The Subaru Outback Wilderness Is the Outback Version of the Outback

Photo credit: Subaru
Photo credit: Subaru

Subaru popularized the crossover-style wagon with the original Outback. Take a wagon, add some cladding, raise the suspension, and market it to outdoorsy types. It's a formula that's been copied by Volkswagen, Volvo, and Mercedes. To keep its Vermont street cred, Subaru had to one-up them all. So it's launching the Outback Wilderness, an even more lifted, even more heavily clad off-road version of the Outback.

That means taking the normal Outback—which no longer has a street-oriented wagon sibling—and lifting it another inch, raising ground clearance to a claimed best-in-class 9.5 inches. Of course, that depends how you define the class. If you're cross-shopping with a Toyota 4Runner, for instance, you'll find that SUV has 9.6 inches of clearance. Either way, the Subaru offers better approach, breakover, and departure angles of 20 degrees, 21.2 degrees, and 23.6 degrees, respectively.

The sole powertrain option is a 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-four linked to a continuously variable transmission. The CVT has a revised final drive ratio for better low-end torque delivery, but otherwise, the mechanical specs are unchanged. Power peaks at 260 hp while torque swells to 277 lb-ft at 2000 rpm. Towing is limited to 3500 lbs. All-wheel drive is, of course, standard.

The Wilderness model also gets unique wheels fitted with Yokohoma all-terrain tires. Cladding stretches onto both bumpers, with unique anodized copper accents. An exclusive matte black anti-glare hood graphic compliments the extended black-clad wheel arches, with unique hexagonal fog lights and a revised grille rounding out the look. A ladder-style roof rack is rated for 700 lbs for your camping needs, too. Pricing will be announced later this year.

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