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It’s all too common for automakers to mislead consumers. One example is hinting that an SUV can go off-road when it actually struggles to handle dirt lanes. The new 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness definitely doesn’t fit in that category.

It manages to do all that Subaru promised and more. Even better, the Wilderness Edition may be making its way to other beloved Subaru models. Just how much off-road can this new Outback handle, though?

Welcome to the wilderness

It’s a rough road for automakers to follow when trying to design an SUV that can perform as well off-road as it does on the paved highway. Jeep has struggled with this for years with the Wrangler, but the coolness factor makes many consumers forgive the rugged SUV for a less than pleasing city experience. Other automakers can’t get away with that.

Subaru seems to have found the sweet spot with the all-new Outback Wilderness. MotorTrend doesn’t think the Outback Wilderness can keep up with the Jeep Wrangler, however. It’s more along the lines of the Toyota RAV4 Adventure and the TRD Pro. 

This means that the Outback Wilderness may not be suitable for serious rock-climbing trails, but it’s fine for some rougher trails that a typical vehicle can’t handle. So how did Subaru manage this?

According to MotorTrend, “Perhaps the most important addition to the Outback Wilderness is a 0.8-inch suspension lift, which raises the SUV/wagon’s ground clearance to 9.5 inches.”

The review site went on to explain, “The suspension lift allows the rugged Outback to go places where its siblings can’t. The approach angle has increased from 18.6 to 20.0 degrees, breakover angle (what kind of hump the two axles can straddle) rises from 19.4 to 21.2 degrees, and departure angle increments from 21.7 to 23.6 degrees. Subaru engineers also widened the front and rear tracks by 0.2 inches, helping both the Outback’s handling and its stance.”

The Outback has never looked so tough

Raising the height was not the only new feature added to the Outback. It already has some macho looks for a station wagon, but Subaru is taking it to the next level. 

The grille, front and rear bumpers, and the LED fog lamps are all new. The inside is better than ever, with waterproof leatherette that means you don’t have to panic if water gets inside. It’s also great for bringing your dog along. 

To top it off, the Wilderness Edition gets the special treatment with its own badge. It’s simple enough, with a gray background, and a road leading into the mountains. It’s proudly displayed on the exterior, and on several places inside.

MotorTrend hinted that there will be plenty of accessories offered with the Outback Wilderness, but didn’t state what. It will probably include tents that can fit on top of the roof rack, as well as some other gadgets that will make car camping go just a little more smoothly.

Which other models will get the Subaru Wilderness treatment?

RELATED: Is the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness Better Than the Subaru Crosstrek?

It’s too soon to tell if the Wilderness edition will be a hit or a miss, but given the reviews from MotorTrend, it’s probably going to knock one out of the park. With that in mind, Subaru will most likely spread the Wilderness to other models.

MotorTrend thinks that the Subaru Crosstrek and Forester will be the next SUVs to join the Wilderness edition. It’s important to note that no official word has come from Subaru yet, but it seems likely. Especially if Subaru fans take well to the Wilderness Edition. One of the major complaints Subaru owners have had is that the brand doesn’t handle off-road as well as they’d like, and now that is being fixed.


The 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness Costs More Than a 2021 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands