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2022 Outback Wilderness
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Finally got the OEM hitch installed on my 2022 Outback Wilderness today and unfortunately the template the dealer had for the bumper cutout was incorrect. It left gaps between the trim along with the center opening, they also scratched it up in the process adding to the bummer. Thankfully they’ve ordered a replacement and are working on getting an updated template (shoutout to Carter Subaru Ballard for making things right!), expected in a couple weeks. Here’s a photo of the end result - I’ll see if I can get some better ones during the day tomorrow.
Automotive lighting Hood Automotive design Automotive tire Bumper

Wanted to share in case others run into this - make sure to double check if they have the correct Wilderness template for a dealer hitch install!
 

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and they are supposed to be the professional's - I always laugh to myself when Subaru says get your car serviced by a factory trained technician..
 

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Also interested to know how much they charged you in total. When I picked up my new Wilderness earlier this week, I asked the sales guy and he quoted about $1,000 for the OEM hitch and fascia cover. It's not an immediate priority for me right now but something I'd like to add in the next 6 months to a year or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Glad to hear they’re making it right! How much are they charging for this, btw? I may look into having it done in the coming months.
Same here! I’ve worked with Carter Subaru Ballard for years (this is my second new Subie from them) and they always do the right thing, still a bummer though. In total it cost me $920 after taxes, but that was with an additional discount as a result of the mistake. I think under normal circumstances it would’ve cost right around $1000. Granted we have insanely high sales taxes in Seattle so others would likely pay less overall…
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Also interested to know how much they charged you in total. When I picked up my new Wilderness earlier this week, I asked the sales guy and he quoted about $1,000 for the OEM hitch and fascia cover. It's not an immediate priority for me right now but something I'd like to add in the next 6 months to a year or so.
That’s about what I would’ve payed without the issues we had. I looked into other options and personally, the OEM hitch + cover looked best and had the towing capacity I’m looking for (small trailer with a snowmobile or 4 wheeler, occasional junk hauling). Hopefully they’ll have worked out some kinks at the dealerships by then and you won’t run into anything like this…
 

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No offense but you guys are crazy paying $1,000 for a hitch. Did they change the design for the wilderness and aftermarket hitches are unavailable right now? You can buy an aftermarket hitch for a Gen 5 that mounts exactly the same way (bolts to the undercarriage unibody and also the rear bumper) as the OEM hitch for $200 or less.

Towing capacity of oem? Nothing fancy. I believe the wilderness has a 270 lb max tongue weight. Any aftermarket hitch will exceed that so it doesn't matter if the OEM hitch is rated for 600 lb. Your capped at 270 regardless.

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The Wilderness model has a completely different rear bumper to all other Gen 6 Outbacks, so you are supposed to have a fascia cover to complete the original OEM look after installing the hitch. That fascia cover is not necessary, and without it my cost would be about $700 too, but I would hate the look of it without it.
 

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No offense but you guys are crazy paying $1,000 for a hitch. Did they change the design for the wilderness and aftermarket hitches are unavailable right now? You can buy an aftermarket hitch for a Gen 5 that mounts exactly the same way (bolts to the undercarriage unibody and also the rear bumper) as the OEM hitch for $200 or less.

Towing capacity of oem? Nothing fancy. I believe the wilderness has a 270 lb max tongue weight. Any aftermarket hitch will exceed that so it doesn't matter if the OEM hitch is rated for 600 lb. Your capped at 270 regardless.

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All Gen 6 Outbacks with the 2.4 turbo have a 350 lb tongue weight.

And $200? Is that including labor and taxes, in the current environment? If you can show me a quote for that, I will happily drive across multiple states and get that installed - as long as the final installed product has the original OEM factory look. Go ahead, I'll wait.
 

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I personally would not pay anywhere close to that for a hitch install.
However.....

Some folks may not have the tools, be willing to cut their own bumper, have a location to do it, etc. And it seems a lot of folks prefer factory parts not aftermarket.

It's their $$ so totally up to them.

It is unfortunate to see a dealership butcher an install though.

One of my uncles up in Canada had a similar experience. He has to go have words with the dealership manager to get them to fix it.

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It’s good the dealership is stepping up and is going to fix that for you. When the trailer hitch fascia pane was first announced, I created that wilderness trailer hitch thread, and noted that there was still a template that needed to be followed to make the cut out, and that unlike the other outback models for the year, a mistake meant replacing the entire rear bumper fascia and not just that removable piece.

the little pane is a nice idea as a finishing piece, but the bend there in the middle makes a template even more challenging to follow and get the profile of the pane lined up with the profile of the rear fascia.

Another example of where there should have been some molded lines on the inside of the bumper to follow when making the cutout.

One bonus of having the dealer do it… If I made a mistake I’d have to suck it up.
 

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My friend has a Outback Wilderness and we did the install ourselves, We took forever but it turned out really nice.
A gamble, Sure on a new vehicle but he was willing to try... He bought that blue color, It really looks nice when it is clean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Appreciate the lively discussion here, always interesting to get different peoples’ takes! My hope in sharing this experience is to help others who might have to navigate a similar situation.

I think it’s worth calling out some factors that are easy to assume based on your own experience, location, expertise, etc. The reality is that I live in Seattle which has one of the highest costs of living in the country - we literally pay 2x or more for the same products and services here than other parts of the country. City living also doesn’t allow for much space, if any, to do the work or store tools (assuming you even own all the right set for the job). We’re also a single car family, which means we use the Subie for everything from daily driving to outdoor adventures to everything between. If I botched something like this, it would be seriously problematic…my other half would probably kill me haha.

Honestly I wish I had the ability to go aftermarket and learn through installing on my own, but it’s just not an option for my situation. My take: whatever works for you, do it!
 

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the part number changed, so there are two sets of instructions... a search in their system should only bring up the most recent set of instructions. On both, the templates at the end are the same templates... part of it is they have to print 4 pieces, then verify the measurements on the printed version to make sure it's the correct scale... then cut them out and tape them together properly... then align it to the inside of the bumper after it's removed... trace, then cut.

lots of opportunities for error. Didn't measure, cut out incorrectly, not taped together good enough, didn't put the template on the inside of the bumper, didn't align the taped together template correctly, traced it out incorrectly, made the cuts too big in spite of doing everything else correctly... the regular trailer hitch just has you make a cut, and then use some free-form trim to mask the cut... the cut can be larger or smaller, and any mistake is just a $20 part that can be ordered and cut again.

that little fascia pane is exactly that - a pain.

Anyway - there isn't a newer template, although there are two different sets of instructions... both are in the thread I linked above if you are curious to read them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
the part number changed, so there are two sets of instructions... a search in their system should only bring up the most recent set of instructions. On both, the templates at the end are the same templates... part of it is they have to print 4 pieces, then verify the measurements on the printed version to make sure it's the correct scale... then cut them out and tape them together properly... then align it to the inside of the bumper after it's removed... trace, then cut.

lots of opportunities for error. Didn't measure, cut out incorrectly, not taped together good enough, didn't put the template on the inside of the bumper, didn't align the taped together template correctly, traced it out incorrectly, made the cuts too big in spite of doing everything else correctly... the regular trailer hitch just has you make a cut, and then use some free-form trim to mask the cut... the cut can be larger or smaller, and any mistake is just a $20 part that can be ordered and cut again.

that little fascia pane is exactly that - a pain.

Anyway - there isn't a newer template, although there are two different sets of instructions... both are in the thread I linked above if you are curious to read them.
Wow this is wild looking through the thread…no wonder this seems to be a pretty common issue. I just don’t understand why Subaru isn’t taking these botch jobs as clear feedback and making some changes to the instructions/process/template as a result smh
 
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