This is the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness and it’s the last one to get the Wilderness treatment. With more cladding than a stormtrooper, it’s got more ground clearance and all-terrain tires. Today I’m going to test it and see if it can tackle the dirt.  

The Wilderness badge brings a plethora of upgrades. You get Copper accents on the exterior, on the inside the very comfortable seats are wrapped in Subaru’s water-resistant StarTex synthetic material, and there are standard rubber floor mats.

There are some big changes on the outside as well. The Crosstrek Wilderness gets a 0.6-inch lift thanks to a revised suspension providing a total ground clearance of 9.3 inches. Believe it or not, that’s more than the Jeep Compass Trailhawk and the Ford Bronco Sport Badlands. 

The raised ride height improves approach and departure angles, from 18.0 degrees to 20.0 degrees and from 30.1 to 33.0 degrees, respectively. The breakover angle also increases, from 19.7 to 21.1 degrees.

For protection, the Wilderness has an aluminum skid plate that protects the underside when offroad but for some reason, Subaru chose not to fit it with a front-facing camera that is standard on the Outback and Forester. Grip is provided by a set of dark gray 17-inch wheels fitted with Yokohama Geolandar all-terrain tires.

Subaru has re-tuned the transmission for better off-road performance, and a revised final drive ratio improves low-speed traction. The roof rack can carry as much as 165 pounds when moving and can support up to 700 pounds when parked. Thanks to a transmission oil cooler towing capacity rises to 3,500 pounds.

Familiar Powertrain

The 2.5-liter flat-four has 182 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque, driven through a continuously variable automatic. 0-60 takes 8.1 seconds and you can expect to get 29 mpg on the highway. 

There are rumors that Subaru is developing a smaller Turbo four for use in the Forester and Crostrek, we certainly hope that comes to fruition.



The Crosstrek Wilderness is impressive on-road, Subaru has done a great job of improving noise, vibration, and harshness, and its ride quality is as comfortable as ever. Surprisingly, on pavement, the Wilderness doesn’t have a lot of road noise despite being fitted with all-terrain tires.

It’s not all good news though, it really does need more power or should I say torque. On freeway onramps, you have to rev the snot out of it to get up to a decent speed but despite the buzzy engine at higher speeds, it is generally refined.

The steering is pretty light, which is good for offroading and feedback is good as are the brakes which are linear and provide good stopping power.


Like all Crosstreks, the Wilderness gets a version of Subaru’s X-Mode, which reprograms the transmission, throttle, and torque distribution for varying terrain. X-Mode is essentially a traction control setting that engages hill descent control and turns off some of the safety features. One click gets you either dirt/snow, or deep snow, and mud.

Once we arrived at our destination the Crosstek had little trouble navigating our off-road course on some admittedly steep and rocky terrain. There were a couple of sections where one of the wheels would slip and pass power to a different wheel which would then slip, but it coped admirably well and proved itself to be somewhat of a mountain goat.

One section that we tried was a little bit too difficult, we could have conquered it with bigger tires but decided to play it safe and find another route.


Inside the Crosstrek Wilderness, the interior is nearly identical to other higher-trim Crosstreks. Both Sport and Wilderness versions get a responsive 11.6-inch Multimedia system, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connect wirelessly. My tester had the optional Harman/Kardon stereo which is pretty good but you have to bundle it with the power seat, which I like, and the sunroof, which I don’t.

The front seats are very comfortable and easy to clean thanks to the StarTex seat material; storage cubby space is plentiful and the wireless charger is big enough for large phones and charges my phone through its case.

Cargo Space

You get 19.9 cubic feet and 54.7 cubes with the seats folded which is a little bit less than last year’s model. The trunk also includes a water-resistant cargo tray that’s easily cleaned.


Base prices for the Wilderness start at $31,995 and this one has one option package which includes a Harman Kardon® premium audio system, a Power moonroof, and a Power driver’s seat. Including destination, the price of this car is $35,560.


Subaru equips the Crosstrek Wilderness with the latest version of its camera-based EyeSight safety system and it is still one of the best out there. EyeSight includes Forward-collision warning, Automatic emergency braking, Automatic emergency steering assist, Lane-departure warning, Lane-keeping assist
Lane-centering assist and Adaptive cruise control.



What I like about the Subaru Crosstrek and especially the Wilderness trim is its pluckiness and go-anywhere attitude. It needs a few upgrades most notably a turbocharger and ventilated front seats, rear air-conditioning vents, and a front camera for off-roading. Overall though, the Crosstrek Wilderness is a plucky, go-almost-anywhere little crossover, it’s brilliant off-road and provides plenty of utility and capability for the price.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness Numbers

BASE PRICE: $31,995
VEHICLE LAYOUT: Front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback
ENGINE: 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve flat-4
POWER: 182 hp @ 5,800 rpm
TORQUE: 176 lb-ft @ 3,700 rpm
TRANSMISSION: Continuously variable automatic
CURB WEIGHT: 3,369 lb
0-60 MPH: 8.1 seconds
CARGO SPACE: 19.9 cubic feet, 54.7 cubic feet with rear seats folded
PROS: Great off-road, nicer interior, rugged looks 
CONS: No manual, needs more power