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Subaru Outback Is The Best Off-Road Wagon Without Wilderness Upgrades

The 2021 Subaru Outback is still the most popular all-wheel-drive wagon for off-road pursuits. See where it's the best off-road vehicle of the year for the eighth time.


The all-new 2022 Outback Wilderness is coming this summer, but before it arrives in U.S. showrooms, the 2021 Outback picks up another best off-road wagon award. Again, the SUV-alternative family hauler sets itself apart in a world dominated by SUVs.

The 2021 Subaru Outback is named the best off-road wagon in the all-terrain category again in Russia's "Car of the Year" awards. In addition, the Outback has received the award for the best "All-terrain vehicle" for the eighth time since 2005.

2022 Subaru Outback, Outback Wilderness, features, specs, pricing

The annual Car of the Year awards is a unique research project that studies car owners' preferences across the country. The National Prize has been awarded every year for 21 years. The report says the audience is actively growing with females and the younger generation. The largest share, 27 percent, is in the 30 to 34 years old age range (versus 24 percent, 35-39, a year earlier.)

What sets the Subaru Outback apart from SUVs?

Customers with active lifestyles pick Outback for its standard all-wheel-drive, 8.7-inches of ground clearance, X-Mode, new dual-function X-Mode for off-pavement capability, and similar driving dynamics and fuel economy of a car.

2022 Subaru Outback, Outback Wilderness, features, specs, pricing

It's not the first award for Subaru or the Outback wagon. Subaru vehicles have taken first place in various nominations more than once. In 2021, the Subaru Outback brought the brand a thirteenth victory.

Previous Subaru Car of the Year Awards:

2020: Subaru Outback is the Best Off-Road Wagon
2019: Subaru Outback is the Best Off-Road Wagon
2018: Subaru XV is the Best Compact SUV
2017: Subaru Outback is the Best Off-Road Wagon
2016: Subaru Outback is the Best Off-Road Wagon
2015: Subaru Forester - SUV of the Year (Light SUV)
2014: Subaru Forester - SUV of the Year (Light SUV)
2011: Subaru Outback is the Best All-Terrain Wagon
2007: Subaru Legacy Outback Best All-Terrain Station Wagon
2006: Subaru Forester - SUV of the Year (Light SUV)
2005: Subaru Legacy Outback Best Off-Road Wagon
2003: Subaru Impreza - Best Small Middle Class

How does Subaru pick up the best all-terrain vehicle award for the eighth time? Building capable all-wheel-drive vehicles are one of the brand's core values. So even before the 2022 Outback Wilderness arrives, Subaru offers an improved all-wheel-drive system in the 2021 Outback. It features dual-function X-Mode. Read how the upgraded system works below.

You Might Also Like: You Won’t Find This New Subaru Outback XT Feature On Any Other Family SUV

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Subaru