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Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

With its 9.5 inches of ground clearance, all-terrain tires, beefy suspension and front skid plate, the Subaru Outback Wilderness is the rugged version of this popular SUV that you always wished they’d build.

Sure, you could achieve some of this compact crossover’s new-found off-road capability yourself with a few well-chosen bolt-on upgrades to a mainstream Outback; however, some of the improvements the Wilderness sports—such as the enhanced all-wheel-drive system—would be hard to duplicate.

While there are gnarly trails where the Outback Wilderness would be out of its depth, it performed admirably on the dirt and gravel fire roads I explored. Back on the pavement, this Outback delivered the same smooth, quiet ride as its standard cousin. The 2.4-liter horizontally opposed turbocharged four-cylinder delivered all the performance and then some.

Inside, this wagon-like SUV offers plenty of room for four adults and a week’s worth of camping gear. All that makes this model the one you want if you’re intent on leaving civilization behind.


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— Confidence-inspiring off-pavement performance

— The front-view camera is handy on and off roads.



— There are limits to its off-road capabilities.

— Slight vagueness in steering on curvy roads



Respectable ruggedness in a crossover SUV suitable for daily driving



Base Price: $26,945

As Tested: $38,120



NHTSA/Overall: 5 Stars (out of 5)


M.P.G. (city/highway)

22/26 (2.4L HO4)