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Do you dream of taking the road less traveled? Off-roading isn’t for everyone. Some drivers feel that the pastime is too risky. Other drivers may think it’s far too expensive of a hobby because of the potential damage a vehicle could experience. Off-roading is arguably more popular than ever before. Here’s why Subaru’s latest SUV, the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness, is the best entry-level off-roader.

The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness is a surprisingly affordable entry-level off-roader

A blue 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness, an entry-level off-roader, is parked outdoors.
The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness | Subaru

Off-roading vehicles aren’t always the most affordable, but one entry-level off-roader is changing the game. Many models can get pricey because of their unique capability to tackle any terrain. Fortunately for consumers, Japanese automaker Subaru produces several affordable SUVs designed for tackling trails.

Subaru produces several Wilderness configuration models with more off-road features than other models from the brand. The Crosstrek Wilderness is the latest Wilderness configuration from Subaru. It starts at just $31,995, making it one of the most affordable new off-road SUVs. It’s a niche SUV with stunning features and capabilities that most drivers can afford, which is part of its overall appeal.

So, the Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness is affordable. The question is, does the subcompact SUV have real off-roading chops, or is it all hype?

The affordable Crosstrek Wilderness has actual off-roading capability

The Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness has an incredible 9.3 inches of ground clearance. It comes with standard all-wheel drive. The Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness’ all-wheel drive and impressive ground clearance allow it to clear many mild obstacles often found on trails. It comes with all-terrain Yokohama GEOLANDAR tires designed for performance on harsh terrain.

The Crosstrek Wilderness has the makings of a great off-road SUV. It has the suspension and tire upgrades necessary to overcome many of the challenges drivers will encounter off-road. The subcompact SUV comes standard with the Crosstrek’s most powerful engine option. It uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine to make 182 horsepower.

The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness comes with dual-function X-Mode, which allows the SUV to adapt to different terrain types for maximum traction. It features a front skid plate to protect its undercarriage during off-roading adventures.

Subaru’s subcompact SUV is reliable

The back of a 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness.
The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness | Subaru

The Subaru Crosstrek can easily last for over 150,000 miles or over 10 years of ownership. Thus far, the nameplate isn’t known for giving owners any major mechanical issues to tarnish its reputation. The Crosstrek Wilderness is a great entry-level off-roader because it can easily double as a long-lasting daily driver. While it’s clearly designed for an adventurous lifestyle, the Crosstrek is still a practical sedan alternative.

Off-roading can be a tough hobby to get into. It isn’t for the faint of heart, and trying to take on major obstacles is ill-advised. Nonetheless, an SUV like the Crosstrek Wilderness makes mild trails accessible to average drivers that want to experience living life on the wild side (safely, of course). Is the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness the best entry-level off-road SUV, or do models like the Jeep Wrangler and Ford Bronco Sport have it beat?