The Crosstrek has been a top seller for Subaru since it debuted for the 2013 model year. The new Wilderness trim is added to the lineup for 2024 and Subaru says it’s the most rugged and trail-capable Crosstrek yet. It joins the Forester Wilderness and Outback Wilderness models that are geared for exploring the great outdoors.
Base Price: $31,995
As Tested: $35,560
Mileage: 25 mpg city/29 mpg highway/27 mpg combined
The Wilderness trim adds more ground clearance (9.3 inches compared to the standard 8.7 inches), all-terrain tires, a revised differential gear ratio, an upgraded suspension, front skid pate, higher approach, breakover and departure angles, water repellant upholstery, and greater towing capacity – up to 3,500 pounds. And, of course, the Crosstrek Wilderness comes standard with Subaru’s all-wheel drive system.
Find my review of the other 2024 Crosstrek trims here.
The exterior features Wilderness badges on the front doors and back gate, a hood decal, higher front and rear bumpers, and yellow accents.
The 2024 Crosstrek Wilderness is powered by a 2.5-liter direct-injection Subaru Boxer engine, same as the Sport and Limited trims. It produces 182 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. Subaru says a revised differential gear ratio and newly tuned Lineartronic CVT enhance off-road performance. The 4.111 final drive ratio (compared to the normal 3,700) improves the Crosstrek Wilderness’ climbing ability. The re-tuned enhances traction at low speeds and over slippery surfaces.
While you wouldn’t describe the Crosstrek Wilderness as sporty, it gets the job done. Acceleration is pokey so you’ll want to plan ahead for merging and passing moves. The ride is smooth over all but the biggest bumps and roughest roads. It stays planted when cornering with little body lean. The CVT does fine in most situations, and there’s a manual shift mode with steering wheel paddle switches. Visibility is good all the way around. All in all, the Crosstrek Wilderness feels composed, capable and ready, whether you’re commuting to work, running errands in town or embarking on an outdoor adventure.
Fuel efficiency is good for a subcompact SUV with AWD. EPA ratings for my tester are 25 mpg city and 29 mpg highway with a combined rating of 27 mpg. I got 26 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.
The cabin is functional and practical which is what you want in a trail-ready vehicle. It has water-repellant upholstery, all-weather floormats, and a water-resistant cargo tray in the trunk where you can throw your dirty, muddy gear. The large, vertically-oriented infotainment system dominates the center stack.
There’s room for five passengers in two rows of seating. Passengers in the front row enjoy supportive and comfortable seats with generous leg- and headroom. The second row isn’t quite as roomy but two adults will be fine. Some exclusive Wilderness design touches include anodized copper-finish stitching and accents, front headrests with the Subaru Wilderness logo, and all-weather floor mats with the Subaru Wilderness logo.
Standard features include remote keyless entry, push-button start, rearview camera, dual zone automatic climate control, water-repellant upholstery, 4.2-iinch driver information display, infotainment system with 11.6-inch touchscreen, satellite radio, HD radio, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, USB ports, raised ladder-type roof rails, wireless device charging, adaptive headlights, and automatic high-beam headlights.
Available features include 10-way power driver’s seat with two-way lumbar support, Harman Kardon 10-speaker audio system with 432-watt amplifier, and a power moonroof.
Standard driver assistance technologies include forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind-Spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert, reverse automatic emergency braking, pedestrian and cyclist detection, and rear seat reminder.
The infotainment system is a mixed bag. The large 11.9-inch vertical screen is easy to see and reach, and the large graphics are easy to navigate by touch. Physical controls make it a snap to adjust audio and climate settings. However, the graphics look a bit old school and the system can be slow to respond to touch and voice commands. On sunny days, there can be a fair amount of sun glare on the screen.
Cargo space is above average for the class. There are 19.9 cubic feet with both rows of seating in place and 54.7 cubes with the second row folded. The 60/40 split fold rear seatbacks allow for flexibility in hauling passengers and gear. A retractable cargo cover comes standard.
More capable off-roader than regular Crosstrek
Decent fuel economy
Roomy and practical interior
Standard wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Infotainment system is a mixed bag
My tester starts at $31,995. The Option Package with 10-way driver’s seat with two-way lumbar support, Harman Kardon 10-speaker audio system and power moonroof is $2,270. Destination charge is $1,295 bringing the grand total to $35,560.