"Subaru's goal when creating the Wilderness was not to make a mud slinging, rock crawling, 4×4 machine that would see pavement as the enemy but to find that perfect balance and not compromise the comfort and on-road manners of the already excellent Outback.
Press the accelerator on the pavement and the 260 horsepower 2.4L Turbo-charged engine comes to life putting down the power through a continuously variable transmission and then to all four wheels with Subaru's full time symmetrical All wheel Drive system. If you haven't tried this CVT in the Outback, it's one of the best in the business and most will think its' a conventional automatic as it has sharp programmed shift points and is very responsive with little delay.
This transmission's ratio is 8 percent lower, allowing for better performance for climbing, but didn't seem to have any effect on the street. The chunky Yokohamas are surprisingly quiet on all street surfaces, and combined with the retuned suspension, the Wilderness provides an extremely plush and dampened ride.
So, how does the 2022 Outback Wilderness perform off-road?
We were able to put this Outback to the test on a 1.86 mile off-road trek a couple of hours out of Kingston, Ontario. The trail was full of large, exposed rocks and boulders that we drove right over. The Xmode in Snow/Dirt reacted very quickly to apply power and traction to where it was needed, and the suspension on the Wilderness provided 9.5 inches of ground clearance over the rough stuff, and if it wasn't quite enough, the 4 metal skid plates provided a little insurance (these are standard on Canadian models).
What's really surprising is how quiet the suspension and the interior is when off road, whether you're bouncing off rocks or flying down a washboard gravel road. The ride is just as plush off or on road."
-- Brian Chow, Traction Life