2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness is a greater Outback within the metropolis and the wild

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Off-road editions of vehicles can be hit or miss. Some offer a lot more show than go, while others can unintentionally endanger the vehicle (which usually makes it significantly worse on the sidewalk). The good news for the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness is that its rugged design rules the show, and its off-road upgrades improve driving in any situation – both on-road and off-road. All of this with a price tag that won’t break the bank, and the wilderness represents the best that the outback can offer in a number of ways.

The distinctive copper accents of the Wilderness set it apart from the other outbacks, inside and out. On the outside, they point to various usable locations such as roof rack mounts or tow hook positions, while on the inside they serve to break up a drab, monochromatic interior on other cladding. It also features black 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Yokohama Geolandar all-terrain tires with white lettering if the copper isn’t enough for you.

Backing up these visual enhancements is an extra 0.8 inches of ground clearance that increases to 9.5 inches. This increases the approach, break and take-off angles of the wilderness to 20, 21.2 and 23.6 degrees, respectively. The front and rear bumpers have been shaved at the corners to avoid obstacles even in the field.

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

There are also mechanical changes that support these dimensional shifts. The suspension has been softened to accommodate the extra height, while the transmission has a modified 4.44: 1 final drive ratio (versus 4.11: 1 on the other Outbacks with this engine) and a new pressure sensor. According to Subaru, the modified final drive ratio is supposed to provide better torque on the wheels for steep inclines, and a new pressure sensor on the transmission ensures higher gas accuracy at low speeds.

The engine is shared with the other Outback XT models, a 260-horsepower 2.4-liter turbocharged 4 that produces 277 pound-feet of torque. A continuously variable automatic transmission and four-wheel drive with limited slip differential are also standard.

Although the equipment is known, the transmission updates change the nature of the powertrain noticeably. The Wilderness has greater throttle dexterity and responsiveness. It climbed effortlessly and with constant performance in the lower area to a steep incline of 30 degrees. But I enjoyed these changes on the road even more. Gone are the slow hesitation of the throttle on the other Outback models, the Wilderness feels much livelier. The softer suspension has also improved ride quality, gliding over bumps in the sidewalk as if they didn’t exist, and turning the Wilderness into a sneaky, fine freeway cruiser.

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

There are some drawbacks. Switching to an off-road tire increases the tire noise. Combine that with the softened suspension and the wilderness loses some cornering ability. Our itinerary included a trip on canyon roads where you notice a tendency to understeer and a lot of tire squeal. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the wilderness feels “relaxed” on the road, just a touch more unstable on sharper turns.

This more aggressive accelerator pedal also has some disadvantages in terms of fuel economy. Subaru said this is the main reason this change won’t apply to other Outback models. The Wilderness has an EPA-estimated rating of 22 mpg city, 26 highway, 24 combined mpg, which follows the 23/30/26 mpg ratings of other models with this powertrain.

Once the road ends, there is no such hesitation. The additional ground clearance, better throttle response and solid all-wheel drive make the Wilderness easy to drive off-road. It chews up dirt and gravel with confidence, just points at it, accelerates, and you land on top of the hill you are aiming at. The suspension keeps the cab isolated as it rumbles through dirt roads, and the system is now smart enough to put you back in Wilderness off-road driving mode if you are going above 40 km / h (previously it was just shut off completely ).

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

The wilderness has one weakness, if you can call it that: it still can’t crawl rocks. Subaru was pleased to note that the Wilderness’ ground clearance puts them in close proximity to other all-terrain vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler Sport (9.7 “) and the Toyota 4Runner (9.6”). But these vehicles have much greater angles of attack than the wilderness. The Wrangler Sport has an approach angle of 41.4 degrees – more than double that of the wild, and the 4Runner is not a hideout even with an approach angle of 30 degrees. While the Wilderness can go further than other outbacks, knowing you are on trails that have larger obstacles to overcome lacks the angles of approach or suspension dexterity that these framed vehicles offer.

That caveat aside, the 2022 Outback Wilderness is one of the most overland drivable vehicles we’ve tested. The roof rack’s 700 pound capacity screams, “Put me a tent,” it has the right tires and drives so well on the sidewalk you won’t want to turn around before you get there. The price is right too: The Wilderness starts at $ 38,120, making it cheaper than the Limited XT and Premium XT. I would also prefer it to these two vehicles because of the performance gains, the copper-colored flair (which I really like) and the extremely comfortable front seats with waterproof pimples that I fell in love with immediately. It’s a complete package that updates the outback in all conditions.

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