The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness comes with raised ladder-type roof rails and Yokohama Geolandar all-terrain tires. (Subaru)

The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness comes with raised ladder-type roof rails and Yokohama Geolandar all-terrain tires. (Subaru)

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness gives the compact more capability

Upgraded suspension, 9.3 inches of ground clearance and a reengineered drivetrain are among the changes.

Subaru’s trusty all-wheel-drive Crosstrek has a major redesign for 2024, and a new Crosstrek Wilderness model enters the lineup. This is a third sibling for Subaru’s Wilderness family, joining Wilderness versions of the Outback and Forester models.

The Crosstrek Wilderness provides features suited to more rugged off-highway conditions, enabling access to places like distant trails and Forest Service roads in the Cascades that might be too much for a standard Crosstrek.

Among those features are an upgraded suspension, 9.3 inches of ground clearance, super Yokohama Geolandar all-terrain tires, and a drivetrain engineered for better off-road performance.

The continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is tuned to optimize traction at low speeds and on slippery surfaces, a benefit to be appreciated even on winter roads without venturing off-pavement.

The Wilderness more than doubles Crosstrek’s maximum towing capacity, from 1,500 pounds to 3,500 pounds.

The Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness I drove was a handsome sight with its compelling design, Alpine Green paint, prominent “Subaru Wilderness” badging, anodized copper-finish accents, raised roof rails, and exclusive 17-inch matte black wheels wrapped in those great Geolandar tires embossed with raised white letters.

Subaru’s four-cylinder boxer engine powers the Crosstrek Wilderness with 182 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. It does a fine job together with its CVT partner and provides a respectable EPA rating of 25 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, and 27 mpg combined.

Large graphics on the display screen help make the Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness multimedia system easy to use. (Subaru)

Large graphics on the display screen help make the Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness multimedia system easy to use. (Subaru)

For all its enhanced capabilities, the Wilderness still behaves like a car. The ride is quiet and calm, and handling is nicely responsive. Crosstrek’s compact size makes it a pleasure to park in a tight spot.

Subaru’s driver-selectable X-Mode system is on board, for stability assistance during various conditions including snow, dirt, deep snow, and mud.

There’s a lot of room inside the Wilderness, which has seating for five. In a real-world demonstration, I had a 6-foot-5 person in the front passenger seat, a 6-foot-2 passenger in the seat behind me, and a 5-foot-6 person behind the front passenger. And we were all comfortable. And it wasn’t just for a short drive.

Cargo capacity with the back seats in upright position is 20 cubic feet.

StarTex water-repellant upholstery and all-weather floor mats in the Wilderness are perfect for outdoors in the Pacific Northwest, and can be appreciated even without driving in the dirt.

The Wilderness comes standard with an 11.6-inch multimedia system mounted vertically in the center dash. It has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay (both wireless), Bluetooth, HD Radio, AM/FM/SiriusXM and more. A highlight of the display screen is the amazing visibility provided by its oversized graphics.

A wireless phone charger is included in the center console.

An option package on my test car ($2,270) added a 10-way power driver’s seat with two-way lumbar support, a Harman Kardon 10-speaker audio system, and a power moonroof.

Prominent badging and anodized copper-finish accents are exterior features of the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness small SUV. (Subaru)

Prominent badging and anodized copper-finish accents are exterior features of the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness small SUV. (Subaru)

2024 SUBARU CROSSTREK WILDERNESS

Base price, including destination charge: $33,290

Price as driven: $35,560

Mary Lowry is a member of the Motor Press Guild and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. She lives in Snohomish County. Vehicles are provided by automotive manufacturers as a one-week loan for evaluation purposes only. Manufacturers do not control content of the reviews.

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