2022 Subaru Outback Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.
Crossover vehicles claim to give drivers the practicality of an SUV with the drivability of a sedan. Different brands have tried to accomplish this in different ways. Overall, there has been much success and this vehicle type has exploded in popularity.
The Subaru Outback is a vehicle that has always been unique. It started out as a wagon, but in recent years it has jumped on the crossover bandwagon. The 2022 Outback is widely applauded for its generous interior space and fuel economy. As a significant bonus, this crossover also comes standard with all-wheel drive. Most models of the Outback see no significant changes as they move into 2022.
In total, there are eight different versions of the 2022 Outback. Some are vastly different, while others only change what they have underneath the hood. The 2022 model sees the introduction of an all-new off-road-oriented trim level known as the Wilderness, giving buyers more to consider when they hit the dealership.
The following is a thorough summary of the differences between the trim levels. It is intended to simplify the selection process for those interested in the 2022 Subaru Outback.
Compare the Base vs Premium Trims. What is the difference?
Underneath the hood of the base Subaru Outback in 2022 is a 2.5L four-cylinder engine that creates 182-horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque. It pairs with a continuously variable transmission. This entry-level model rides on 17-inch alloy wheels and features standard hill descent control and all-wheel drive.
The base Outback is the only model to have manually adjustable front seats. There is cloth upholstery and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat. Steering-wheel-mounted controls and transmission paddle shifters are found in all models of the 2022 Outback as well. Single-zone automatic climate control rounds out the comfort features. Overall, the cabin of this trim level is free of bells and whistles.
For this model, Subaru gives the Outback dual 7-inch touchscreens. Both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are included, and there are two USB ports in the front row. The standard sound system features only four speakers.
Advanced safety features are found on all 2022 Outback models. The entry-level model includes pre-collision braking, lane-keep assist, sway warning, and lane departure warning. Adaptive cruise control featuring lane centering is also part of the standard EyeSight technology package. Further adding to the convenience of this base model are automatic high beams and auto on/off headlights that are linked to the windshield wipers.
The base 2022 Outback has many of the more traditional safety features that shoppers expect from all new cars. The list includes a tire pressure monitoring system, brake assist, and LED daytime running lights. Of course, there is also a rear-vision camera equipped as well.
While no mechanical upgrades are made for the Premium model, there are several changes to the exterior. It gains LED headlights, for example, along with heated and power-folding side mirrors. Those mirrors also get turn signal integration. This model comes standard with a windshield wiper de-icer.
Moving inside the Premium, buyers find that the driver's seat gains power adjustment. The single-zone automatic climate control gets upgraded to dual-zone, allowing the front passenger to find a comfortable temperature that is different than the one chosen by the driver. Further helping those in the front on chilly mornings are the standard heated seats. A leather-wrapped steering wheel is also thrown in.
Rather than having two 7-inch touchscreens, the Premium model is the first to go with an 11.6-inch touchscreen. There are two charging-only USB ports located in the second row as well, something that tech-savvy families may enjoy. The sound system gains two extra speakers, bringing the total up to six, and a Wi-Fi hotspot is included.
The Premium trim level has a retractable and removable cargo area cover. On the safety front, it remains the same as the base model. That said, this is the first model to offer blind-spot monitoring.
Compare the Premium vs Limited Trims. What is the difference?
For the Limited model, the wheel size of the Outback goes up to 18-inches. A hands-free power liftgate also joins the list of standard equipment. Otherwise, the Limited is the same underneath the hood and on its exterior as the Premium.
Significant upgrades are made to the interior of the Limited. The upholstery gains leather trim, and the front passenger finally gets some power adjustment options. For those who are sitting in the back, the rear outboard seats are heated. Rear air vents are also included, making it easier to warm up or cool down in the second row. Rounding out the luxury upgrades is an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
For the base and Premium models, only the front windows have auto up/down windows. For the Limited, this handy feature is extended to the rear windows as well. This is the first trim level to give the Outback reverse automatic emergency braking as well as forward automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring becomes standard. The Limited is also the first one to include driver attention monitoring on its list of available features.
Compare the Limited vs Touring Trims. What is the difference?
When looking at the Touring model of the Outback, buyers may notice that it has a satin chrome finish for the side mirrors. The previous models had either body-colored or black instead. The Touring is the last option on the list to come standard with the 182-horsepower engine.
Inside, this luxurious model goes with Nappa leather for the upholstery trim. Sophisticated contrast stitching is added as well. The front seats gain ventilation on top of the heat, making this option perfect for any weather. The Outback Touring also has a CD player, something that was missing from the lower trim levels. A power-tilting moonroof is added here.
A 180-degree front-view monitor comes standard for this upper trim level. It also gains the previously optional driver attention monitoring system. Otherwise, the standard and available features are the same for the Touring and Limited.
Compare the Touring vs Onyx Edition XT. What is the difference?
The next trim level that Subaru lists is called the Outback Onyx Edition XT. It has significantly fewer features and actually costs a couple of thousand dollars less than the Touring. What makes the Onyx Edition XT a special is what is residing under its hood.
This is the first option to come with a turbocharged 2.4L four-cylinder engine. It is capable of generating 260-horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. While all previous models could only tow up to 2,700 pounds, any properly-equipped model with this turbo option can go up to 3,500 pounds.
The biggest consideration when looking at an "XT" model with the turbocharged engine rather than the standard option is the fuel economy. With its standard engine, the 2022 Outback is estimated to get 26mpg city and 33mpg highway. The more powerful engine is estimated to get 23mpg city and 30mpg highway. The standard engine has better-than-average numbers, while the turbocharged is more in line with the rest of the wagons and compact SUVs out there.
Several of the features found on the Limited either become optional or are completely eliminated for the Onyx Edition XT. Both the moonroof and navigation are demoted to available, for example. The reverse automatic emergency braking also goes back to being optional. Driver attention monitoring is not available for the Onyx Edition.
In many ways, the Onyx Edition is very similar to the Premium model, only with the more powerful engine. It is a good blend of popular features with satisfying performance.
Compare the Onyx Edition XT vs Wilderness Trims. What is the difference?
The Outback Wilderness is the new trim level that is being marketed to off-road enthusiasts. It has a starting price of approximately $1,000 lower than the Touring model. It maintains the turbocharged engine and increases its ground clearance from the standard 8.7-inches to 9.5-inches.
Several other rugged upgrades are made to the Outback Wilderness. The roof rack, for example, is able to handle 700 pounds of weight. This makes it the only Outback appropriate for mounting a rooftop tent. All-terrain tires and a front skid plate further add to this model's ability to handle rougher terrain.
Of all the 2022 Subaru Outback models, the Wilderness is the least fuel-efficient. It is estimated to get 22mpg in the city and 26mpg on the highway. These numbers are significantly lower than the other options, particularly with the standard engine, and may make buyers think twice.
The Wilderness has a different exterior design, making it easy to identify. There are crystal black badges along with eye-catching copper trim accents. The fender flare and bumper design is unique as well. Not only do these style features give the Wilderness its own identity, but they also are designed to help with off-roading. It is worth noting that the Wilderness sits on 17-inch wheels rather than 18-inch ones, likely to help it with traction on unstable surfaces.
Compare the Wilderness vs Limited XT. What is the difference?
The Outback Limited XT is equipped very similarly to the standard Limited model. It costs approximately $500 more than the Touring model and $4,500 more than the standard Limited. That is because the Limited XT gets the turbocharged power. Features that went away for the Onyx Edition and Wilderness models, such as the power moonroof, come back for the Limited XT. The wheel size returns to 18-inches for this trim level.
Compare the Limited XT vs Touring XT. What is the difference?
Living at the very top of the 2022 Outback trim ladder is the Touring XT. This is the model to choose if a buyer wants absolutely everything that this vehicle offers. In addition to the turbocharged engine, the Touring XT is home to the front-view monitor and ventilated front seats that the Limited XT is missing.
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Which Trim to Choose?
The right trim choice depends on what the driver plans on doing with the Subaru Outback. If they are just looking for a well-equipped vehicle for their daily drives, the Premium model is the way to go. It will not break the bank but has several extras that are missing from the entry-level model.
If off-roading is the goal, the new Wilderness model is worth serious consideration. It makes genuine upgrades that will help this version of the Outback get further off the beaten path. It also has the more powerful engine, making it more fun to drive.
For those who do not need to go off-roading but want the extra power, the Onyx Edition will be the appropriate choice. It is the most affordable option with the turbocharged power and has the same features as the Premium model.
If it is within the budget, the 2022 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition will appeal to most drivers.
• 2021 Subaru Outback Trime Levels