Alain Kuhn Von Kuhnenfeld
2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness
This week we are reviewing the Subaru Outback Wilderness. Our vehicle was assembled at the Lafayette plant in USA and had an MSRP of CAD 43.683.00.
The Subaru Outback's continuous success shows that Americans are still fond of wagons, even if most of them are now in the luxury segment where a more sophisticated clientele wants something practical, sporty, and good-looking all at the same time. While the Outback might not be the prettiest wagon, it's the cheapest in the mid-size wagons on our shores. With that, it only made sense that the Outback gets a battlewagon treatment as a Wilderness edition. The Outback Wilderness isn't a cosmetic package; they raised the suspension giving it 230mm of ground clearance and all-terrain tires. These came quite handy when we took it off-road. The CVT transmission was geared differently to take the additional beating while driving on the trail. Finally, an adventurous vehicle wouldn't be complete without a skid plate to keep all the components safe.
Fun Factor: 7
Under the hood, you will find a 2.4L Turbocharged Boxer engine giving it a respectable 260hp and 277 lb-ft of torque, resulting in a 0-60 mph time of 6.1 seconds. It's less than a second slower than the Audi A6 Allroad, for which the starting price is almost double the price of this well-equipped Outback we are testing. We feel the only thing holding it back from being sportier is its CVT transmission that makes acceleration at lower speeds less exciting. Meanwhile, the final-drive gear ratios are modified in the Wilderness version giving it more low-end torque to improve grade-climbing capability.
Can it Family: 9
Will the family enjoy the Outback? The space is more than practical, more so than in an SUV in this price range. We could fit a whole desk with the 2nd row folded. You can easily fold the rear seats from the second row or the trunk to have a wide flat loading area. As for seating, we were again really surprised by the comfort offered in this segment. The outer rear seats provide exemplar comfort and can be heated. The back of the central console also has USB ports for your rear passengers. With its raised cushion and belt buckle position and the transmission tunnel, the middle seat is more appropriate for a child in a booster seat or a short drive.
The average fuel economy observed with the Subaru Outback Wilderness was 9.2L/100. In the city, we saw an average of 12.0L/100 km, and on the Hwy, we were able to dip below 7.0L/100km on average. Subaru announced a combined fuel economy of 9.1L/100km, 10.1L/100km and 7.9L/100km on the Hwy.
Wagons have always been the vehicle of choice for long family road trips. The main reason is that fuel consumption is lower than its SUV counterparts. Often have the same amount of storage or more in certain cases. Still, this might not be enough for everyone to choose the Outback over another vehicle as a Hwy hauler. With Eyesight being standard on all Outback's, it becomes an interesting proposition for families with young drivers, as it gives a second layer of security while driving. We tested the adaptive cruise control with the lane centering assist and found it worked quite well. If the driver doesn't react fast enough, the system can even bring the vehicle to a full stop.
Inside the Outback is a large 11.6-inch table-style touchscreen as your infotainment. Most controls are found on the screen. Subaru has made sure that the controls used most often are physical. Such as the volume/tuning and temperature. They have integrated Apple Car Play and Android Auto within the screen, making other controls available while using it. The main disappointment was the speed and response time of the screen; it sometimes felt laggy when pressing on it. The vehicle is equipped with a 6-speaker sound system that does the job. We wish they would have offered the premium Harman Kardon system in the Wilderness edition, especially since it is in all models above the Limited trim. Oh, yeah, if you still bring your CDs with you, The Outback had a CD player, something that we see less and less on new vehicles in 2021.
Baby-Friendly: 8 Now to child safety and car seat installation. Subaru has hidden the latches under a cover that flips upwards on the outwards seats. Once pulled up, these ports are accessible with ease. The anchor ports are available on all 3 seats and can be reached within the 2nd row. Otherwise, you will need to slide inside the trunk to attach these seats.
City Cruising: 5
In the city, the Outback Wilderness has less of its place with its long cargo; parking is more difficult. On the other hand, the raised-up suspension will make it a dream driving over potholes as they are barely noticeable. We wished that the Outback came with a mild-hybrid system to lower its fuel consumption in the city.
Why would we buy the 2021 Subaru Outback Wilderness, or what we liked about it? The colour of this Wilderness is unique, and we like the rugged-looking interior. The seats are comfortable on road trips; even adults taking place in the rear will enjoy them. The cargo is a huge plus for this vehicle. The Wilderness is more capable than we expected. This vehicle is an excellent value in this segment.
Why would we not buy the 2021 Subaru Outback Wilderness, or what did we not like about it? The infotainment isn't as user-friendly as we wished, and we did not have any feedback when pressing on the screen. There was often a lag, and the system would only respond after a few tries. If you want to charge a larger phone wirelessly, you may want to take out your phone from the charger before putting the vehicle in park; otherwise, your phone will be stuck!
Subaru has lent us this vehicle one week as a press vehicle. We have no affiliation with Subaru Canada. The above is a recollection of our personal opinion of the car referred above. #subaruoutback #subarucanada #wilderness #subaru #family