2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness Review: The More Capable Off-Road Wagon

Think of the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness as the most rugged version of the crossover wagon to date. It takes an already winning formula and builds on it with the additional capability to get you further off the beaten path and into more adventures. What did Subaru do to distinguish the Outback Wilderness from the other variants? Let’s take a closer look.

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness Exterior Changes

The most notable changes on the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness are the lack of chrome exterior trim and larger fender flares due to an altered track. In front, you have gold accents to denote recovery points and below them are hexagonal fog lights. Subaru also raised the Outback Wilderness’s suspension to improve its break over, departure, and approach angles. The roof racks have more gold accents covering the tie downs and can now accommodate between 220- to 700 pounds (stationary), allowing you to carry a roof tent and sleep in it. The rear bumper has gold accents again to show you where the two recovery points are located and a Wilderness badge on the tailgate.

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness Interior Updates

Getting inside the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness, you’ll notice some minor tweaks. The most obvious ones are the black headliner, gold-accented gear shifter, instrument cluster, and steering wheel, and two-tone StarTex leatherette upholstery with gold contrast stitching and tags on the seats. Subaru’s new 11.6-inch touchscreen is standard and is one of the only user interfaces that supports Apple CarPlay compatibility in portrait mode. You’ll mind most functions on there including X-Mode, which lets you tailor the Outback to the type of surface you’re driving on. Rubber floor mats with the Wilderness logo are also standard.

Does the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness Have Mechanical Changes?

Powering the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness is the same 2.4-liter turbo-four as the XT models. That generates 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque and goes through all four wheels via a CVT automatic. The transmission has a lower final drive ratio, which is the same as in the larger Ascent. Subaru also borrowed the Ascent’s differential ratio to improve overall off-road capability. Fuel economy takes a hit due to the improved performance. The EPA rates the Outback Wilderness at 22/26/24 mpg city/highway/combined. That’s down 1 mpg in the city, 4 mpg on the highway, and 2 mpg on the combined cycle.

How Differently Does the 2022 Subaru Outback Drive?

Since the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness is higher than the other trims, it gives up a little on-road dynamics. However, it doesn’t sacrifice so much that it’s no longer a viable daily driver. So yes, you can still drive the Outback Wilderness on your commute.

Don’t expect the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness to be a rock crawler, though. That’s not its intended purpose despite the off-road bias. This rig builds on the goodness of the standard Outback to improve performance on the trail without sacrificing the on-road compliance that made it so popular. As a result, you go straight from the office to off the beaten path in an Outback Wilderness, making it a great all-around choice.


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