Subaru Wilds Out with the 2022 Outback Wilderness

Image credit: Subaru
As if the Mossy Redwood Quarterly brand was voted the best in the world to print on their cars, Wilderness will be a recurring name in new Subaru models. The 2022 Outback Wilderness is the first to be outdoors. The Subaru Outback was already a popular choice for outdoor types who weren't into hardcore rock crawling, and the Wilderness package includes changes that Outback owners have already made to their cars to make them more off-road - like z. B. Lift kits and off-road tires - as well as details that make life with the tall car at the campsite easier, including a washable rear seat back and a hatch-mounted loading lamp. The result looks like a Subaru Outback that spent six months in the gym. It's wider, tougher and bigger, but still a comfortable, smooth ride with lots of combination benefits.
Spicing up the outback was an easy task as the basic recipe was already a winner. Who doesn't like a chunky hatchback? Subaru just took what was good in the outback and added more of it. More cladding, more ride height and more functions especially for outdoor activities. External changes may not be obvious to non-Subie fans, but current Outback owners will notice how the Wilderness tucks the corners of the front fairing for better cliff clearance and elongates the plastic fairing over the nose and over the wheel arches to reduce the likelihood Shrub scraper. All the chrome in the standard outback is satin black in the Wilderness, and key action points like tow hook anchors and roof rail bindings are made of brightly anodized copper, giving the Wilderness a cheeky gold tooth grin. "Avast, mates, I've come to haul your canoe." With a towing effort of 3,500 pounds, the Wilderness could actually pull a good size boat, and the redesigned roof rack can pull up to 220 pounds in motion and support 700 pounds when stationary. Conveniently, this means that it can not only carry bicycles or kayaks, but can also accommodate a roof tent - just not an occupied roof tent.
Image credit: Subaru
We didn't get a chance to sleep in the wild, but we got it dirty. It can't roll over obstacles like a Jeep Wrangler, but it climbed some steep, sloping hills with all-wheel drive confidence. 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 wheelspin so the car doesn't Keeps hanging. The X-Mode also detects a departure and automatically regulates the vehicle speed based on the brake input up to around 8 km / h on loose surfaces. In addition to sending us up and down sandy hills, Subaru sent us a pile of intimidating boulders that we climbed over to demonstrate the goat-like agility of the wilderness and the improved angles of approach, turnaround, and take-off. Where the regular outback stuffed its nose or pulled its belly, the wilderness was cleared. To make up for the bottom space, Subaru raised the ground clearance to 9.5 inches, 0.8 inches more than the standard Outback. Higher springs also allow for more compression travel, and the redesigned front and rear bumpers make a forgiving mountaineer. The end result is a 20.0 degree approach angle, a 21.2 degree breakout, and 23.6 degrees before you scrape off the rear bumper. It won't take home a King of the Hammers trophy, but you will never come across a speed bump that requires you to brake for. If you're not inclined to measure the 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 armor to minimize the effects of miscalculations.
Image credit: Subaru
Under the hood, the Wilderness comes standard with the 2.4-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. It's backed by a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that does its best to masquerade as eight-speed but can't always keep the illusion going. On steep hills or when leaving a traffic light, it looks more like a kicked chewing gum - streeeeeatch, and off we go, we're moving now. The CVT just doesn't enjoy doing its job. Steering is similarly boring, and the tall sidewalls on the 225 / 65R-17 Yokohama Geolander A / T tires mean ride on the sidewalk is muddy. This last observation is not a complaint. Not everything has to be top-class thoroughbred, and what you give up on high-speed turns, you can enjoy in cushioned ride comfort. By the way, if you place one of these geolanders on the trail or the highway, there is a full-size spare part on a matching alloy wheel with tire pressure monitoring under the rear cargo area.
Image credit: Subaru
The interior of the wild is reasonably attractive. The layout is ergonomic and the 11.6-inch touchscreen is mounted vertically so that the driver has everything within easy reach. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as is Subaru's complete suite of driver aids. There are a few options, including a sunroof and automatic reverse braking, but the Wilderness is quite laden even in its non-optional form. The seats are upholstered in non-leathery, water-repellent 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's designers kept the headliner dark to hide scratches, and the cargo space and washable backrest are also waterproof. There is a lot of space in the back seat and behind it. The rear seats are comfy, with a folding rear armrest, USB ports, and optional heated seats, perfect for getting cozy after someone comes up with the great idea of ​​camping in the freezing desert over New Year's Eve. I don't speak from experience or anything.
While the Subaru Outback Wilderness can't stop you from making bad decisions about when and where to head out, it can get you there and back in comfort. With a starting price of $ 38,120, it's one of the more expensive Outback models, but there's also a subtle flex for off-roading in a unibody car instead of the more traditional 4x4. Over the years, the Subaru Outback has certainly surprised many gnarled SUV drivers when it showed up on a path way beyond the nearest paved road, and the 2022 Outback Wilderness makes it a lot easier to get around the sidewalk.
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