Drive Notes: 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Due to travel, I got a little behind on giving you the Cliff's Notes on what I've been testing, so you'll get two this week.

First up: The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness.

The " off-road" version of the Crosstrek has 9.3 inches of ground clearance, all-terrain tires, an upgraded suspension, and slightly different interior and exterior design.


  • Like other Crosstreks, the Wilderness offers no-fuss utility. It's a bit boring, but it's easy to live with.
  • The raised ground clearance doesn't really hurt on-road/in-town ride and handling. It rides and handles like the other Crosstreks.
  • I still like Subie's big infotainment screen.


  • It feels a bit unrefined, and there are some cheap-feeling interior materials/plastics.
  • I'd like a skoosh more power.
  • It's a bit too loud, mostly in terms of engine noise, at times. Not obnoxious, mind you, but not as quiet as many modern cars -- even others at its price point.

The Crosstrek Wilderness is basically like the Crosstrek Premium*, just with some hiking boots. That's not a bad thing. It won't excite you, but it's easy to live with, and that counts for a lot these days.

*In terms of overall experience -- I forgot to point out that the Wilderness has the same 2.5-liter engine as the Sport and Limited, while the Premium has the 2.0-liter.

[Images © 2024 Tim Healey/]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for, CarFax,, High Gear Media, Torque News,,, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as,, and He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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3 of 26 comments
  • EAM3 EAM3 on Mar 21, 2024

    After many, many years - and many German cars, mostly BMW - I sold my '08 335i and picked up a '24 Crosstrek Limited. Honestly? I love the car. The ground clearance is nice, since around here, when it rains, it pours and light flooding has become a regular thing. It's small enough that I can park it anywhere (spots are getting smaller in all the new plazas being built). The ride is fantastic and the seats are great. It has all the features, and more, that I want or need. I could not be happier.

    • FreedMike FreedMike on Mar 25, 2024

      "...I really can't understand the hate they get."

      If you live here in Denver, you can usually find Subarus clogging up the fast lane of every freeway, particularly on 36 coming into Boulder. And I'm not sure what it takes to get them out of the left lane (Polite ask? Headlight flashing? Act of Congress? Sidewinder missile? ) but they NEVER move over. Ever.

      Explains a great deal of the anti-Subie hate.

  • Arthur Dailey Arthur Dailey on Mar 21, 2024

    Have zero interest in off roading. But live in Canada so drive in the snow regularly. Am interested in a Crosstrek but what is the back seat like? What is headroom like? Does the 'boxer' engine inherently leak oil? What are Subaru dealers like to deal with? It seems that Subaru is almost a 'cult'. Much like Volvo was in the 1960's early 1970's.

  • Ted Lulis Head gaskets and Toyota putting my kids through college👍️
  • Leonard Ostrander Plants don't unionize. People do, and yes, of course the workers should organize.
  • Jalop1991 Here's something EVangelists don't want to talk about, and why range is important: battery warranties, by industry standard, specify that nothing's wrong with the battery, and they won't replace it, as long as it is able to carry 70% or more of its specified capacity.So you need a lot of day 1 capacity so that down the road, when you're at 70% capacity with a "fully functioning, no problem" car, you're not stuck in used Nissan Leaf territory."Nothing to see here, move along."There's also the question of whether any factory battery warranty survives past the original new car owner. So it's prudent of any second owner to ask that question specifically, and absent any direct written warranty, assume that the second and subsequent owners own any battery problems that may arise.And given that the batteries are a HUGE expense, much more so than an ICE, such exposure is equally huge."Nothing to see here, move along."
  • Roger hopkins The car is in Poland??? It does look good tho...
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X The push for EV's is part of the increase in our premiums. Any damage near the battery pack and the car is a total loss.