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New Subaru Wilderness Coming to 2023 NYIAS, Could It Be the Crosstrek Wilderness?

The 2023 New York International Auto Show is opening its doors to the media on April 5, the day Subaru will present its third Wilderness after the Outback and Forester. The most likely candidate is the Crosstrek, a compact-ish crossover that received a thorough redesign for model year 2024 despite carrying over the old platform, engines, and continuously variable tranny.
2024 Subaru Wilderness teaser 14 photos
Photo: Subaru
2024 Subaru Crosstrek (third generation) for the U.S. market2024 Subaru Crosstrek (third generation) for the U.S. market2024 Subaru Crosstrek (third generation) for the U.S. market2024 Subaru Crosstrek (third generation) for the U.S. market2024 Subaru Crosstrek (third generation) for the U.S. market2024 Subaru Crosstrek (third generation) for the U.S. market2024 Subaru Crosstrek (third generation) for the U.S. market2024 Subaru Crosstrek (third generation) for the U.S. market2024 Subaru Crosstrek (third generation) for the U.S. market2024 Subaru Crosstrek (third generation) for the U.S. market2024 Subaru Crosstrek (third generation) for the U.S. market2024 Subaru Crosstrek (third generation) for the U.S. market2024 Subaru Crosstrek (third generation) for the U.S. market
Before going any further, let’s take a look at other Subarus currently on sale in North America. The list includes the Solterra electric crossover, which definitely won’t receive a rugged specification. The Ascent family-sized crossover is a good bet, although the sales figures greatly favor the Crosstrek for a Wilderness variant.

The Impreza doesn’t need one because it would steal customers away from the Crosstrek, and the Legacy is out of the question as well. The remaining BRZ and WRX clearly won’t receive the Wilderness treatment, leaving only the Crosstrek and Ascent in the running.

What should prospective customers expect from this fellow? Subaru promises rugged styling and all-terrain goodies, which are Wilderness trademarks. On the suck-squeeze-bang-blow front, a naturally-aspirated boxer is certain in the Crosstrek’s case. If Subaru follows in the footsteps of the Honda Pilot TrailSport with an Ascent Wilderness, then look forward to a force-fed boxer.

Be it Crosstrek or Ascent, a continuously variable transmission will have to suffice. The Lineartronic CVT of the 2024 model year Crosstrek comes with manual shift mode and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters on the Premium, Sport, and Limited Trim levels.

The Sport and Limited feature a 2.5-liter boxer with 182 horsepower and 178 pound-feet (241 Nm) of torque on deck, which is much better than the 2.0-liter mill in the Base and Premium trim levels. The lesser mill offers 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet (197 Nm) of twist.

Codenamed FA24F, the 2.4-liter turbocharged lump in the Ascent is standard across the board with 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet (376 Nm). Capable of seating up to eight occupants, the Ascent kicks off at $33,895 sans destination charge for the 2023 model. Pricing for the Crosstrek stays put at $24,995 right off the bat, whereas the 2.5-liter Limited costs $30,895.

The Outback was the first Scooby offered in Wilderness flavor, with Subaru giving the Outback Wilderness a mild facelift for the 2024 model year. Highlight features include the advanced dual function X-MODE system, 9.5-inch ground clearance, all-terrain rubber boots, upgraded suspension, front skid plate, and revised rear differential with a 4.44:1 final drive ratio.

It and the Forester Wilderness come with Yokohama Geolandar tires mounted on 17-inch alloys finished in matte black. Said tires are embossed with raised white letters, and both models come with a proper spare tire.

Subaru delivered 556,581 vehicles in the United States last year, with the Crosstrek leading the rest. No fewer than 155,142 units were sold, as opposed to 147,262 for the second-placed Outback and 114,096 for the Forester. Given these numbers, it sure looks like the Crosstrek will enter the Wilderness family for the 2024 model year.

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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