Crossover & Midsize

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness Doesn’t Get Great Fuel Economy

The new 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness edition is ready for all the off-road fun you can throw at it, but it might need gas along the way. The new Outback Wilderness edition has many cool features to entice buyers, so is the fuel economy that big of a deal? That’s up to you to decide.

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness features

The 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness off-roading in dirt
2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness | Subaru

According to Car and Driver, Subaru decided to up the suspension by 0.8 inches to make a total of 9.5 inches of ground clearance. The 2.4L flat-four still gets 260 hp with 277 lb ft of torque and a CVT automatic transmission.

Subaru calls the Outback Wilderness the “most rugged and capable Outback in the auto manufacturer’s history” in a press release. And to be fair, it does seem that way.

The front approach angle is 20.0 degrees, while the ramp break-over angle is set to 21.2 degrees. The departure angle moved to 23.6 degrees. This basically means it is easier for the Outback to climb stuff. It also has better all-terrain tires.

The new Outback is just the first in the rumored Wilderness series. When we asked Subaru, the company was “unable to comment on future product.” Perhaps we will see a Crosstrek Wilderness edition soon enough.

Subaru Outback Wilderness fuel economy

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

MotorTrend tested the new Outback Wilderness edition and didn’t find great results. In the press release above, Subaru didn’t go over fuel economy statistics. The Outback Wilderness got 22 miles per gallon in the city. This is one mile per gallon less than the Outback Turbo.

The Wilderness edition got 26 miles per gallon on the highway, compared to 30 miles per gallon for the regular Outback. For combined mileage, the Wilderness came in at 24 miles per gallon. The Outback turbo gets 26.

It is worth noting that the 2022 Subaru Outback without a turbo gets 26 miles per gallon in the city, 33 on the highway, and 29 combined.

MotorTrend notes that part of the disparity in fuel economy could be from the shorter drive ratio.

“In addition to all-terrain tires, the Wilderness Edition sports a numerically higher (so, shorter) final drive ratio (4.44:1 vs. 4.11:1), which increases wheel torque and acceleration at the expense of fuel economy at higher speeds.” 

Alex Kierstein | MotorTrend

It makes sense there would be a slight loss of mileage due to the increase of performance elsewhere.

Is that enough to drive buyers away?

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It depends on what you are using your Subaru Outback Wilderness for. If you have a long commute and plan on driving your Wilderness a lot, this might impact your decision. If you are just a regular driver and occasional off-roader, it will probably be just fine.

With a strong lineup for 2022, Subaru has various cars, SUVs, and crossovers to choose from. When you compare the Outback Wilderness edition to the regular Outback, you will notice a difference.

But if you are looking for a fun vehicle with OK gas mileage, the Outback Wilderness is still a good choice.