2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness – Upfit Outfitted Re-Driven Review

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness: all-wheel drive touring wagon upfitted to travel more terrains. Priced just under $40k in heritage Geyser Blue

BACK TO WILD OUTDOORS: or Out to Wild Backyard is where the already active lifestyle focused Subaru automotive brand is branching. This year’s new Subie Wilderness trim available across model line touting extra roughing it robustness, joining a cornucopia of crossover competitors. In this current Re-Drive Review Roadblazing.com editors scrutinize what makes the newest 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness different from the last sampled Outback Touring XT.

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness Driving Hits: (differences from Subaru Outback Touring XT in parentheses)

  • 2.4 intercooled turbocharged DOHC gas H-4 = 260 horsepower, 280 pound-feet torque @ 1500 rpm; Start/ Stop idle
2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness: robust 260 hp turbocharged flat four is powerful, and all-wheel drive is full time, but CVT acts dim, returning 22 MPG
  • Continuously variable transaxle w/ 8-step manumatic shifting & steering wheel dorsal shift paddles
  • Shorter 4.44:1 final drive ratio for slower descent crawl
  • More than adequate highway chugging
  • Standard viscous center clutch full-time all-wheel drive, w/ brake torque vectoring
  • Drive modes x 3; ♦ Dual X-Mode: Snow & Dirt, Deep Snow & Mud [ASC disengaged] off road modes; ABS downhill assist cruise control
2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness: 2 x XModes vary all-wheel drive split for sloppier terrain
  • 22 combined miles per gallon, 481 miles highway range
  • Fully independent suspension, firmed up for the off-road lift but without much added harshness; More compliant ride than some competing off-road aimed crossovers
  • Firmed up, electric assist power steering, but with inert road feel; Numb but linear disc brake input reaction
  • WILDERNESS specific:
    • Stiffer bushing and damping rates
    • Front skid plate
2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness: front skid plate included
    • 9.5″ ground clearance (+0.8″ vs. Outback Touring XT)
    • 0.2″ inches wider wheel track
    • Yokohoma Geolandar G015 T-speed rated all-terrain tires on 17″ wheel diameter (-1.0″ vs. Outback Touring XT)
    • +1.4°/ +1.9°/ +1.8° approach/ departure/ breakover angles (vs. Outback Touring XT)
2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness: All terrain tires on independent suspension lifted for 9.2″ ground clearance.
    • Little wind highway wind buffeting, cabin immune to wind or road noise
    • 3500 pounds tow rated; 700 lb. roof rack rating
    • Rigid hot stamped high tensile steel body

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness Driving Misses:

  • Farm implement engine noise upon acceleration
  • CVT engine speed to acceleration disconnect
  • 15% poorer fuel economy vs. Outback XV 2.4T due to tire tread & aerodynamics
  • ADAS lane keep assist constantly de- and re- activates, emitting audible beep each time

What the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness Has Got:

  • Pricing: from $28,070 (incl. destination) for an CVT automatic 2022 Subaru Outback CVT all-wheel drive.
    • As tested top Geyser Blue 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness CVT all-wheel drive trim priced at $39,965
2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness: body cladding and bumper covers revised for more rugged look
  • America’s last surviving volume mid size family station wagon, as always, lifted and geared for the great outdoors
  • WILDERNESS trim specific: Darkened grille, unique bumper covers, larger wheel arch & body cladding and “WILDERNESS” badging
2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness: unique badging
  • 0.5″ inches taller, 1.2″ inches wider (vs. Outback Touring XT)
  • 5 generously sized adult, 2-Row seating
2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness: 60/40% split reclining + folding outboard heated 2nd Row full size adult seating
  • 42.0 to 75 cubic feet cargo capacity via 60/40% split reclining & folding 2nd Row seatbacks + dual cargo bay wall release handles
2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness: abundant wagon cargo bay expands to 75 cubic feet capacity with a full spare tire below
  • Contrast stitch padded upper and middle dash; Front passenger side dashboard shelf; Satin metallic mid dash, door panel & center console banding; Traditional dual analog dial gauges flanking 7.0″ color TFT multi-function display; Lower center stack wireless device storage cubby; Even & smooth finished switchgear
  • Comprehensive standard feature set
    • Remote keyless entry; 1-zone (optional 2-zone automatic) air-conditioned climate control
    • LED headlights & taillights; Rain sensing windshield wipers
    • Full express power windows x 4; Cup holders x4, Bottle holders x 4
    • Ballistic fabric 6-way driver & 4-way passenger manual adjust seats; Tilt & telescoping leatherette steering wheel
    • Center dash embedded, dual knob controlled, twin upper and lower 7.0″ landscape touch LCD audio & media display w/ wireless voice control; USB-C x 2; 12V x 2; Bluetooth phone connectivity and smart phone SMS
    • Standard 6-speaker, 240 W streaming audio with HD-radio
    • Android Auto, AppleCar Play phone projection; Sirius XM satellite radio (120 days trial);
  • Excellent safety features & ratings
      • +1 IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus; 10 airbags; Full size spare tire on alloy wheel
  • Driver assist tech (standard)
        • Rear camera + predictive grid; Front view parking monitor
        • EYESIGHT ADAS: Pedestrian & vehicle collision avoidance braking; Blind Spot View monitor; Rear cross traffic alert; Full adaptive cruise control; Lane departure warning, trace assist;  Post collision brake lock; Row 2 occupant reminder; Auto high beam LED headlamps
  • 3 years / 36,000 miles bumper to bumper warranty, 5 years / 60,000 miles powertrain warranty
    • -1 No included maintenance; Short 5 year, unlimited mileage rust perforation warranty

What the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness Has Not (or Not Preferred):

  • Lacks heated steering wheel
  • Need to open touch infotainment display to activate front seat heating, rather than dedicated physical switches
  • Center stack smart phone pocket too shallow
  • Cabin wall hard plastic graining = coarse

Standout Feature(s) on 2022 SUBARU OUTBACK WILDERNESS:

  • Power moonroof
  • Reverse automatic braking
  • 11.6″ Starlink portrait, dual-pane touch LCD infotainment display; HDD cloud GPS voice command, voice guidance navigation (3 yrs. OTA map updates)
2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness: traditional analog instrumentation meets oversized 11.6″ portrait touch LCD infotainment display
  • Auto dimming rear view mirror + Homelink remote door control; Comfort access; Push button ignition; Approach activated adjustable height power liftgate
  • Startex water repellent leatherette seats + red piping, “WILDERNESS” etched headrest heated front, 10-way power driver, 4-way manual passenger adjust; Rear climate vents & outboard heated seats
2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness: unique embossed front seat headrests
  • Copper colored steering wheel & dashboard accents; Copper colored “WILDERNESS” door panel tags & rocky illustrated all-weather floor & cargo bay mats
2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness: “WILD” front door panel tags
  • WILDERNESS” copper colored front door and liftgate badging, roof rack,
  • USB-A x 4; 12V x 2 (including cargo bay)
  • Sirius TravelLink (3 yrs. trial); 2 GB trial 4G LTE WiFi subscription by Verizon
  • Starlink Apps (complimentary): Chimani, Ebird, Eve Connect
  • Starlink Safety Plus & Remote Connect (3 yrs. trial)

Roadblazing.com Says: Ruggedized rendition of Alpine touring wagon upfitted to travel more terrains.

Contributing Editor: G. Straton


* * * * * * * * * * * *

WHAT: 2020 Subaru Outback Touring XT Touring mid size station wagon/ estate, built on the Subaru Global Platform BT, shared once again with the Legacy sedan.

Standard Power: 2.5L DOHC 16V DI gas flat-4 = 182 hp/ 176 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm + continuously variable transmission + asymmetrical all-wheel drive.

Optional Power (Std. XT): intercooled twin-scroll turbocharged 2.4L DOHC 16V DI gas flat-4 = 260 hp/ 280 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm with idle start/ stop + continuously variable transmission w/ shift paddles + assymetrical all-wheel drive.

WHAT (A) STYLING DIFFERENCE: The original BG Subaru Outback sport wagon was a lifted, ruggedized Subaru Legacy station wagon. This 6th generation hops onto the new Subaru Global Platform BT derived of the 7th generation Subaru Legacy. As with the BT Legacy sedan cosmetic differences from the Mk. 5 BS Outback series are subtle. More assertive accents are intended to better line up with the brand’s crossovers. But make no mistake about it. With the new Outback Subaru is still delivering a through and through station wagon to the families with an active lifestyle yearning.

New beveled edge clamshell hood. Lower beltline crease blends smoothly into flared thinner rear directional. More promiment roof spoiler debuts vs. the Mk. 6 BS. Standard LED headlamp housings grow inboard “Zs” while inward “C” red traced white rear directionals span from quarter-panel to liftgate beltline. Thinner is the hexagonal grille with black rungs save for a central chrome one.

Subaru Outback Touring XT: Out for cherry preserves in Door County, Wisconsin

Ruggedized Legacy Wagon: Four indent dark plastic lower body cladding is more flared and loops to integrate with more prominent lower door line bumper…. Wheel arches get the dark plastic stuff too; Matte metallic front, rear skid plates; Dark clad front mid chin and rear lower bumpers protrude at the corners with appearance diffusers; Wing mirrors now pose in brushed metallic finish; Roof rails also adopts the matte metallic finish in the spans.

Look for the “Outback” badging in relief on the rear door body cladding.

WHY: Up-powered update to the outdoor active lifestyle standard bearer ensures continued popularity of lifted wagon. 

Tomasz Paluch is the New Jersey based Technical Director for Roadblazing.com. An avid programmer and technical writer, he is currently enrolled in University. Electronics tinkering, chess, and European history are among Tomasz's passions. He is also a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and Phoenix Automotive Press Association. Tomasz' ride: an enthusiast's 6-speed manual Mazda3.

Leave a Reply