A Crosstrek Wilderness is likely, but there are other possibilities.
Subaru has teased another rugged Wilderness model on social media, which will add to the Forester Wilderness and Outback Wilderness already on sale. These off-road focused trims have lived up to their names, boasting the best ground clearance and approach/departure angles in their respective lineups.
In the case of the Outback Wilderness, that's as much as 9.5 inches of ground clearance, nearly as much as a Jeep Wrangler. For off-roading along dirt trails, we can't think of many better alternatives than these Subarus, so what could the third Wilderness derivative be?
The teaser itself shows only the Subaru Wilderness badge caked in dirt, so no definitive conclusions can be drawn from that, but our best guess is a Crosstrek Wilderness.
Perhaps the only downside to the Wilderness versions of the Forester and Outback is that they're a bit expensive. The Forester Wilderness starts at $34,020, $7,625 more than the base Forester, while the Outback Wilderness is $38,445, $10,050 more than the base Outback.
The smaller Crosstrek begins at a more wallet-friendly $23,645 for the 2023 model, but it's still one of the most capable off-road crossovers of its kind, and a Wilderness variant that starts at around $30,000 would be a great addition to the range. It would likely come with all the Wilderness goodies like all-terrain tires, a raised suspension, some unique aesthetic touches, a front skid plate, and bumpers that allow for greater clearance.
One downside to the Crosstrek has been its sluggish 152-horsepower base engine, but if the new Wilderness model from Subaru does turn out to be a Crosstrek, we expect it to adopt the more powerful 2.5-liter mill with 182 hp.
A new-generation 2024 Crosstrek was revealed recently, and we were generally impressed when we drove it thanks to a more refined interior, although we only got to drive the less powerful 2.0-liter model.
Of course, it's not outrageous for the next Wilderness model not to be a Crosstrek at all. The three-row Ascent is another possible candidate for the Wilderness treatment, as it would give Subaru a true three-row alternative to the rugged Honda Pilot TrailSport. It won't be nearly as affordable as a Crosstrek Wilderness, though. The only other SUV in the brand's local lineup is the Solterra, but this is an EV focused on efficiency so is much less suited to off-road work. Even less likely is something many fans have been clamoring for: the return of the quirky Subaru Baja.
Chances are, we'll soon see a full reveal of a new Crosstrek Wilderness.
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