Subaru will give other models the Wilderness treatment

Beginning with the 2022 Outback, Subaru is launching Wilderness as a sub-brand.

Steven Ewing Former managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
Steven Ewing
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2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness
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2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

Geyser Blue and Anodized Copper will be signature Wilderness colors.

Michael Shaffer/Subaru

Wondering why the special badge on the rugged new Outback says "Subaru Wilderness" instead of "Outback Wilderness?" It's because Subaru is launching Wilderness as a full-on sub-brand.

Subaru officials won't officially confirm what car will be next to get the Wilderness treatment, but we'll bet our bottom dollar it's the  SUV. That definitely makes the most sense -- it's Subaru's best-selling product, not to mention the fact that it has "forest" in the name. The hatchback is another strong possibility. The two-door ? Not so much.

Wilderness models will all be offered with the Geyser Blue hero color that debuted on the Outback, though other hues will be optional. Subaru says Geyser Blue is a blend of the World Rally Blue (well known from WRX and STI duty) and a darker green, which is a popular choice for Subaru SUVs . Geyser Blue won't be offered on non-Wilderness Subarus and the Outback's Anodized Copper accents will be found on these forthcoming cars, too. Interior upgrades like StarTex water-repellent seat upholstery and improved cargo area lighting will also be part of the Wilderness upgrade.

The 2022 Outback Wilderness has 9.5 inches of ground clearance -- a 0.7-inch lift over the standard wagon -- and comes with all-terrain tires and unique 17-inch wheels. Other Wilderness models will have a similar treatment, though it's unclear if the Outback's specific wheel/tire combination will be used throughout the lineup.

Subaru definitely sees a big opportunity for Wilderness models in its lineup and we have to agree. The company says more than half of all Outback owners wind up putting outdoorsy accessories on their cars and those numbers are similar for the company's other crossovers and SUVs, too. Following the Outback Wilderness hitting dealers in the coming weeks, we anticipate a Forester Wilderness to arrive in the not-too-distant future.

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness is far more than a cool appearance package

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