end torque. The Wilderness’ X-Mode setting for the all-wheel-drive system receives upgraded Deep Snow/Mud and Snow/Dirt programs for improved off-roading capability.

Speaking of off-roading, the Outback Wilderness comes with 9.5 inches of ground clearance – a 0.7-inch increase over the regular wagon – thanks to updated springs and shock absorbers. Because of the upgraded suspension, the Wilderness has improved off-road geometry, boasting a 20-degree approach angle, 21.2-degree breakover angle, and 23.6-degree departure angle bump. Those are improvements over the regular Outback, which has figures of 18.6, 19.4, and 21.2, respectively.

Subaru Outback Wilderness

The Outback Wilderness doesn’t hide its improved off-roading capability. Subaru fitted the wagon with special design elements to ensure people don’t mistake this for a regular Outback. The model wears Yokohoma Geolander all-terrain tires with white lettering, 17-inch black wheels, larger fender flares, a large front skid plate, a hood decal, and LED fog lights. The Geyser Blue paint job and Anodized Copper accents on things like the tow hook anchors and roof rail tie-downs also help the Wilderness stand out from the regular Outback.

Consumers that enjoy spending some time in nature will really enjoy the roof-rack system on the Wilderness. It features a fixed ladder design and is capable of carrying up to 700 pounds. So, if sleeping on top of your car is something you’re interested in doing, the Wilderness is better suited for a roof tent.

On the inside, the Wilderness doesn’t stray too far away from the regular Outback, but comes with useful features like StarTex water-repellant seats. The Wilderness also has waterproof material on the back of the second row, so owners don’t have to worry about dirty cargo. Anodized Copper accents and Wilderness logos are the final finishing touches.

When it comes to tech features, the Wilderness comes with an 11.6-inch infotainment display that brings Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard. Subaru’s EyeSight suite of driver-assist features is also standard.

Subaru hasn’t announced pricing for the 2022 Outback Wilderness yet, but the vehicle will go on sale later this year. We expect the Wilderness to become the most expensive Outback in the lineup and start above $40,000. If pricing stays close to that figure, we think the Wilderness trim stands out as one of the cooler and capable wagons in the class. We sincerely hope Subaru extends the Wilderness family to other models in the lineup, because more rugged Subaru’s would be a good thing.

Learn more about the current Outback on sale now »

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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