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Premium Member
2020 Onyx
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16,573 Posts
I like the look of the Onyx wheels when they're kept clean but the massive black face of it gets dirty looking super fast in my environment.
 

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2020 Onyx
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318 Posts
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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2020 Onyx
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16,573 Posts
When I first saw the Wilderness I thought it was overdone but now it looks fine to me and side by side it does make the Onyx look plain. But I'm not an off-roader so I would prefer the lower but high enough ground clearance, the 18" wheels that still have sufficient sidewall, but I would like the darker color pillars and headliner, the lower gear ratio, the 4 tow points, the hexagonal grille.
 

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2020 Outback Limited XT Black on Ivory
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2,643 Posts
I prefer the cladding and overall more tame look on the Onyx. I like the roof racks of the Wilderness, everything else is in the weeds to me (Including ground clearance) I will say that If I bought a Wilderness, I'd have to put a rattle can to all those silly orange bits of trim.
 

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618 Posts
I prefer the cladding and overall more tame look on the Onyx. I like the roof racks of the Wilderness, everything else is in the weeds to me (Including ground clearance) I will say that If I bought a Wilderness, I'd have to put a rattle can to all those silly orange bits of trim.
I don't get the orange/copper bits either. Whatever, I don't own one.
 

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2020 Onyx Edition, Storm Trooper White
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483 Posts
Neither car has any side protection, not good if you drive by the large brushes during the trails and easily scratch the paint

My personal taste if I want to really do the trails, I would look 4runner with a true low 4x4 but I don't...so for now, my Onyx does most of its duty in the city/highways/golf and when winter comes (really close), its off to the snowy roads of Mammoth
 

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7 Posts
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.
hey! what vehicle can you get with more and better mpg with similar features? i've been looking everywhere.
 

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20 Outback Premium; former 19 Outback Premium, 85 GL Wagon, 87 GL-10 Wagon
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3,064 Posts
hey! what vehicle can you get with more and better mpg with similar features? i've been looking everywhere.
Amazing how perspectives can change in 9 months, isn't it? I didn't quite say what you said. My emphasis was on more vehicle with better mileage, you added similar features.

The beauty of the Outback is it does a lot of things well but not necessarily the best in any particular category. In hindsight the Wilderness has proven very popular because its advantages outweigh the tradeoffs and slightly lower mileage than the Onyx.

There are a lot of vehicles to compare in the $38-40K range, much more than in the $30-32K range of my Premium. You can get a very nice Ascent for the price of an Onyx or Wilderness, more vehicle, similar mileage and even features. Honda and Toyota both offer compelling alternatives in that price range.

Personally I'd like to have an Outback Wilderness, but the practical side is what has me in a Premium. Which vehicle did you choose?
 

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My nephew just got his OBW from the dealer earlier this week. It's a very nice car but for my situation the Onyx would be a better choice. I have a 2018 Forester that I'm going to trade in and ordered an Onyx XT yesterday instead of an OBW. I really wanted a Legacy XT for highway driving but I live out in the sticks and have about a 10 mile round trip on dirt roads to get to the highway and back to my place. The dirt roads sometimes don't get plowed for a couple of days after a snow storm so the 5.9" Legacy ground clearance isn't enough sometimes so it's a no go. Other than the dirt roads, I won't do any off-roading with the Onyx. I have a '22 TRD Off Road 4Runner for that. I don't need the extra ground clearance of the OBW and prefer the 4.11 gearing of the Onyx for driving on long trips on highways out West that have an 80 MPH speed limit. I think the Onyx should burn less gas at higher speeds with it's gearing and the lower height than the OBW.
 
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