The car that cares

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness first drive | Car Reviews

Kingston, ON – In a several yrs, when the pandemic is at the rear of us, we’ll be capable to gauge just how much this world wide crisis has altered our day-to-day lives. A single of them is surely a renewal of the need for experience and enjoying everyday living to the fullest, primarily in Canada in which travel exterior the country was almost out of the problem for numerous months. Canadians turned to other projects: some finally renovated their houses, others purchased the athletics motor vehicle of their dreams, and son. Some outside lovers took to the road again, and pointed their car or truck towards the most distant areas they could get to.

That previous group is far more or fewer the focus on viewers of the new 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness that I experienced occasion to examination travel for a day a short while ago in and around lovely Kingston, Ontario.

Let us get one particular point straight right off the bat: the Subaru Outback is currently an great alternative for exploring our huge country, just like a selection of other utility and family cars are.  I say this mainly because, for people who will not like to overtly advertise them selves as outside lovers, like this Outback Wilderness does, any of the 6 other versions of the model can very easily play the very same job as this new, far more-focused edition.

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2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness, on the trail

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness, on the path

Wilderness. Recall the identify
All through the virtual presentation of the new variant, the people at Subaru Canada remained evasive about the long term of this new badging affixed for the to start with time to a Subaru merchandise. But it can be crystal clear that the automaker has ideas for the Wilderness trim level. It could very well even turn out to be a sub-model oriented towards off-roading, created to attraction to people not apt to go for other-level-rugged 4x4s.

The significant point to remember is that if this new trim is effective, Subaru won’t wait to extend its advertising system to other products. Assume of the Crosstrek and the Forester, for illustration. Soon after all, if the Subaru Outback’s Outside XT trim is supplying way to the Wilderness edition for 2022, why not the very same system for the Crosstrek Outside? We’ll know far more about that in a several months.

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness, badging

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness, badging

So what is the Wilderness?
Before I give you my driving impressions, it is really worth heading into the particularities of this Outback variant with its far more aggressive search. Worth mentioning are the black plastic-wealthy silhouette greatly handled with black plastic aspects, fender flares and bumpers that are far more rugged in look – some colleagues have even compared the two finishes of the crossover to the now-defunct Pontiac Aztek – and people creases in the corners of the bumper.

The LED fog lights, distinctive grill and matte black decal (to lower glare, we’re advised) are also noteworthy, as are the distinctive wheels from Enkei, wrapped in Yokohama Geolander G015 A/T off-road tires. Note also the presence of a fifth rim similar to people bolted to the car or truck and a tire from the very same series. In other words and phrases, if a flat tire occurs in the woods, the experience can proceed and you will by no means experience the variation.

The model also gets exclusively-created roof rails that can guidance far more than people of the other Outbacks. Fantastic for supporting a retractable tent, for illustration! As for all people anodized copper-coloured accents, they harbour new destinations for the tow hooks in the bumpers, between other aspects.

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness, profile

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness, profile

Underneath the car or truck, the Outback Wilderness has four skid plates (to secure car or truck entrance, engine, transmission and differential), and these can be everyday living-savers when earning sure manoeuvres. Floor clearance is also higher at 9 inches as an alternative of the frequent eight.7 inches, even though the calibration of the springs, shocks and even the steering is modified to strengthen security or to match the new suspension settings.

The X-Method mode has also been reworked for the occasion, with a “Deep Snow/Mud” mode that can function at any velocity, even though the angle of attack can be viewed on the central touchscreen on the dashboard.

Finally, the interior reveals a several new options these as rubber ground mats and headrests with the Wilderness emblem, as very well as simple-to-wash cloth on the seats – a “must” for a car or truck destined to go in which it is dirty. There’s also yellow stitching and “anodized copper” accents on the steering wheel and the gearshift lever.

The 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness is outfitted to undertaking out, even if it will not have the very same arsenal as the definitely tough men.

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness, in the woods

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness, in the woods

On the road
Our examination travel in Ontario permitted us to find out an Outback that is as agile as its far more-sober brethren in the model lineup. Winding streets by no means rattled the family car or truck and the far more aggressive tires failed to make it louder, which is excellent information for people who like the search of the car or truck and will not automatically will need an off-road car or truck every day. More on this in a little bit.

Irrespective of a slightly spongy experience, the steering is responsive and the steering wheel feels excellent in your hands with its significantly thick wheel rim. Even while the crossover is exclusively outfitted with a CVT, you can improve gears your self when you experience like taking part in “driver” in limited corners. Or else, the automated unit does pretty very well, while it is not advisable to thrust too really hard. Grating spikes in decibel levels are still component of the CVT actuality.

On that note, the two.4L turbocharged flat-four engine (260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque) is pretty very well suited to the SUV’s chassis, and passing manoeuvres are pain-free and far more or fewer easy. It is a shame that this model will not appear with a “Sport” function, if only to produce far more rumbling from the engine bloc, but then the Outback’s mandate is not to make like the WRX.

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness, three-quarters rear

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness, 3-quarters rear

Away from the road
The people at VDG (Vehicle Dynamics Group), the company mandated by Subaru Canada to organize the driving function, experienced geared up for us a awesome off-road course that was clarely employed by other off-road clubs in the place. And it was listed here that we were validate for ourselves that you will not have to travel a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon to crystal clear off-road hurdles, at least delicate-to-reasonable kinds.

The itinerary included a rocky portion at pretty reduced velocity and a crossing of a gap of spectacular depth that appeared like it would pose a genuine challenge to a car or truck like the Subaru Outback. Then came sections practiced at higher speeds and even a pretty steep climb. I will be straightforward, it wasn’t the roughest journey I’ve viewed in my fifteen yrs in the business enterprise, but for an elevated station-wagon like the Subaru Outback, the challenge was genuine.

The two travel modes available by the X-Method function work pretty very well in rougher predicaments, as does the all-wheel travel. Exactly where the car or truck loses a several factors is in phrases of traction. The all-terrain tires carried out pretty very well on pavement, but in a several locations, they did deficiency bite.

Mind you, this is not automatically a terrible point, as the crossover will be employed largely on asphalt streets. But for people who are employed to all-terrain driving, let us just say that there are far more specialised tires for this form of work out. Subaru’s alternative is a clever compromise involving on- and off-road desires.

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness, front

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness, entrance

The previous phrase
This new Outback trim essentially permitted me to reacquaint myself with my really like for Subaru’s elevated wagon – while Subaru doesn’t call it that of course due to the fact wagon a taboo phrase inside of the model evidently.

Irrespective of whether you choose for the Wilderness choice or any other trim level, the Subaru Outback is the ideal definition of what an automotive Swiss Military knife need to be. Super realistic with its significant trunk and roof rails to accommodate a cargo box, at ease on or off the road, capable of crossing shallow rivers or more durable hurdles nonetheless at ease on the asphalt, Subaru’s crossover can put on numerous hats!

We like

The outdoorsy search
Spectacular off-road abilities
Overall handling on the road

We like fewer

Off-road tire traction (on occasion)
The decibel level will increase
Some capabilities on the touchscreen are hard to obtain

The opposition

Ford Bronco Sport Badlands
Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
Toyota RAV4 Trail (TRD Off-Highway Package deal)

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness, interior

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness, interior

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness, bathing

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness, bathing

Industry experts


2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness images