It’s the perfect recipe. Toss in a pinch of style, a dash of ruggedness, and a hefty dose of performance tech, like Symmetrical All-Wheel drive, and out pops something like the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness. This new Wilderness trim is the older brother of the Outback pack, and according to Subaru, it’s the most capable Outback yet. That said, here is a quick but detailed look at the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness.
It’s fair to say the new Outback Wilderness is slightly taller and a little more sure-footed. The Outback Wilderness has a total ground clearance of 9.5 inches, an increase of nearly an inch over the standard Outback. Subaru modified the front and rear bumpers to accommodate the increase in ground clearance too. As a result, the approach angles extend from 18.6 degrees to 20, while the ramp break-over angle goes from 19.4 degrees to 21.2 degrees. Departure angles are also up from 21.7 degrees to 23.6 degrees.
Subaru’s engineers tweaked the chassis and suspension to ready the Outback Wilderness for the mud, dirt, sand, and snow. The front and rear shock absorbers and springs were each increased in length to provide better vehicle stability and more suspension travel on rough terrain. Yokohama Geolander tires and 17-inch matte black alloy wheels are standard. As a bouns, Subaru even includes a full-size spare under the cargo area.
Exclusive Exterior Features
All the goodness under the Outback Wilderness is reflected on the outside as well. Exclusive styling treatments include the aforementioned front and rear bumpers, larger wheel arch cladding, hexagonal front grille, LED fog lights, black window trim, and an anti-glare, matte black hood decal (which looks cool). Anodized Copper accents are found on the tow hooks and roof rails.
Although other colors are available, the photos in this article are a color called Geyser Blue. According to Subaru, the paint color is inspired by national park scenery in the United States and the automaker’s rally history.
Fancy (Yet Practical) Inside
Like the exterior, Anodized Copper accents are a hallmark of the interior, seen most prominently on the steering wheel and shifter. Brushed aluminum treatments nicely offset the copper, while Gunmetal Grey replaces the otherwise chrome touchpoints (like the cupholders, for example). Just for fun, a Subaru Wilderness logo appears in the instrument cluster when the vehicle is started.
The interior is functional, however, as the Wilderness name would only imply as much. The StarTex seat material is water-resistant, and the cargo area has its own waterproof treatments. The all-whether floor mats (complete with the Subaru Wilderness logo) are hungry for the mud.
Tech and connectivity features include Subaru’s Starlink multimedia system (11.6-inch touchscreen), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, Bluetooth capability, four-month complimentary subscription to SiriusXM, and SiriusXM Travel Link complimentary for three years. Subaru’s Multimedia with Navigation feature is available as part of an option package that includes a power moonroof and Reverse Automatic Braking.
Subaru Outback Wilderness Powertrain
The 2.4-liter turbo Boxer engine creates 260 horsepower (5,600 rpm) and 277 lb-ft. of torque (2,000 rpm). Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is standard along with a Lineartronic CVT featuring an eight-speed manual mode with steering wheel paddle shifters.
Subaru’s standard X-MODE includes Dirt, Snow, and Mud modes. Although, unlike a standard Outback, X-MODE for the Wilderness can operate above the 25 mph threshold and switch over automatically from lower speeds to higher speeds without hindering power delivery. X-MODE in the Wilderness also displays a new roll-angle indicator, a feature not found in the standard Outback.
When properly equipped, the Subaru Outback Wilderness can tow 3,500 lbs .Similarly, the roof rails can support 700 lbs. worth of extra cargo.
EPA fuel economy ratings for the 2021 Subaru Outback with the 2.4-liter turbo are 23/30 city/highway and 26 combined. As of this writing, the U.S. Department of Energy has not listed any 2022 model-year Subaru vehicles on its fuel economy.gov website. Since the Outback Wilderness sits slightly higher than a standard model, it’s possible that could impact the gas mileage.
Revised Rear Differential
This is where Subaru puts the Wild in Wilderness! An updated rear differential provides a final drive ratio of 4.44:1. However, Subaru modified the Lineartronic CVT to achieve an equivalent final drive ratio for the front wheels. According to Subaru, with the CVT and rear differential working together, the Outback Wilderness can climb a 40 percent gravel grade!
A rear differential protector is available through Subaru’s accessory catalog, which we recommend adding.
Subaru Outback Warranty
Subaru customers receive a bumper-to-bumper warranty for three years or 36,000 miles, and a powertrain warranty of five years or 60,000 miles. For more information on Subaru’s factory warranty and to determine if you need more, see this helpful guide. Some owners have reported problems with Subaru’s CVT automatic. This comprehensive guide covers the topic more in-depth.
Pricing & Availability
The 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness will arrive at dealers later this year. Pricing will be announced closer to that time.
Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and the Society of Automotive Historians. He serves on the board of directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, is a past president of Detroit Working Writers, and a loyal Detroit Lions fan.