The Subaru Outback was already the go-to selection for individuals who want a car for happening adventures off the crushed path, however need one thing aside from an SUV. Or, maybe, those that truly see the sensible benefits of a wagon over a equally priced midsize SUV (decrease roof for mounting issues on racks, bigger again seat). That it has extra floor clearance than the standard SUV helps its case, too.
Ah, nevertheless it clearly wasn’t sufficient for some. The 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness debuts this yr as a solution for all these present house owners who’ve been lifting their Outbacks even larger, placing on rugged tires and lamenting the novel swing-in roof rails aren’t sturdy sufficient for all makes use of. The Wilderness does that from the manufacturing unit and appears additional cool as well. Must you reside in an space the place Outbacks are common, it will be like driving an AMG Mercedes … folks will discover and acknowledge you’ve gotten the cool one.
All of the others are nonetheless fairly nice, although, as each 2022 Outback continues to be an excellent household car selection no matter how far off the crushed path you are going to go. It is wildly spacious and flexibility, well-made and well-equipped, moderately environment friendly and competitively priced. Even when it is a wagon, we nonetheless positioned it amongst our record of finest SUVs of 2022. It is probably not one technically, nevertheless it does the identical job, if somewhat higher at instances.
What’s new for 2022?
The Outback Wilderness is a brand new addition to the Outback household for 2022 (there’s additionally a Forester Wilderness). It principally takes an Onyx XT trim and provides 0.8 inch of floor clearance, Yokohama Geolander all-terrain tires, particular black wheels, an identical full-size spare, ladder-type mounted roof rails, hexagonal LED foglights, totally different bumpers and fender flares, bronze coloration accents inside and outside, and particular X-Mode calibration. Elsewhere within the lineup, the bottom Outback beneficial properties commonplace fog lights and the Premium trim degree will get again seat air vents.
What are the Outback inside and in-car expertise like?
Almost each 2021 Outback comes with a vertically oriented 11.6-inch touchscreen (and even that lone exception comes with a pair of 7-inch items, pictured above proper). Its performance is not flawless, because the audio controls when utilizing Apple CarPlay are compromised, and the colourful graphics are a bit cartoonish and have an aftermarket look to them. Nonetheless, it is usually straightforward to make use of, learn and attain. Function content material is great as properly (see pricing and options part under). Sadly, typical for Subaru, stereo sound high quality is poor.
When it comes to design, we won’t say the inside is very enticing, however supplies high quality is stronger than it was prior to now. The buttons and switches have a high-quality really feel to them, whereas even the bottom trim will get simulated leather-based stitched collectively on the sprint, doorways and middle console. There’s additionally a welcome injection of coloration discovered within the Onyx Version (grey and black “StarTex” vinyl accented in electrical inexperienced), the brand new Wilderness (textured “StarTex” upholstery with bronze accents all through) and the range-topping Touring (tasteful brown leather-based). The Wilderness additionally will get particular all-weather flooring mats with emblems and mountains embossed on them.
How massive is the Outback?
Assume a wagon is smaller than an SUV? Assume once more. With its considerably longer wheelbase and general size, the Outback exceeds the house you may discover in compact crossovers just like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Subaru’s personal Forester. That is particularly noteworthy for fogeys with rear-facing little one seats (see our Outback automobile seat house take a look at right here).
Cargo quantity, in the meantime, is phenomenal. True, it’s a bit much less with the again seat raised (32.5 cubic toes) than some bigger compact crossovers (the CR-V, for example), however their numbers are a bit deceiving since a lot of an SUV’s house is up excessive within the greenhouse the place filling it might block rear visibility and pose a hazard attributable to gadgets flying ahead. The Outback’s house, against this, is extra reliant on its beneficiant width and depth. Its most cargo capability with the seats down additionally gives better size, countering the additional peak of SUV opponents. In our expertise, this makes the Outback extra helpful general.
Even higher, most variations of the Outback contains distinctive roof rails that swing inward to develop into their very own crossbars. There are additionally sturdy tie-down factors back and front, and because the Outback’s roof is decrease than an SUVs, it is simpler to load stuff up there. The draw back to those roof rails (under left) is that they’ve a decrease weight capability and restricted crossbar placement. As essentially the most hardcore Outback, the Wilderness due to this fact has stronger, mounted roof rails (under proper) to fulfill extra demanding wants.
What are the Outback gasoline economic system and efficiency specs?
The Outback comes commonplace with a 2.5-liter horizontally opposed “Boxer” four-cylinder that produces 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. This quantity is mid-pack when in comparison with most compact crossovers. Midsize crossovers just like the Honda Passport have much more commonplace energy, but additionally worsen gasoline economic system. The bottom Outback engine returns 26 mpg metropolis, 33 mpg freeway and 29 mpg mixed, which is great contemplating each Outback comes commonplace with all-wheel drive. A repeatedly variable transmission (CVT) can also be compulsory.
The improve engine is designated by the identify XT and is non-compulsory on the Restricted, Onyx Version and Touring trim ranges. It is commonplace on the Wilderness. This turbocharged 2.4-liter boxer-four produces 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque, which is a much more compelling output. It is positively a field to examine when you plan on placing all that house to good use and particularly if it will occur at altitude, the place naturally aspirated engines lose energy. Gasoline economic system can nonetheless be fairly good with estimates of 23 mpg metropolis, 30 mpg freeway and 26 mpg mixed or 22/26/24 for the Wilderness.
What is the Outback prefer to drive?
The Outback’s steering is sort of numb on middle, which does not promote a way of driver-machine management. It is simple to show at low speeds, and truly well-suited to unfastened off-road surfaces, however for these hoping a wagon shall be extra involving to drive than a small SUV, the steering is an actual letdown. And it truly will get worse. The Wilderness has Yokohama Geolander all-terrain tires, which look cool and are definitely useful off-road, however on highway, they create a squishy, delayed response off middle (as is typical for all-terrain tires) and considerably scale back grip on pavement. The quantity of slide we skilled in a humid hairpin flip was nearly comical. Curiously, we didn’t have expertise the identical response points within the Forester Wilderness, which has the identical tires, although a special suspension.
As for the Outback Wilderness suspension, the experience is a acceptably firmer than the notably mushy tuning you may discover in different Outbacks. We did not discover a degradation in dealing with as a result of carry, however that is as a result of the tires did not actually give us the chance to push the factor. No Outback is in the end a lot of a handler. On the identical time, although, you possibly can inform that it is decrease and wider than the small SUVs it is sure to be in contrast with. That is an excellent factor for these of us preferring the texture of driving a automobile and being a bit decrease to the bottom (even when the Outback has extra floor clearance than most SUVs at 8.7 commonplace or 9.5 for the Wilderness). Its longer wheelbase additionally helps present a smoother, extra composed experience.
The bottom engine gives ample energy, and the CVT helps preserve revs relaxingly low at dawdling, around-town speeds. Push it, nonetheless, and this engine shortly loses steam and wails because the CVT does its finest to maintain revs beneficially excessive. Although it makes an attempt to create a extra conventional driving really feel by simulating upshifts, it does so at uncommon instances that does not precisely mitigate the bizarre really feel and sound of a CVT. These attributes stay within the turbocharged XT, however are not less than mitigated by the extra highly effective engine that does not should work as onerous. That mentioned, the turbo engine can also be a bit old fashioned in its energy supply. It feels fairly pokey and sluggish till about 3,000 rpm, after which bam, the turbo kicks in. We’re guessing that is extra the results of selling good gasoline economic system by limiting enhance at low rpm reasonably than old school Nineteen Eighties turbo lag.
What different Subaru Outback critiques can I learn?
2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness First Drive
The total scoop on the Outback Wilderness with extra detailed details about its particular options and what it is prefer to drive.
Comparability Take a look at: 2020 Subaru Outback vs 2020 Subaru Forester
Subaru uniquely sells two equally sized crossovers: yet another wagon-like, the opposite extra SUV-like. We take a look at them side-by-side.
2020 Subaru Outback Roof Rack Driveway Take a look at
We take a look at the Outback’s distinctive roof rails that develop into they’re personal crossbars utilizing the brand new Yakima CBX Photo voltaic.
2020 Subaru Outback Baggage Take a look at | Rating one for wagons
We take a deep dive into the Outback’s cargo capability on this baggage take a look at, discovering out how a lot stuff matches within the cargo space.
2020 Subaru Outback Suspension Deep Dive
Our contributing engineer Dan Edmunds takes you beneath the brand new Outback to clarify why it is higher to drive than the earlier era and the way it differs from the Legacy.
2022 Subaru Outback Automotive Seat Area Take a look at
How a lot does the Outback again seat have for a large rear-facing automobile seat, and importantly, how a lot is left over for mother and pop up entrance? This gives the solutions.
2020 Subaru Outback First Drive | The large payoff
Our first drive overview of the brand new Outback, together with extra details about what’s new and its revised design and engineering.
2020 Subaru Outback 2.5 base engine overview
We pattern the brand new Outback with its base engine within the top-of-the-line Touring trim degree.
How a lot is the 2022 Outback value and what options can be found?
Pricing begins at $28,070, together with the $1,125 vacation spot cost. Keep in mind that the Outback comes commonplace with all-wheel drive, which generally carries a $1,500 premium or extra in different manufacturers’ automobiles.
Customary tools is beneficiant. Apart from the plentiful security tech described within the part under, you get permit wheels, steering adaptive LED headlights, fog lights, automated local weather management, a rearview digital camera washer, roof rails with built-in tie-downs and crossbars, two 7-inch touchscreens, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite tv for pc radio and a four-speaker sound system.
As is normally the case, stepping as much as the second trim degree rung is a good suggestion. For an additional $2,250, the Outback Premium extras embrace an influence driver seat, heated entrance seats, a leather-wrapped wheel, dual-zone local weather management, rear air vents, a cargo cowl, the vertically oriented 11.6-inch touchscreen, two rear USB ports and 6 audio system.
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As we see it, the principle purpose to step as much as the higher trim ranges is to achieve entry to the XT turbo engine improve. Amongst these, we expect the Onyx Version is the one to get, largely as a result of its water-repellant “StarTex” vinyl upholstery will put on higher and is straightforward to scrub (and it is cow free). As for the Wilderness, its compromised on-road dealing with would give us severe pause, however we won’t deny the attraction of its particular appears to be like and elevated functionality.
All costs embrace the $1,125 vacation spot cost.
Onyx Version XT: $36,270
Restricted XT: $39,120
Touring XT: $41,070
What are the Outback security scores and driver help options?
Each 2022 Outback contains ahead collision warning with pedestrian detection and automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping help, a rear seat occupant reminder and adaptive cruise management with lane-centering steering. Blind-spot and rear cross-traffic alert are non-compulsory on the bottom trim and commonplace on all others. The DriverFocus distraction mitigation system is non-compulsory on the Restricted and commonplace on Touring. We describe it within the video under.
These programs all accomplish the duty of holding you secure, which is the purpose. Nonetheless, they’re additionally a bit over-eager and vocal about their warnings – there’s an terrible lot of beeping and blinking lights. Comparable programs of rival manufacturers are likely to do the identical jobs with much less annoyance.
Authorities crash scores are an ideal 5 stars throughout the board. The Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security additionally named it a High Security Decide for its best-possible crash safety and prevention scores. Its headlight scores had been additionally higher than most and its LATCH little one seat anchors acquired the best-possible “Good+” score (a part of that’s the truth the Outback has a uncommon center LATCH anchor).