Subaru will begin selling a new trim of the popular Outback crossover wagon this year aimed at shoring up the Japanese brand's off-road bona fides.
The 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness will feature about an inch of added ground clearance, a standard front skid plate, all-terrain tires and an upgraded suspension, the Japanese brand says. The Wilderness model was designed to improve approach, departure and break-over angles and features an electronically controlled crawl ratio of 4.44:1 for added traction.
Subaru says the Outback Wilderness will feature an advanced version of its X-Mode terrain switch that will allow the vehicle to "switch automatically from low-speed managed driving to speeds over 25 mph without interruption of power or performance."
Equipped standard with a turbocharged 2.4-liter engine and continuously variable transmission, the 2022 Outback Wilderness will ride on 17-inch wheels with Yokohama Geolandar tires. It will also come equipped with a full-size spare tire beneath its cargo area.
To differentiate itself from the base model, the Outback Wilderness will feature a different grille, larger wheel arch cladding, different front and rear bumpers, a matte-black hood decal and hex-designed LED fog lights. The vehicle also will receive specialized badging as well as a more robust roof rack system with a load limit of 700 pounds, enabling the safe use of a roof-top tent, Subaru says.
U.S. sales of the Subaru Outback fell 15 percent to 153,294 in 2020, falling back behind the smaller Forester at 176,996 to become the brand's second-biggest selling model. The Outback was Subaru's top-selling model in 2019, when it edged out the Forester by 999 vehicles at 181,178.
Pricing for the 2022 Outback Wilderness, which will be built in Indiana, was not announced. The vehicle is expected to begin arriving in U.S. dealerships in the second quarter.