2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness First Drive Review: This thing's gonna sell itself

The Crosstrek’s standard EyeSight driver-assistance suite carries over to the Wilderness, and Subaru made a point to reprogram the tech to account for this model’s added ground clearance and different tires. A stronger transmission cooler and more powerful radiator fans improve the engine’s capabilities, too, and allow the Wilderness to tow 3,500 pounds – a nice improvement over the Crosstrek Sport’s 1,500-pound rating.

Like its exterior, the Crosstrek Wilderness’ interior is designed to be used and abused. The seat upholstery looks and feels a little like vinyl, but it’s waterproof, and the front chairs are comfy. Rugged floor mats will handle the gunk from your muddy boots, and there’s a removable and washable mat in the cargo area, which is good, because if you’re a Crosstrek Wilderness owner with muddy boots, you probably have a bunch of other muddy stuff, too.

The standard cabin tech loadout includes Subaru’s 11.6-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen, which looks impressive – well, when the car is off. Fire up the Crosstrek and you’ll be greeted by Subaru’s Starlink software, which was outdated the moment it was introduced, with low-res graphics and slow responses to inputs. At least Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connect wirelessly, and the optional Harman/Kardon stereo sounds halfway decent – not something to be said about most other Subarus.

That premium audio system is included in a $2,270 package that also includes a power driver’s seat with lumbar support and a sunroof. That’s the only available add-on for the Crosstrek Wilderness, save for cool dealer-installed accessories like mud flaps, dog-friendly convenience features and even a roof tent for those stronger roof rails. Pricing for the 2024 Crosstrek Wilderness starts at $33,290 including a $1,295 destination charge, and with the aforementioned factory option pack, a fully loaded version rings up for $35,560. That’s a pretty killer deal.

Not that any prospective Crosstrek Wilderness buyer will need convincing, of course. Like the previously introduced Outback and Forester Wilderness models, the Crosstrek version is the direct result of Subaru’s customer feedback, learned after years of watching buyers build their own off-road-modded SUVs. Right now, Wilderness models account for 20% of all Forester and Outback sales, meaning there’s clearly an audience for this sort of rugged glow-up. Adding the Crosstrek Wilderness to Subaru’s portfolio is a no-brainer. This thing’s going to sell itself.

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Originally posted on: https://www.autoblog.com/2023/10/02/2024-subaru-crosstrek-wilderness-first-drive/