Off-road ready Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness Debuts in NYC

It has the most ground clearance of any compact crossover.

By Evan Williams Wheels.ca

Apr 5, 2023 3 min. read

Article was updated 2 months ago

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New York, NY - The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek is going up and out. Out thanks to its new Wilderness trim and up by 15 mm thanks to the suspension lift that comes with that new trim. Plus more changes than any Wilderness model yet.

Subaru calls it the most rugged Crosstrek ever, but the move just amps up the capability of a vehicle that already has more than most of its segment. That's the goal, to turn the Crosstrek into something that can give a certain segment of buyers what they need without having to turn to a larger and less enjoyable SUV.

Longer springs and shocks start off the changes to the Crosstrek Wilderness. The extra 15 mm of ground clearance gives Crosstrek a best-in-class 235 mm of space underneath. To get that anywhere else you'll need to move up to something like a Jeep Grand Cherokee.

subaru crosstrek wilderness

subaru crosstrek wilderness

Even with more ground clearance than any other Subaru, the brand is protecting the underside when you're off pavement. There is an aluminum skid plate underneath that helps protect lots of the important oily bits. Even the springs are special. Not just longer but they have a thicker protective coating that should help them cope with a life of dirt and gravel use.

The suspension is tuned to give Crosstrek Wilderness a better ride off-road. It's also set up to make sure the car stays stable and confident on pavement. Subaru says capability can't come at the expense of safety.

To go along with the extra clearance, Subaru fitted more aggressive rubber. They're Yokohama Geolandar all-terrain tires similar to those on the other Wilderness models. Like those other Wilderness trims they have the mountain-snowflake winter capable logo. Unlike the Forester and Outback, these are raised white letter tires. Sweet.

All of that extra cladding on the doors is to help protect your paint on the trail. The bumpers, though, add function. Cutouts at the corners help boost approach and departure angles, letting you get places you otherwise couldn't. At least not without some body damage.

The 2024 Crosstrek Wilderness gets Subaru's 2.5L flat-four. The engine is the bigger of the two offered in the Crosstrek and delivers 182 hp. Subaru has beefed up the rear differential and fitted 4.111:1 gearing to give it some extra oomph at low speeds.

Subaru Crosstrek wilderness

That stronger rear diff, plus a bigger radiator and fan and a CVT oil cooler is good for cargo. The Crosstrek Wilderness can tow up to 3,500 lbs, more than double a non-Wilderness and tied for best in class.

Other changes include a bigger-than-ever matte black hood decal and door badges. Wilderness gets loads of copper accents. Plus this Crosstrek has a cool rear bumper with a massive Subaru script logo.

On the inside, the Crosstrek Wilderness has soft-touch synthetic seat covers. They're an all-weather material like the larger Wilderness models that should be easy to clean. All-weather floor and trunk mats are also included. That big roof rack can hold up to 700 lbs when the Crosstrek is parked, perfect for a tent and two occupants. On the move, it's rated for 176 lbs.

Wilderness has dual-mode X-Mode which tweaks the driveline settings for maximum grip in various slippery conditions. It also has hill descent control and active torque vectoring to keep you on your path.

Subaru says its Wilderness trims are being snapped up by younger buyers than its standard models. Buyers who want to get out and use that capability. The company expects about 1 in 10 Crosstrek shoppers to go for the Wilderness.

The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness should make it to dealers this fall. The automaker will announce pricing later in the year.




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