Earlier this year, we shared some spy photos of the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness Edition, a forthcoming Ford Bronco Sport and Ford Fusion Active rival in the mild/medium off-roading crossover segment that’s quickly becoming popular among consumers that like to hit light trails and go fishing, kayaking, or camping. Now, the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness Edition has been officially revealed, so we have all the details on what those Ford models are up against.
Subaru calls the Wilderness Edition “the most rugged and capable Outback in the auto manufacturer’s history,” thanks mostly to what’s going on underneath the crossover/wagon. There, it boasts a class-leading 9.5-inch ground clearance, which is almost one more inch than the standard Outback. That lift also improves the Outback’s approach angle from 18.6 degrees to 20.0, ramp breakover angle from 19.4 degrees to 21.2 degrees, and departure angle from 21.7 degrees to 23.6 degrees.
Other tweaks for the Wilderness Edition include a retuned suspension, longer front and rear shock absorbers and springs that improve both ground clearance and suspension travel, redesigned front and rear bumpers, a revised rear differential with a 4.44:1 final drive ratio, and a modified Lineartronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) which achieves an equivalent final drive ratio at the front wheels.
Subaru says that these changes improve the Wilderness Edition’s available low-end torque at the wheels, which allows it to climb up to 40 percent grades on a gravel surface. The addition of a pressure sensor improves control accuracy at low speeds, while standard dual-function X-MODE includes Snow/Dirt and Deep Snow/Mud modes. Exclusive to Outback Wilderness, a new advanced feature for X-MODE allows the vehicle to switch automatically from low-speed managed driving to speeds over 25 miles-per-hour without interruption of power or performance.
The Outback Wilderness comes equipped with Yokohama GEOLANDAR all-terrain tires with raised white letters (an homage to the original Outback), which are wrapped around Wilderness Edition-exclusive matte black 17-inch alloy wheels.
Power comes from Subaru’s 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer engine that’s rated to produce 260 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 277 pound-feet of torque at 2,000 rpm while returning an EPA rated 22 miles-per-gallon in the city and 26 on the highway with a 3,500-pound towing capacity.
On the outside, the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness Edition sets itself apart from the rest of the lineup thanks to new front and rear bumpers, a hexagonal front grille, larger wheel arch claddings, a front skid plate, unique hex-designed LED fog lights, an anti-glare matte black hood decal, black window trim and exterior badges, Subaru Wilderness badges, an anodized Copper-finish on the tow hook anchor points and roof rail tie-down points, and a fixed ladder-type roof rack system.
Inside the cabin, the Outback Wilderness features StarTex water-repellant material on the seats, copper-colored contrast stitch weaves, anodized Copper-finish accents on the steering wheel, shifter assembly, and meter rings, Gunmetal Grey ventilation grilles and cupholders, brushed aluminum pedals, standard all-weather floor mats, waterproof materials for the rear seatback and rear cargo tray, and of course, lots of Subaru Wilderness logos.
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Holy sh!t that’s ugly. And the CVT makes this a hard no-thank-you.
For me this would be a Great vehicle IF it were available with a strong manual transmission, night and day difference.
Let the buyer beware.
I owned Subaru’s since 1974 but do not have one now, the wife’s daily driver is now a Honda CRV.
Subaru’s engineering and quality went to hell in the late 1990’s with head gasket problems, oil consumption and wheel bearing issues.
In the later years they had a sealed CVT with all kinds of problems.
I would wait on this one until the quality questions are answered but if you get one pay for the extended warrantee as you may need it.
I agree that a manual would make it more interesting.
Nice ground clearance.
This is too funny…. FORD and others are desperately trying to build their versions of outdoor adventure vehicles while Subaru has been doing it forever. The FORD FUSION ACTIVE will probably be the closest thing FORD will ever have to the Subaru WILDERNESS OUTBACK. I can’t imagine it happening for FORD as the WILDERNESS is likely going to compete/beat the Bronco Sport. A dressed over Ford Fusion will be a major disappointment unless FORD gets it right out the box. The ‘movie in your head’ will likely never see you going to ‘ hit light trails and go fishing, kayaking, or camping.’ Just sayin…