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Hello, all! Opinions are like noses, so here goes . . .

The Wilderness and Onyx editions of the Outback will undoubtedly cannibalize sales from each other; heck I struggle to think of any similar examples of "specialty" models so similar to each other being offered simultaneously by the same automaker. It seems inevitable that the Wilderness will end up replacing the Onyx in the lineup.

Do you agree? Or does the Onyx offer virtues that will let it stick around?

The higher ride height and offroad-focused tires in the Wilderness does a number to the turbo's gas mileage, about 3 mpg less than the Onyx I believe. But the Onyx has all the important stuff, including the mud 'n sand modes, the front-facing camera and the full-size spare. And, to me, the blacked-out trim of the Onyx is just about perfect, with the clean front end, amazing wheels and the touch of chrome around the windows that, I dunno, adds a "town and country" vibe. (I like it, anyway) The grille of the Wilderness is too busy, the cladding is dialed up to cartoonish levels, there are weird copper bits I just don't get, and there's a big decal on the hood. I'll take the smoo-oo-th, clean look of the Onyx,

On the other hand, there's undeniable value in the strengthened roof rails and better tires in the Wilderness, but the extra ground clearance isn't, for me, worth the trade-off in gas mileage when the off-roading I'm most apt to do is take it out on the beach at the Jersey shore.

Best thing to hope for is that there's a market for both.
 

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20 Outback Premium; former 19 Outback Premium, 85 GL Wagon, 87 GL-10 Wagon
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I'm guessing the Onyx will still sell more because of the better gas mileage. For those who want to make their Outback more capable off road, the Wilderness is a great solution. Practical buyers will shy away from both because for that price you can get more vehicle with better mileage by shopping elsewhere. Some Outback buyers are practical, but there are plenty with $$ to spend so in the end I'm expecting a market for both the Onyx and the Wilderness. Time will tell.
 

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2016 Outback 3.6R Limited
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558 Posts
I personally don’t see the Wilderness selling well. I have a difficult time imagining a buyer who is serious enough about off-roading to consider a lifted Outback, and doesn’t buy a pickup or Jeep instead.
I'd buy one for the looks! :D

But seriously. I like them both. I like the beefier look on the Wilderness. I'm considering getting different wheels and tires for my 2016 and wheel arch moldings.... buuuut... we'll see.
 

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2022 Wilderness Outback Autum Green
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98 Posts
I personally don’t see the Wilderness selling well. I have a difficult time imagining a buyer who is serious enough about off-roading to consider a lifted Outback, and doesn’t buy a pickup or Jeep instead.
If one is going to rock crawl, I would agree. However for overlanding, just crappy mountain or desert roads the Wilderness will do good.

I had a 2011 Outback and took it places in the western US where it probably should have not gone and survived just find and it was totally stock with Nokian WRG-2 tires.

Ordered my Wilderness yesterday and plan on changing suspension to a stiffer ride with a 1.5" lift, like my 21 Onyx has, I much prefer it to the softer stock suspension.

Jeeps are good rigs but on rough roads they will beat you to death due to there straight axles and if you are a passenger it's even worst, I have been there and it wasn't fun.
 

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If the Wilderness was an option, I likely would have chosen that over the Onyx. I like being up higher (like the Forester) but I like the wagon form better for practicality. It would be nice if they had a permanent off road roof basket option like the Toyota TRD models do.

Gas mileage is what it is, you shouldn’t buy a Subaru Turbo with the idea in your mind of hypermiling.

However now that the Solterra has been announced, I am hoping that is a success. I would love to see hybrids and electrics be “options” for those consumers that value that above all else.
 

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2022 Wilderness Outback Autum Green
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98 Posts
"Gas mileage is what it is, you shouldn’t buy a Subaru Turbo with the idea in your mind of hypermiling."

Very true, if you are off-roading the gas mileage is going to be less.
Since the Wilderness has a 4.41:1 rear gear ratio as compared to the Onyx's 4.11:1 you will loss some MPG but gain torque when you are needing it off-roading.
 

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183 Posts
For me, the only thing I would like is the rack on the wilderness. May consider a swap if it turns out that’s possible. I would black out the copper bits on the rack though, but that’s just me.
 

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In Canada the Wilderness has now completely replaced the Onyx (called Outdoor here).

I am somewhat glad that both aren't offered because I would be really torn between the two, but overall the Wilderness should better suit my needs/wants.

I am looking for a two row SUV with lots of cargo room, a more powerful engine option, and AWD. We currently use an underpowered FWD Equinox to go on backwoods camping/boating trips and it's just barely capable of getting into well established areas and launches. The Onyx would make all our current trips a breeze, and would open up the possibility for accessing new places.

The changes to the Onyx to give us the Wilderness are, for me, overall a positive.
1) Increased ride height will be very beneficial on some of the boat launches we regularly use - the Equinox with 8.3" ground clearance frequently has water right up to the rear doors and only JUST gets out far enough. And obviously it'll also be a big plus when exploring old logging roads.
2) Lower gear ratio will obviously be better off-road, but also should be very advantageous for towing. The reduced fuel efficiency at highway speeds should be less impactful than EPA estimates because I rarely drive on hwys with higher than 80kph speed limits, so 60mph will be the top speed it's driven unless I am passing.
3) AT tires aren't something it'd likely buy since I drive paved roads 95% of the time. With the Onyx I probably would buy a second set of rims for winter tires, and eventually upgrade the OE Avids to a better AS. Would those tires be sufficient for the offroad I'd be exploring? Maybe. But with the Geolanders I know I'll have better offroad capability and shouldn't need an additional set for winter tires. Compromises, but after having been stuck on a boat launch with FWD and AS tires I will take the peace of mind of AT.
4) Heated steering wheel on Canadian Wilderness. Luxury I can live without, but will gladly accept.
5) Geyser Blue is by far the best colour imo.

Downsides of the Wilderness include:
1) Roof rails. I won't be getting a roof top tent. The Onyx's built in cross rails are much more convenient for putting a canoe on top. Only silver lining is buying aftermarket rails that could hold two canoes which may be useful for group trips. This inconvenience is somewhat offset by the bumper recovery points on the Wilderness which should be very helpful in tying down a canoe.
2) Onyx is better for 95+% of the paved road driving I'd be doing.
3) Not a fan of the bright accent colour.
4) Onyx rims are better looking.
 

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2021 White Outback Touring
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I recall when we were buying our Touring, my dealer saying the Onyx was not going to be offered in the US in 2022 model year. After reading further - I see where they are still going to offer the Onyx for 2022. Seems like sort of a duplication of goals. Seems like there is a few things left off of the Wilderness some buyers may want1
IMHO the wilderness overdid the cutsey little rectangles of copper color badging. Also does the cladding really need to be THAT big? Why not cover half of the sides and all of the front and back?? I am being sarcastic here, but I really like the way Subaru did the cladding on the other models.
Also who the heck cares what this old fart likes and dislikes!
 

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2019 Outback 3.6R Touring
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If one is going to rock crawl, I would agree. However for overlanding, just crappy mountain or desert roads the Wilderness will do good.

I had a 2011 Outback and took it places in the western US where it probably should have not gone and survived just find and it was totally stock with Nokian WRG-2 tires.

Ordered my Wilderness yesterday and plan on changing suspension to a stiffer ride with a 1.5" lift, like my 21 Onyx has, I much prefer it to the softer stock suspension.

Jeeps are good rigs but on rough roads they will beat you to death due to there straight axles and if you are a passenger it's even worst, I have been there and it wasn't fun.
But you can get a ZR2, TRD PRO, Tremor, just to name a few that can desert run and rock crawl and go through deeper water and overland well in general.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

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I don't think the Onix and wilderness trims are redundant even if they overlap quite a bit. There are tons of examples of this including the Tacoma. They have 3 different TRD trims with 3 different suspensions and other minor differences in addition to their regular trim lineups.
I know several folks that have lifted their Subarus and run oversized tires. It's great that Subaru offers a factory option for this now!
 

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2021 MGM Outback 2.5i Premium with Tungsten Grey seats
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I have a ZR2
I had one, almost 20 years ago (wow, it was that long ago?!). Had some fun with it. But geez, those things are EXPENSIVE! The BASE price of a 2WD Colorado LT is nearly as much as my Premium Outback with package 15 and a few options would be. I remember when the S10 was a reasonably-priced mini-truck...
 

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2022 Wilderness Outback Autum Green
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I had one, almost 20 years ago (wow, it was that long ago?!). Had some fun with it. But geez, those things are EXPENSIVE! The BASE price of a 2WD Colorado LT is nearly as much as my Premium Outback with package 15 and a few options would be. I remember when the S10 was a reasonably-priced mini-truck...
Mine is a 2017 ZR2
 

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Since the Wilderness has a 4.41:1 rear gear ratio as compared to the Onyx's 4.11:1
I wasn't that interested in the Wilderness, but that spec alone may lead me to trade in my Onyx. The low gear on the Onyx is way too tall. Also the Wilderness has a real roof rack.

To clarify, I don't have any interest in taking any Subaru on challenging trails. I know lots of people do, but personally, I think it's dumb and there are much better vehicles for the purpose. However, lots of roads to lots of great places are dirt and many of them require going up or down slowly, and for that, the Outback needs lower gearing.
 

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I wasn't that interested in the Wilderness, but that spec alone may lead me to trade in my Onyx. The low gear on the Onyx is way too tall. Also the Wilderness has a real roof rack.

To clarify, I don't have any interest in taking any Subaru on challenging trails. I know lots of people do, but personally, I think it's dumb and there are much better vehicles for the purpose. However, lots of roads to lots of great places are dirt and many of them require going up or down slowly, and for that, the Outback needs lower gearing.
You do know the gearing is only 7% different. Not like you are going from 3.27 to 4.11....

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

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my dealer saying the Onyx was not going to be offered in the US in 2022 model year.
I'm so glad Wilderness didn't replace Onyx. The Onyx is just what I'm looking for, the Wilderness is hideous in comparison. I was tempted, but the cladding, hood sticker and orange interior highlights are a firm deal breaker. What I don't get is why full size spares aren't available for all trim models.
 
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