Hooniverse Asks: What do you think of Subaru’s Wilderness package?

I’ve just driven the Subaru Outback Wilderness. My thoughts on that matter are currently embargoed for a bit, but I can share pictures of the thing. Plus the specs are already out there. Until I can spill my beans on this thing, I want to know what you think about it.

For those that didn’t feel like clicking the link to what is know about the Outback Wilderness, I’ll give you some quick facts. It has a 9.5″ ground clearance, Yokohama Geolander A/T tires on 17″ wheels, a front skid plate, and a 260 hp turbo four-cylinder engine.

So what do you think about the Outback Wilderness, before you hear about how it drives? And what do you think of the idea of a Wilderness trim in general? Sound off below!

16 Comments

  1. Isn’t it a natural next step for Subaru? The top photo has me conflicted, I kind of love the golden-brownness of the shot, then I notice the cladding that just randomly seems to be “MORE!”, and wonder if a shouty Subaru might not be the natural next step, after all. As long as it is a functionality-focus, lifted wagon, I’m all good though.

    1. eh, a lot of that color in the shots is my using Lightroom presets on my phone…

      1. Jepp, but it’s not random, is it? The presentation is dialed in to appeal to people who like Subaru already, which is my interpretation at least.

  2. I think it’s just an Onyx with taller shocks* and a skid plate, from the 5 minutes of reading the Motor Trend articles I’ve just done. And if you buy any other Outback you can get a Subaru with a badge that says “XT”, which is way cooler. The jarring wheel arch treatments and white lettering on the tires are Muy Macho.

    I did learn that you can send 260 HP through a CVT, though, so the 5 minutes wasn’t a total waste.

    *3/4 of an inch taller! That’s, like, the width of my thumb knuckle! Ushuaia here we come!

  3. I like the technical specs, though I strongly dislike all the plastic cladding that’s been added, and the empty wheel arches look like they could use more tire. The Geolandars themselves are very good– we have them on the Volvo that my son drives.

    Honestly, I’d prefer the specifications of this car with the body of the Onyx XT. The Wilderness is trying much too hard too look “tough”, but it honestly reminds me of a cross between a Pontiac Aztek and an Isuzu VehiCross. I’d be embarrassed to drive around in this trim.

  4. For now, it seems to be the cheapest way to get the turbo engine in an Outback (at least up here), so I like it just fine (especially since the Levorg is probably too much to ask for). Some of the cladding is a little contrived, but it all fits the Outback ethos reasonably well.

  5. It needs the generic Central Oregon “Overlander” accessory kit of a roof tent, LED light bar , and PNW and 10 Barrel stickers.
    Seriously, Bend is full of near identical Subarus and Tacomas with same accessories and stickers.

  6. Former 2011 Subaru Outback owner here: It strikes me as a parts bin special that addresses Outback owners’ wishlists but… I don’t know how it would work though.
    What I wanted was: More power down low. Shorter gearing, higher lift, full size spare. Actually what I really wanted probably wasn’t an Outback.

    OK: It needed more power down low. Anything below 2500rpm was a waste of time. Combined with what felt like a tall final drive, it was only suited for formed dirt roads. If the turbo on the Wilderness was tuned for grunt, then great, might work well if the CVT can handle it, though I notice quite a tall final drive on the Wilderness too. It’s not likely to be a rock-crawler.

    A full size spare would have been good too, given its attempt to be all off-roady and stuff. The 235 (IRRC) profile tyre didn’t fit in the well. The Geolandars on the Wilderness look narrow on some of the photos, so I’m guessing that there may be a compromise in the width of the wheel/tyre.

    Did I mention that the engine/transmission was only suited for formed dirt roads? Well the OEM Geolandars had a very weak tyre carcass – I tore three of them on formed dirt roads. Not punctured, tore them wide open through the tread. It wasn’t even suited to dirt. On the road, they squealed like crazy when turning at anything near full lock. Sooby owners called them ‘Geosquealers’.

    The bash plate, lift and body kit sort of hint at capability that I suspect owners will never fulfil for the above reasons.

    So I guess I’m seeing a lot of parts bolted on that doesn’t do much to change that it’s still an Outback.

    1. Spot on. My 2007 Outback (2.5i MT) was similar outfitted and great for Idaho. The Geos wore quickly, moreso than ball joints, cv joints and head gaskets. Oh well. Sold quickly to ski/bike bums from Bend, moving to Ketchum. The LT Geos on our GX have been stellar, and are the most cost effective 3 peak tire available.

  7. Well now I know the sort of hardcore machine I need to buy next time I want to drive through a Zen garden rockery.

    Let me tell you, those Buddhists weren’t very Zen about it last time either.

  8. I want to like it…but it reminds me of the malaise era vehicles that looked incredible (mustang II, anyone), but were slow as molasses. This thing looks pretty cool, but I just don’t see the off road performance of it, unless you’re really hard on wheel arches. Then it’s money.

  9. My ex-girlfriend told me she’s thinking about getting a Subaru. She’s already got 4 cats so I guess the math works.

  10. Those wheel arch trims are just hideous. I also think the cladding on the bottom is bad too. I get that they are trying to give it the look of a large break over angle but the fact is that spot just behind the front wheel is of high concern as you drop over an edge or off a rock and the suspension compresses. It also looks like those flares may limit the size of the rear tire since it looks pretty close in the one picture and will only get worse with more droop.

    I do like the effects used to give it that golden color, too bad that is just an effect and not the real color.

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