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The 8 NWAPA Mudfest Winners, Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness Gets Dirty With The Big Dogs

The remodeled 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness get its first award. This NWAPA honor gets down and dirty. It's for emerging from the mud with the best value award. See which models the Crosstrek rides tough with.

The Northwest Automotive Press Association (NWAPA) likes to play in the mud. Spring is the perfect time because it's mud season in the Rocky Mountain Northwest. When the snow melts, the mud takes over, and the fun begins. It's when the most rugged off-road vehicles come out to play. 

NWAPA says, "While each contender has its strengths and weaknesses, the vehicles (we picked) stood out from the crowd to the assembled NWAPA media members."

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness in the mud

The NWAPA Mudfest took place over two days at The Ridge Motorsports Park. It featured a series of comprehensive tests designed to assess everything from acceleration and handling to off-road capability in the mud.

The Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness Emerges From The Mud As Best Value Pick

The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness was the smallest SUV winner and won the Best Value NW Outdoor Activity Vehicle award in the 2024 model year competition. Seeing a Subaru vehicle back in the winners' circle is perfect because mud is where the Japanese all-wheel-drive models thrive. It's why a dirty Subaru is a happy Subaru. 

It's Been Awhile

The last time a Subaru vehicle won a Mudfest award was in 2019 when the 2019 Subaru Forester Sport took home the best all-wheel-drive SUV in the Subcompact and Compact Family vehicle category.

In 2021, the Subaru Outback Wilderness was a finalist but failed to win the midsize SUV category. NWAPA voted for the 2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392, and the runner-up was the 2021 Ford Bronco 2-Door Advanced Badlands 4X4 trim. At the time, I was surprised the lifted and rugged Outback Wilderness did not at least get a runner-up nod.

Before I tell you why the 2024 Crosstrek Wilderness is the top pick, I've listed the 2024 model winners. 

NWAPA Mudfest Categories and Winners

  • Two-Row Family SUV: 2024 Jeep Wrangler 2-Door Rubicon X
  • Three-Row Family SUV: 2024 Kia EV9 GT-Line AWD
  • Luxury SUV: 2024 Lexus GX 550 Overtrail
  • Pickup Truck: 2024 Chevrolet Colorado 4WD ZR2 Bison
  • Electrified Outdoor Utility Vehicle: 2024 Kia EV9 GT-Line AWD
  • Extreme Capability SUV: 2024 Jeep Wrangler 2-Door Rubicon X
  • Best Value NW Outdoor Activity Vehicle: 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness
  • NW Outdoor Activity Vehicle of the Year: 2024 Lexus GX 550 Overtrail

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness rear view in the mud

Why Should You Consider The Crosstrek Wilderness?

For the most active small SUV shoppers, there's the 2024 Crosstrek Wilderness. The all-new Crosstrek Wilderness costs $33,290, including dealer destination and delivery fees ($1,295).

What Sets The Wilderness Trim Apart From All Other Small SUVs?

For active customers looking to get further off the grid, the new 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness is the trim level you want. Here are some things I think are critical for SUV shoppers to know that set it far apart from the competition.

  • Off-Road Wheels with Yokohama Geolander All-Terrain Tires
  • Subaru 2.5-liter Boxer engine and revised drivetrain gearing
  • 9.3 Inches of ground clearance
  • Underbody armor protection 
  • Standard dual-function X-Mode provides settings that can optimize traction for varying conditions, including dirt, deep snow, and mud.
  • 3,500-pound towing capacity
  • Standard roof rails for carrying additional gear uptop
  • Hex-design LED fog lights
  • Anti-Glare hood design
  • More prominent wheel arch cladding
  • Water-Repellent StarTex upholstery
  • Subaru Starlink multimedia with standard 11.6-inch touchscreen

If you are an outdoor enthusiast, I would say check out the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness trim level. It's different from every other compact SUV. The Crosstrek Wilderness will get you further off the grid for spring and summer fun in the mud. 


Are You A Serious Off-Roader? Are you buying a small SUV this spring? If so, why are you checking out the Crosstrek Wilderness? Click the red Add New Comment link below and let us know.

Thanks for reading, everyone. I hope you enjoyed this Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness story. See you tomorrow for my latest Subaru Report.

Before you go, check out the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness Extreme Off-Road Trail Test

I am Denis Flierl, a top Torque News and Subaru reporter since 2012. I’ve invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role, working with every major car brand. I am an experienced Rocky Mountain Automotive Press member. You'll find my expert Subaru analysis here. Follow me on my The Dirty Subaru website, Dirty Subaru blog, X SubaruReportAll Subaru, WRXSTI, @DenisFlierlFacebook, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Subaru USA