The 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness Edition is almost here to kick off what should be a line of more rugged lifestyle-oriented crossovers from the Japanese brand. Subaru tells us the Outback Wilderness will be revealed on March 30, and it’s likely the beginning of a line of Wilderness-badged models including a Forester Wilderness and Crosstrek Wilderness, although the latter is rumored solely for Canada.
What can we expect? The teaser image shows black alloy wheels wrapped in meaty Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015s. These are somewhat chunky all-terrain tires that straddle the line between daily-driver comfort and moderate dry off-road capability—better than a typical stock crossover tire, sure, but no BFGoodrich KO2s. The tires seemingly set the tone for what to expect from the Outback Wilderness overall. In other words, this Outback model ought to prove perfect for someone with outdoor recreation in mind as opposed to hardcore trail work.
This seems about right for a Subaru (it’s also a lot like how we’ve treated our long-term Outback Oynx). It also squares with the ever-popular trend of fitting out modern Subarus with moderate lift kits and knobbier tires. Instead of leaving it to the aftermarket to give Subaru buyers a sense of adventure, the Wilderness models will take care of that from the factory, much in the same way that Toyota sells the Adventure and TRD Off-Road trims of its popular RAV4 compact SUV. Neither are truly off-road machines, but both add modest capability and an extra dose of style.
We expect the 2022 Outback Wilderness to sport much more than some badging. A modest suspension lift, additional underbody protection courtesy of skid plates, a set of handsome black wheels, and blocky body cladding are sure to set it apart from lesser Outback models. We presume the front and rear fascias may get minor revisions to further help sell the new sub-brand. Inside, we expect some outdoorsy upholstery that will stand up to wet and mud.
Accessories? You can bet your bottom dollar that with the launch of a lifestyle-oriented sub-brand there will be more accessories and options than you could fit in a fleet of Ascents. Think storage systems, both inside and on top of the roof, and perhaps even premium outdoor add-ons such as a roof-top tent or awning.
We’ll know more in a few short days.
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