There is a lot to like about the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness. It has a potent 260-hp Boxer engine connected to a CVT, a tall ride height, and enough technology to get you out of any ditch you get stuck in. In essence, the Outback Wilderness is a purpose-built off-road wagon that’s plush enough for the everyday drive.
That sounds like a dream, right? To any avid outdoorsman, sure. But to the majority of buyers that just want the rugged panache that the “Wilderness” badge brings, it may not be the right trim. Here are four reasons why.
1. The 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness Edition’s tall ride height is unnecessary for most drivers
Take one look at the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness and the first thing you’ll notice is its heightened stance. According to Subaru, the Outback Wilderness has 9.5 inches of ground clearance, which is great for those that like to venture off the beaten path. In fact, I even took it around some snowy areas in Colorado and it didn’t even skip a beat, or get stuck, once. However, I quickly realized that if you’re not trudging through the tough stuff, the raised ride height and superior capability might not be worth the extra coin.
2. The Outback Wilderness’ all-terrain tires are great off road, but a bit much for the street
Pick any other Subaru Outback trim level and it will come with either 17 or 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in all-season rubber. They’re good enough for regular driving and capable enough for the snow, even in Denver, Colo. The Outback Wilderness trim, on the other hand, comes with a set of 17-inch matte black wheels that are wrapped in Yokohama Geolander tires that are suitable for tougher trails and deeper snow.
Don’t get me wrong, they’re fantastic and surprisingly comfortable and quiet at highway speeds. However, for most buyers that aren’t adventure seekers, they’re pointless to have. Especially for those that live in California and “only go to the mountains once or twice a year.”
3. There’s a turbocharged 2.4-liter engine that makes more power than most buyers need
Under the hood of the Subaru Outback Wilderness is a turbocharged 2.4-liter Boxer engine that makes 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a CVT. I will say that it’s magnificent and the power comes on smoothly and is enough to push you back in the seat. It’s also enough to get you out of almost any rut that you happen to be stuck in.
Nonetheless, most buyers won’t need this type of power for their daily drives to the grocery store and picking up the kids. In that case, the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter engine found in the other trim levels should do just fine. It even gets better fuel economy than the turbo engine.
4. The Wilderness Edition is priced very high
Lastly, the Outback Wilderness could be considered a waste of money for most buyers due to its high price tag. The Wilderness trim is priced at $36,995, which is pretty high for a wagon to begin. However, my test car included the optional 11.6-inch multimedia navigation system that added another $1,845 to the bottom line. In total, the car’s price came out to a whopping $39,965 (including the $1,125 destination fee).
The Outback Wilderness is fantastic, but it may be too much for some buyers
Don’t get me wrong, the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness is worth every penny if you can put its off-road goodies to use. It’s quick, capable, and comfortable enough for the daily drive and long road trips. But for the majority of buyers that may never make use of all of that capability, the other trim levels will most likely suit them better.