As we start to emerge on the other side of this pandemic, it seems that Americans have adventure travel in their plans, as more and more manufacturers seem to be jacking upride heights and tacking on cladding with off-road excursions in mind. It only seems fitting Subaru would join this trend with the 2022 Outback Wilderness, the most rugged and capable Outback yet.

Subaru invited us up to Monticello, New York to test out this adventure-ready wagon for the first time.

It all starts with a suspension lift; new shocks and springs increase ground clearance from 8.7-inches to 9.5. Exclusive 17-inch alloy wheels with Yokohama all-terrain tires are added, as is a new rear differential with a 4.44:1 ratio; and an advanced version of X-Mode all-wheel-drive is standard.

All powered by the familiar 2.4-liter BOXER turbo-4 that outputs 260-horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. It is still paired with a CVT but Subaru has tweaked the gear ratios so you don’t feel that “lazy” sensation when you’re off the pavement.

"So the Wilderness trim doesn’t make the Outback a rugged rock-crawler but what is does is get you from point A to a point B that you probably wouldn’t be able to get to in a typical Outback and it does so with all of the Outback amenities that we love. And not only is it very capable off-road, but the on-road driving experience is very comfortable and quiet.”

Further functional add-ons come by way of new bumpers, a standard front skidplate, anti-glare matte black hood decal, wider fender flares for the outside, a matching full-size spare tire, and a beefier ladder-type roof rack that can hold 700 lbs. of friends in a rooftop tent.

Inside, is durable StarTex upholstery, more anodized copper accents, Subaru’s 11.6-inch Starlink tablet, and standard all-weather floor liners. Owner feedback has resulted in a handy LED cargo light and washable rear seatbacks for easy cleaning after messy adventures.

The 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness will start just over $38,000 after destination fees when it goes on sale this summer.

We’ll have more on the new Wilderness trim coming soon on MotorWeek.


  • Engine: 2.4L Turbo-4
  • Horsepower: 260
  • Torque: 277 lb-ft
  • Starting Price: $38,120