The regular Subaru Outback is already pretty tough. The lifted wagon has solid ground clearance, an optional turbocharged engine, and a smart off-road feature called X-Mode that allows it to easily tackle rough terrain. But as with anything, there's always room for improvement – that's where the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness Edition comes in.
Designed to be the "most capable Outback ever," the Wilderness Edition comes with a number of exclusive off-road features that you won't find elsewhere in the range. Subaru says that the suspension is even tougher than before, although the company didn’t specify how, and the same dual-function X-Mode from the Onyx XT model – which offers Snow/Dirt and Deep Snow/Mud modes – carries over.
The Wilderness Edition also sits higher off the ground than the normal Outback, complete with 9.4 inches of ground clearance versus the base model's 8.7 inches. That new height improves the Outback's approach angle, naturally, to 20.0 degrees, breakover angle to 21.2 degrees, and departure angle to 23.6 degrees.
As you might have already noticed, this version of the Outback also gets a redesigned exterior complete with new front and rear bumpers that improve clearance further, a standard front skid plate, Yokohama Geolandar all-terrain tires wrapped around exclusive 17-inch wheels, and appropriate Wilderness badging inside and out. Plus the Outback Wilderness Edition gets a trim-exclusive Geyser Blue, inspired by the brand's rally heritage.
The interior of the Wilderness Edition is subtly different, offering black StarTex faux leather on the seats and a unique copper-colored contrast stitching throughout. The steering wheel, gear shifter, and door panels, meanwhile, wear unique Anodized Copper accents. Meanwhile, the same 11.6-inch vertical touchscreen and Subaru EyeSight active safety technology both carry over from the base version.
For those hoping for a punchier powertrain, sorry – the turbocharged 2.4-liter engine (also found in the Onyx Edition XT and Limited XT trim levels) carries over unchanged. This unit still produces 260 horsepower (194 kilowatts) and 277 pound-feet (376 Newton-meters), managed by a continuously variable transmission. But Subaru says it has revised the final drive ratio of the CVT, increasing it from 4.11:1 to 4.44:1, giving the Wilderness Edition more low-end torque at the wheels than the traditional Outback: enough oomph to climb a 40 percent grade on a gravel surface.
So what will all these upgrades cost? Good question. Subaru hasn't listed a price for the Outback Wilderness Edition yet, but says that it will officially announce pricing later in the year. If the $35,145 Outback Onyx Edition XT is any indication, the Wilderness Edition should cost somewhere near $40,000.