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Subaru Outback Wilderness: Australian release draws closer for off-roading wagon


Tougher, higher and more capable off-road, the Outback Wilderness is firmly on Subaru Australia’s radar now the turbocharged engine is in our market

The Subaru Outback Wilderness has a name so suited for Australia it’s criminal this North American model hasn’t yet hit our showrooms.

With specification and tough-guy looks readymade for our market’s wants, it appears a shoo-in success story if Subaru Australia could just get hold of them.

2022 Subaru Outback wilderness going down a trail
Subaru is looking to bring the Outback Wilderness to Australia

When asked if the Wilderness was on Subaru Austrralia’s radar, managing director Blair Read told Chasing Cars it “absolutely is,” and “it’s definitely something we’re pursuing.” 

The North American-market Outback Wilderness uses Subaru’s turbocharged 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. The same motor, albeit with slightly less power, has just made its Australian Outback debut in the brand’s boosted XT models, reviewed here.

With the engine now here, the time looks ripe to add a rugged Wilderness grade to Australia’s Outback portfolio.

“We’re hearing from our dealers and from our customers that there would be appetite for something along the lines of Wilderness,” said Mr Read. 

“We’ve got the (XT) turbo here, that’s a big tick, job done, so it (Outback Wilderness) is on the list.”

2022 Subaru Outback wilderness going through water
The Outback Wilderness sits almost 30mm higher than the normal Outback

Key specifications of the Outback Wilderness

The Outback Wilderness has been sold Stateside for almost two years, aimed at those demanding a more off-road ready SUV. 

Subaru North America labels the hardcore trim grade “adventure, elevated,” and “the ultimate expression of the legendary capability of the Outback line.”

Hyperbole aside, it has the chops to back up such claims. And, from a business perspective, if Subaru Australian can offer an Outback pre-accessorised for more hardcore work, owners wouldn’t need to go and spend their modifying dollars at an aftermarket supplier.

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness rear 3/4
The increased high pays off when its time to go off road

The Wilderness’s ground clearance is up from an Australian Outback’s 213mm to 241mm – besting the Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series’ 235mm clearance.

There’s specific suspension for improved stability on rough terrain, a front underbody bash plate, anodised tow hooks and anchor points.

There’s chunkier cladding around the wheel arches, while the squared-off front and rear bumpers are designed for improved approach and departure angles. Approach, break-over and departure angles are 20, 21.2 and 23.6 degrees respectively – 1.4 to 1.9 degrees over normal Outback figures.

The rear differential’s ratio’s been lowered to 4.44:1 to match the front’s, giving more even torque delivery, while the CVT’s also been custom tuned for the model. 

Subaru Outback Wilderness 2022-4
Even X-Mode is upgraded in the Wilderness models

The dual-function X-Mode has been upgraded and re-tuned with settings for deep snow, sand and mud. Subaru says the Wilderness can handle up to a 40 percent grade on gravel.

Buyers get 17-inch matte-black off-road wheels shod in all-terrain Yokohama Geolandar rubber, anodised copper-finish accents, reinforced roof rails (able to support a rooftop tent up to 320kg), and a matt black bonnet decal to reduce glare (and because it looks cool).

Inside there’s Subaru’s StarTex water-repellent upholstery – easy clean after all your adventuring – plus copper accent stitching throughout.

How much might the Outback Wilderness cost in Australia?

The North American Outback Wilderness retails for US$38,455 ($55,000), under-cutting the high-spec turbocharged Outback Touring XT in its line-up. 

While there are differences, the Australian Touring XT is $55,990 before on-roads, so feasibly an Aussie Willderness version would be around the $50,000 mark.

The Wilderness badge has the potential to be something of a sub-brand, much like Jeep has with its Trailhawk models.

2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness camping setup
Subaru also offers the Forester Wilderness

Forester Wilderness could also be under consideration

Subaru North America also sells a Forester Wilderness with similar toughened-up features. If and when the Outback Wilderness arrives down under, it would make sense for a Forester Wilderness version to also join the line-up.

From there, it would be natural for the Crosstrek (the new generation of XV) to get the Wilderness treatment. Next? How about a pure electric Solterra Wilderness? There’s potential aplenty here.