A few weeks ago we had our first drive in the all-new 2024 Subaru Crosstrek. At the time the Japan-based automaker implied a Wilderness version would be coming in the near future — apparently that future is now. The all-new 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness makes its debut at the 2023 New York Auto Show.
First Wilderness Crosstrek
Subaru added the Wilderness line a few years ago. These special models get more adventurous styling, increased ground clearance and improved off-road capability. The Wilderness line began with the Outback and Subaru has since added the Forester Wilderness. This year is the first time Subaru has offered the Crosstrek as a Wilderness version.
As mentioned previously, the Crosstrek is all new for the 2024 model year with styling changes that are more evolutionary than revolutionary, and naturally these changes are also incorporated into the new Wilderness. The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness differs from the standard Crosstrek via unique front and rear bumpers, a bold front grille, a front skidplate and special hex-shaped LED fog lights.
The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness is easily recognizable as something special, thanks to its additional body cladding along the wheels and doors with CROSSTREK spelled across the doors in large copper letters. This copper color looks especially fetching against Wilderness-exclusive Geyser Blue paint. Wilderness badges adorn the doors and rear hatch, and the copper treatment carries through to accents on the roof rack as well as the front and rear bumpers.
If there was ever any question about the origin of the outdoor-oriented Crosstrek Wilderness, that speculation would be put to rest with one look at the rear of the car, where SUBARU is emblazoned on the rear bumper.
Under the Hood
The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness comes with a 2.5-liter Boxer 4-cylinder engine producing 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque. Power gets directed to all four wheels via a continuously variable transmission tuned specifically for the Wilderness. The revised differential gear ratio gives the Crosstrek better climbing ability. With the addition of a transmission oil cooler, the Crosstrek Wilderness can tow up to 3,500 pounds.
Like other Wilderness models, the new Crosstrek Wilderness has a raised ground clearance totaling 9.3 inches — more than a half-inch higher than the standard Crosstrek. Longer coil springs and shocks not only increase the ground clearance, they also provide longer wheel travel to keep the tires connected to the ground in off-road conditions. This suspension update also helps make the ride smoother when the contact surface gets rough. Approach and departure angles are also increased over the standard Crosstrek, adding even more brio to the Wilderness’s capability.
The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness rides on Yokohama Geolandar raised-white-letter all-terrain tires fitted to unique 17-inch alloy wheels with a matte-black finish. Tires are designed to perform well in a variety of rough conditions such as mud, gravel and snow.
Subaru equips the new Crosstrek Wilderness with the latest version of X-MODE, which maximizes traction in a variety of terrain and surface conditions. The driver can select from Deep Snow, Dirt or Mud modes, with each optimizing the CVT, all-wheel-drive system, vehicle dynamics control and traction control for the best possible traction. X-MODE automatically engages hill descent control, which keeps the Crosstrek at a set speed under 12 mph when descending on loose or slick surfaces. Active torque vectoring adds to the Crosstrek Wilderness’s overall capability.
Standard on the Crosstrek Wilderness is a ladder-type roof rack that can hold up to 176 pounds when the vehicle is in motion. When this Crosstrek is parked, the rack can handle up to 700 pounds — more than enough support for a rooftop tent to accommodate some campers or stadium tailgaters.
Subaru equips the Crosstrek Wilderness with seats trimmed in water-resistant Subaru StarTex, with the Wilderness logo embossed on the front head restraints. Wilderness-signature copper accents appear throughout the cabin — in the stitching and on the shifter, gauge meter rings and steering wheel. The copper color works well with the Gunmetal Grey trim used on the dash, doors and shifter base.
New Display Screen
The standard Crosstrek receives a major interior upgrade for the 2024 model year, and that carries over to the Wilderness. The update includes a new 11.6-inch vertical touchscreen display — the largest ever offered in this compact crossover. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as is a wireless phone charger.
The Crosstrek Wilderness comes with Subaru’s EyeSight driver assist-system as standard equipment. The system includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, blind-spot detection, lane change assist, and rear cross-traffic alert. Automatic emergency steering and reverse automatic braking are also standard on the Wilderness.
The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness is priced at $31,995 and will be built at the company’s production facility in Lafayette, Indiana. Watch for the Wilderness when it arrives in showrooms during fall 2023.
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