Buyer's Guide

2022 Subaru Outback
Select a Different Model (8 Available): Base
Fuel Economy $ 26 / 33 mpg
Cargo (Std/Max) 33/76 cu.ft.
Seating (Std/Max) 5/5
Horsepower 182@5,800
See All Specs
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2022 Subaru Outback MODEL OVERVIEW

Pros

  • Smooth ride
  • More rugged than you think
  • Standard AWD

Cons

  • Infotainment system could be more intuitive
  • CVT tuning on XT models

Even in a world filled with bulky SUVs, the Subaru Outback thrives. And for the 2022 model year, we're expecting an exciting update that should increase the rugged appeal of this "Sport Utility Wagon." So should you wait for the 2022 Outback?

What's New

  • Wilderness model has 9.5 inches of ground clearance (other models have 8.7 inches)
  • More rugged Wilderness gets an upgraded suspension, all-terrain tires, and the 2.4T engine

New Wilderness Trim?

The 2022 Subaru Outback introduces a new Wilderness trim level that becomes the flagship of the line. Although the Onyx trim has an exclusive dual-mode X-mode off-roading system, the SUV was otherwise exactly the same, functionally, as any other Outback. That changes now that a 2022 Outback Wilderness trim is part of the U.S. lineup. See how it stacks up against the Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road in our comparison test.

Even though the Outback is already capable off-road, the Wilderness model offers a different type of appeal than the luxury-focused Touring offers. A lifted suspension is a good start, raising ground clearance from the SUV-wagon's standard 8.7 inches to 9.5 inches. There are, of course, visual changes as well. Front and rear bumpers have been restyled, the grille is updated, and the "hex-designed" LED foglights are also new. Subaru Wilderness badges are part of the picture, too, as is larger wheel arch cladding.

Outback Wilderness Performance Upgrades

Aside from the jump to 9.5 inches of ground clearance, the 2022 Outback Wilderness has other functional upgrades that include under-the-hood revisions that Subaru says improves low-end torque. The automaker says it helps the SUV-wagon climb grades of up to 40 percent on a gravel surface, which seems likely given its capabilities in our off-road test drive. A two-mode X-Mode AWD system is included (like the Onyx trim), as is a Wilderness-exclusive feature that allows the car to move automatically from low-speed (off-road) driving to speeds over 25 mph.

Approach angles go from 18.6 degrees to 20.0, the ramp breakover angle moves from 19.4 degrees to 21.2 degrees, and the departure angle improves from 21.7 to 23.6 degrees. We were already impressed by the Outback's off-road abilities, and look forward to testing out this new upgraded model's trail-ready credentials.

What Are the Outback Wilderness' Tires?

The 2022 Outback Wilderness rides on Yokohama Geolandar all-terrain tires. The 17-inch wheels are finished in matte black and unique to the Wilderness trim. Perhaps best of all for drivers who secretly want everyone to know this is no ordinary wagon, the tires are embossed with white letters for a more eye-catching look.

And yes, Subaru includes a full-size spare tire in the cargo area. For comparison, the only other Outback to get a full-size spare is the Onyx; the others get a temporary unit.

What Engine Does the Outback Wilderness Have? Can it Tow?

When the 2020 Outback earned a spot as a 2020 SUV of the Year finalist, we commented that the available 2.4-liter turbo four-cylinder engine made the Subaru more fun to slide around off-road on some sand. Well, power-hungry customers excited about the 2022 Outback Wilderness can rest easy, as the special model only comes with that same 260-hp turbocharged powerplant making 277 lb-ft of torque.

Towing capacity comes to 3,500 pounds and EPA-rated fuel economy is just 22/26 mpg city/highway, down from other 2.4T-equipped models that are rated at 23/30 mpg.

Outback Wilderness: What Else?

The new model will be available in an exclusive color called Geyser Blue. Inside, the Outback Wilderness gets the water-repellant StarTex material we've already experienced in the Outback Onyx and Crosstrek Sport. While not as premium-feeling as some cars with leather, the material is soft enough and feels like an appropriate choice for an off-road-ready machine.

Unlike the Outback Onyx that uses green, gray, and black stitching, the Outback Wilderness introduces copper contrast stitching throughout the steering wheel. You'll also find that some shiny chrome interior bits have a Gunmetal Gray look, and there are Wilderness logos in the headrests and all-weather floormats. All in, this is might be a great interior package for the Outback customer who wants status and capability without the luxury-look of the Touring model.

How Does the Outback Drive?

It's likely that the 2022 Outback will carry over the 2021 model's two engines: A 182-hp 2.5-liter naturally aspirated flat-four and a 260-hp 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-four. The base engine provides adequate acceleration, but some may find it lacking in performance.

Buyers who want a little more power with their AWD SUV-alternative can try any XT trim. Those pack the 260-hp turbo-four, which makes the Outback the quickest model in the midsize SUV class. The one drawback in performance, though is the CVT. Especially on the XT models, tuning on the 2020-2021 models could best be described as lumpy.

That's unfortunate, but the Outback does offer one huge advantage that most of its competitors can't match: a smooth ride. Like many other Subarus, the 2020-2021 Outback provides a great ride, and we expect the same to be true of the 2022 model.

Key Competitors:

2022 SUBARU OUTBACK SPECIFICATIONS
OVERVIEW
FEATURES
WARRANTY/RECALL
SAFETY
REBATES
Engine Name
Engine: 4-Cyl 2.5 Liter BOXER
Transmission Name
Transmission, Lineartronic CVT Continuously Variable Automatic Mode Select with Manual Mode
Trim
Base
Class
Mid-Size Utility
Horsepower
182@5,800
Standard MPG
26/33
Body Style
SUV/Crossover
Drivetrain
AWD
Fuel Type
Unleaded Regular
Seating Capacity
5/5
Package Invoice Retail
Show Full Specs
Corrosion Warranty Miles
Unlimited
Maintenance Warranty Months
none
Corrosion Warranty Months
60
Powertrain Warranty Miles
60,000
Full Warranty Miles
36,000
Powertrain Warranty Months
60
Full Warranty Months
36
Roadside Assistance Miles
36,000
Maintenance Warranty Miles
N/R
Roadside Assistance Months
36
IIHS Best Pick
0
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
IIHS Front Small Overlap
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
IIHS Overall Side Crash
N/R
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
IIHS Rear Crash
N/R
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
IIHS Roof Strength
N/R
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
Amount Description Expiry Date
$500 Subaru announces Military Discount program to active-duty and reserve members of the US Military. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 12-31-2022
$500 Subaru announces a Lease Loyalty program which allows current lease customers to have their first payment and disposition fees waived when leasing a new vehicle through SMF. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 12-31-2022
$0 1.9% Financing available for varying term lengths : 24, 36, 48 Months - Subaru announces APR rates on select models. 01-31-2022
$0 2.9% Financing available for varying term lengths : 63, 72 Months - Subaru announces APR rates on select models. 01-31-2022