Updated: Apr 1, 2022
Subarus are great all-weather vehicles. Most of their product range is all-wheel-drive. Increasingly, though, Subaru owners, who are among the more outdoorsy drivers, have been asking for a bit better off-road capability. For 2022, Subie delivers with the Outback Wilderness.
If love is what makes a Subaru a Subaru, better ground clearance, approach, departure and ramp breakover angles, a front skid plate, an upgraded suspension, a fixed ladder-type roof rack with a static load limit of 700 pounds and Yokohama GEOLANDAR all-terrain tires are a chunk of what makes an Outback an Outback Wilderness.
Under the hood, it's Subaru's 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder BOXER engine, making 260 horsepower and 277 pounds per foot of torque. The transmission is a high-torque Lineartronic CVT with eight-speed manual mode. And the all-wheel drive is aided by an advanced dual-function X-MODE unit. The EPA fuel economy estimate is 22 miles per gallon city, 26 highway.
Ground clearance is 8/10ths of an inch more than a standard Outback. The approach angle climbs by 1.4 degrees, the departure angle by 1.9 degrees and the ramp breakover angle by 1.8 degrees.
Part of the Outback Wilderness package is a unique interior color and trim scheme and StarTex water-repellent upholstery.
The base price of the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness is $36,995. The window sticker is at the end of this review so you can see for yourself, but among the standard equipment feature highlights at that price are automatic climate control, heated front and rear seats, a sound-insulated windshield and a huge screen for infotainment and HVAC.
And---that's it. The Wildnerness is an all-in-one package. So, with $1,125 destination and delivery, the as-tested price of the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness is $38.120.
Circumstances prevented me from taking the Outback Wilderness up into the Sierra and off paved roads, but there's absolutely nothing to prove. The Outback has been a capable soft-and-off-roader for many years. The 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness just improves its capability and user-friendliness in a way that will encourage even more owners to see what's over the next ridge.