Serious Soft-Roader: Subaru Toughens Up with the 2022 Outback Wilderness Model
Subaru long been known for its capable AWD systems and its adventurous image—and those two things have helped elevate the company to new levels of success in recent years.
But despite that, Subaru hasn’t yet ventured into the growing "soft road" enthusiast market that includes crossovers like the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk and Ford Bronco Sport Badlands—until now that is. Meet the newest member of the Subaru Outback family, arriving for the 2022 model year.
Known as the “Wilderness” this new version of Subaru’s popular crossover/wagon aims to take both off-road capability and rugged image to a new level for Subaru.
On the outside, one of the biggest differences on the Wilderness model is its larger, chunkier fender cladding, a new front grille and redesigned front and rear bumpers. In addition, there are new 17” wheels with all-terrain tires.
Its suspension setup has also been revised to deliver both longer travel and more ground clearance—now 9.5 inches, up nearly an inch from the standard Outback models.
The suspension lift, along with the aforementioned new bumpers also help improve approach, departure and breakover angles, and the rear differential now gets a 4.44:1 final drive ratio.
Other upgrades include a standard front skid plate and a new roof rack that better handles tents and other heavy loads. It also gets a unique X Mode terrain selection system with additional modes.
Under the hood is Subaru’s turbocharged 2.4L boxer four-cylinder boxer engine. It makes 260hp and 277 pound feet of torque mated a CVT transmission with eight simulated “gears.”
Along with that there will also be unique "Wilderness" branding throughout the car, as well as unique interior trimmings and a new exclusive "Geyser Blue" paint color.
Pricing has yet to be announced, but given its upgrades its reasonable to expect it be the mot expensive Outback model. We are also interested to see how it stacks up against Ford and Jeep in the ever-growing soft-road speciality market, so look for a comparison coming up shortly.
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