Subaru Wilds Out with the 2022 Outback Wilderness


UPDATE 7/8/21: This review has been updated with test results.



a car rolling on a dirt road: With more ground clearance and more bodywork, Subaru's fun wagon is ready for anything.


© Marc Urbano – Car and Driver
With more ground clearance and more bodywork, Subaru’s fun wagon is ready for anything.

As if the brand had been voted the best in the world by Mossy Sequoia Quarterly needed to print it on its cars, Wilderness will be a recurring name in new Subaru models. The Outback Wilderness 2022 is the first to come out. The Outback was already a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts who weren’t fans of die-hard rock, and the Wilderness package incorporates the modifications Outback owners were already making to their cars to make them more apt for everything- terrain, like lift kits and all-terrain all-terrain tires — plus details to make the large wagon easier to get around with with its back to the campsite, including a washable rear seatback and load light mounted on the vehicle. tailgate. The result looks like a Subaru Outback that spent six months in the gym. It is wider, more resistant and higher, but remains a comfortable and flexible ride with many uses in station wagon.

Spicing up the Outback was an easy task as the basic recipe was already a winning one. Who doesn’t love a big sedan? Subaru simply took what was already good in the Outback and added more. More upholstery, more ride height and more features specifically designed for outdoor activities. The external changes may not be obvious to non-Subie fans, but current Outback owners will notice how the Wilderness folds up the corners of the front fairing for better cliffside clearance and stretches the plastic liner all the way up. nose and over wheel arches to reduce the risk of shrub scratching. All the chrome on the standard Outback is satin black on the Wilderness, and important action points, such as the tow hook anchors and roof rail ties, are shiny anodized copper, giving the Wilderness a smile. sassy golden pirate teeth. “Avast, gentlemen, I have come to tow your canoe.” With a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, the Wilderness could actually tow a good-sized boat, and the redesigned roof rack can carry up to 220 pounds in motion and support 700 pounds when stationary. Conveniently, this means that it can not only carry bikes or kayaks, but can also hold a roof top tent. Just don’t try to move a tent on the busy roof.



a man driving a forest: Subaru Outback Wilderness 2022


© Marc Urbano – Car and Driver
Subaru Outback Wilderness 2022

We didn’t get a chance to sleep at the top of the Wilderness, but we got it dirty. It can’t navigate obstacles like a Jeep Wrangler, but it has climbed steep, slate hills with all-wheel-drive aplomb. The Outback’s off-road X mode has two options: a snow / dirt mode that minimizes wheel spin to climb slippery hills or slippery driveways, and a deep snow / mud mode that allows more spin to prevent the car from moving. to get bogged down. X-Mode also recognizes a downhill grade and automatically controls vehicle speed based on brake input, up to around 5 mph on a soft surface.

As well as sending us up and down sandy hills, Subaru had arranged an intimidating cairn of boulders, which we climbed on to demonstrate the goat-like agility of the Wilderness and improved approach, crossing and departure angles. . Where the regular Outback stuffed its nose or dragged its stomach, the Wilderness pulled away. To achieve lower space, Subaru increased ground clearance to 9.5 inches, 0.8 inches more than the standard Outback. Higher springs also allow for greater compression stroke, and the redesigned front and rear bumpers make this a more forgiving climber. The end result is an approach angle of 20.0 degrees, a threshold of 21.2 degrees and 23.6 degrees before scraping the rear bumper. It won’t bring home a King of the Hammers Trophy, but you’ll never come across a speed bump that you need to brake for. If you don’t tend to measure angles of local obstacles – or if you don’t notice them, even with the help of the 180-degree front camera – you can add optional underbody shielding to minimize the impact of obstacles. miscalculations.



a truck driving on a dirt road: Subaru Outback Wilderness 2022


© Marc Urbano – Car and Driver
Subaru Outback Wilderness 2022

Under the hood, the Wilderness comes standard with a turbocharged 2.4-liter flat-four developing 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. It’s backed up by a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), which does its best to pretend to be an eight-speed automatic but can’t always maintain the illusion. On steep hills or leaving a red light, it looks more like trampled chewing gum—streeeeetch, and let’s go, we move now. This CVT does its job, but not with joy. On the test track, the combo hauled the 3,973-pound Wilderness at 60 mph in 5.8 seconds and through the quarter mile in 14.6 seconds at 96 mph, making our test car faster. than the last mechanically similar Outback we tested. This car needed 6.3 ticks to reach 60 mph and 14.8 seconds to cover the quarter mile.



a close-up of a car: Subaru Outback Wilderness 2022


© Marc Urbano – Car and Driver
Subaru Outback Wilderness 2022

The Wilderness is also more fleeting than a grizzly bear, which is an important detail when choosing an all-terrain machine. A determined bear could beat the Subaru to 30 mph, so be sure to jump on it. Just don’t race anyone bear or otherwise with a low fuel tank as the Wilderness’s gearing and tires lower the turbo’s EPA combined fuel economy rating. Outback’s 26 mpg at 24. reported 27 mpg in our highway test at 75 mph, which is both 1 mpg better than its federal rating but 1 mpg less than a standard Outback with the turbo-four .

On the road, the same dullness that plagues this Subaru’s drivetrain is found in its steering, and the high sidewalls of the 225 / 65R-17 Yokohama Geolandar A / T tires mean that driving on the pavement is on the spongy side. This last observation is not a reproach. Not all vehicles need to be a very tight thoroughbred, and what you give up on high-speed cornering you can enjoy in cushioned ride comfort. That said, our test car displayed a relatively low traction of 0.74g on the pad and required a long distance of 191 feet to stop at 70 mph. However, if you are using one of these Geolandars on the track or highway, there is a full-size spare tire on a matching alloy rim, with a tire pressure monitor, under the cargo area at the back.



a close-up of a car: Subaru Outback Wilderness 2022


© Marc Urbano – Car and Driver
Subaru Outback Wilderness 2022

The interior of the Wilderness is attractive in a sensible way. The layout is ergonomic and the 11.6-inch touchscreen is mounted vertically, so everything is within reach of the driver. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as is Subaru’s comprehensive suite of driver assistance systems. There are a few options available, including a sunroof and reverse automatic braking, but the Wilderness is quite loaded even in its non-option form. The seats are covered in a non-leather, water-resistant material, and the patterns and colors echo the honeycomb of the grille and the copper of the exterior accents. With wet dogs and muddy gear in mind, Subaru designers kept the headliner dark to hide scuff marks, and the cargo area and that washable seatback are waterproof as well. There is plenty of room in the back seat and behind. The rear seats are comfortable, with a folding rear armrest, USB ports, and optional heated seats, perfect for warming up after someone has the brilliant idea of ​​camping out in the freezing desert on New Years Eve. I’m not speaking from experience or anything.

While the Subaru Outback Wilderness can’t help you make bad decisions about when and where to venture out, it can get you there and back in comfort. With a starting price of $ 38,120, this is one of the more expensive Outback models. Our example with its power sunroof and upgraded infotainment system costs $ 39,965, which would give you a decent Jeep Wrangler or Ford Bronco, but there’s subtle flexibility for off-roading in a versus unibody wagon. to a more traditional 4×4. Over the years, the Subaru Outback has certainly surprised many tired SUV drivers by appearing on a trail well beyond the nearest paved road, and the 2022 Outback Wilderness makes crossing the curb much easier.

Video: 2021 Subaru Outback Wilderness Test Drive (FOX News)

2021 Subaru Outback Wilderness Test Drive

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