Subaru just debuted an off-road version of the beloved Crosstrek — the little underpowered all-wheel drive wagon that folks who love the outdoors but don’t love high gas prices have been buying for years. It’s about damn time; here’s what we know.
The Subaru Crosstrek has been printing money for years now. Lots of people love the outdoors and want a vehicle that can get them there, but for the longest time, finding something with four-wheel drive has been either too expensive or too big of a compromise in terms of fuel economy (not everyone wants to deal with the Toyota 4Runner’s sub-20 MPG combined fuel economy). The Crosstrek has filled the “cheap AWD Japanese car” niche beautifully, especially since the Suzuki SX4 left the U.S. market about a decade ago.
A few years ago, Subaru announced its “Wilderness” line — essentially just their standard models, except raised a bit to improve ground clearance, styled with fun yellow accents (which highlight the recovery points) and tough-looking body cladding, and outfitted with all-terrain tires. The Outback Wilderness and Forester Wilderness have been rather popular, so it only makes sense to Wilderness-ify the brand’s best-selling model — the baby in the lineup — the Crosstrek.
The Wilderness version of the Subaru Crosstrek adds half an inch of ground clearance to the standard model for a total of 9.3 inches thanks to longer springs. It’s not a huge change, so it’s not surprising that the approach, breakover, and departure angles aren’t that different:
The approach angle is increased from 18.0 degrees in other Crosstrek models to 20.0 degrees on the Wilderness; the angle of departure increases from 30.1 to 33.0 degrees, and ramp breakover angle moves up from 19.7 to 21.1 degrees.
The Crosstrek Wilderness comes equipped with Yokohama GEOLANDAR® all-terrain tires for optimal performance in mud, gravel or snow. Mounted on exclusive 17-inch alloy wheels in matte-black finish, the tires are embossed with raised white letters.
A couple of degrees does help, though. And so will those all-terrain tires. Towing capacity is up from 1,500 pounds to 3,500 pounds. That’s a huge leap. And the starting price is a reasonable $31,995.
Here are some more pictures of the new Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness in all of its tough, cladded-up glory, which — let’s be honest — will be half the reason most folks buy it:
[Editor’s Note: I would just like to take a moment here to re-iterate that this is indeed a wagon. This isn’t an opinion, or some fuzzy feeling, it’s motherflapping math and science.
Remember, there are rules for this! I’m not pulling this ex recto, the Crosstrek meets all three wagon rules: a two-box design, window for the rear cargo area, and a roofline that covers 50% or more of the cargo area floor.
It likely also meets Crossover Clause A and Crossover Clause B which makes it possible to be classed into crossover or SUV categories, but the body design is still clearly within wagon parameters. – JT]
This story is breaking news and being updated.
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Late to the party but a wagon cannot have a shorter rear overhang than the sedan version