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Subaru Will Hit It Out Of The Park If It Brings A New Truck With No CVT

Subaru enthusiasts have spoken, and they would buy a new 2023 Subaru Wilderness truck if it offered five things. Number one, of course, is no CVT. Check out the rest here.

This week, we ran a story about an all-new 2023 Subaru Wilderness truck, and Subaru enthusiasts would buy it if Subaru of America built one. We read all the comments and came up with five common features fans want in a new truck. If Subaru makes it, they will come.

No CVT but a 6-speed manual

The number one feature fans do not want is an all-new 2023 Subaru truck with a Continuously Variable automatic Transmission (CVT). Many Subaru owners despise the CVT, and they don't want it in a Subaru pickup. Of course, it needs a 6-speed manual gearbox, and Subaru already has a good one in its Crosstrek subcompact SUV.

2023 Subaru Wilderness truck
photo credit: Subtle Solutions @subtlesolutions

The reason Subaru keeps the CVT is because of two reasons; EyeSight and fuel mileage. Subaru hasn't been willing to spend the money to make EyeSight compatible with a manual transmission. And Subaru loves the CVT because it improves fuel efficiency.

Bring back the 3.6-liter Boxer but with a turbo

While the FA24 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer engine would be a good fit for a new Subaru truck, many fans want a 6-cylinder engine with more horsepower for towing. The current 2.4-liter turbocharged engine in the Outback XT and Ascent family hauler produces 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. Subaru could increase power in the FA24, but a 3.6-liter Boxer with a turbocharger would be a good option.

2023 Subaru Wilderness truck
photo credit: KDesign AG (Kleber Silva)

5,000 lb. towing capacity

A Subaru truck has to have enough towing capacity to pull a midsize trailer. The new pickup would need to have at least 5,000 lbs towing capacity and up to 6,500 lbs.

Standard and Wilderness trim levels

If Subaru offered two trim levels, it would satisfy two types of buyers. The standard Premium trim level would be for those wanting a truck for light duties and powered by the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. The Subaru Wilderness trim level for heavy-duty, towing, and off-road recreation would come with a new 3.6-liter 6-cylinder turbocharged Boxer producing 300 horsepower.

Make it affordable

The new Subaru truck needs to be affordable. Subaru's loyal followers want a truck with a starting MSRP of around $29,000 for the Premium trim level. The top-trim Subaru Wilderness truck would have a starting price of $36,995 and could be fully loaded for just under $40,000.

Subaru's loyal fans have spoken, and they would buy a new 2023 Subaru Wilderness truck if it offered five things. They don't want a CVT, offer a 6-cylinder engine option; it must have at least 5,000 lb. towing capacity, two trim levels, and it must be affordable. The five features are doable. Are you listening Subaru?

Give us your thoughts and let Subaru of America know what you want in a new 2023 Subaru Wilderness truck in the comments below.

You Might Also Like: The New Subaru Wilderness Truck You Want In Your Garage Next Year

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: main image used with permission from Subtle Solutions @subtlesolutions


Jim Zavist (not verified)    October 30, 2021 - 8:22AM

It would also need to be offered with either a single cab or "king" cab, with a "real" bed, in addition to the crew cab, shown.

Keith Ogata (not verified)    October 31, 2021 - 9:46AM

In reply to by Jim Zavist (not verified)

And make the bed more practical, look at all the trucks on the streets their so high you can only load them from the rear. It's a truck to work in and out of, who want to climb in and out of the bed everytime you want to load something or use a ladder. I saw a Ford ranger the other day and the beds so high, I said to myself get a van, you can carry more people and protect your cargo better. Just saying.

Beth (not verified)    October 31, 2021 - 8:57PM

In reply to by Jim Zavist (not verified)

Agree. A full size bed or close to it would work. My lease runs out in 24 so the timing is great. I have a Tundra right now. Something a bit smaller and more gas friendly would be nice. We've owned 2 Outbacks.

Keith vigeant (not verified)    October 30, 2021 - 10:46AM

Subaru wilderness truck I would buy only if it offers a 2 door model. Otherwise all it is a car with a pen trunk. It you are going to make a truck then make a truck. 2 doors, manual transmission, long bed, good towing capacity and able to carry at least 1200 lbs. and if they can get 25 mpg out of it that would be great. Sounds like a lot but the new Nissan Frontier fits the bill minus the manual trans.

Jack (not verified)    October 31, 2021 - 2:28AM

In reply to by Keith vigeant (not verified)

Yeah, what Keith said!

Don't make another baja mistake. Actually go all in & all out and compete with Ridgline and even the new Frontier. Do it, I dare you Subaru.

Justin McCauley (not verified)    October 30, 2021 - 1:19PM

Would love to own a Subaru truck with everything you listed and would even if over $40,000.00 would be awesome!

William W Helwig (not verified)    October 31, 2021 - 11:43AM

In reply to by Justin McCauley (not verified)


Would be interested in the New Wilderness truck in the 28,000 to 32,000 sport price range.

Zach (not verified)    October 30, 2021 - 2:01PM

IF, a big IF, this vehicle was ever going to see the light of day, it would not feature a 3.6, since the flat 6 does not fit in the global platform frame, it would definitely be a cvt, not just because of the reasons listed above but also because it’s packaging is excellent for Subarus symmetrical awd.
Towing capacity is going to be limited to 5000 lbs just like a Honda Ridgeline, matching the highest of the unibody trucks.
If based off the Ascent size, price would if we are lucky, follow that pretty closely. Which is considerably higher than 29k-40k.
If based off the Outback, it would probably fall somewhere in between outback and ascent pricing, 30k to 42k.
None of this matters because Subaru is focusing on electric vehicles and really doesnt have any production capacity to build another vehicle. Especially right now.
Fun to imagine though. Still think it would sell great even if all those real world limitations were in place

Dave Skolnik (not verified)    October 30, 2021 - 4:31PM

I like all of the above suggestion for a possible Subaru truck. In addition, I absolutely need abed that goes way beyond what was available in the now "late" Baja. A truck needs utility and the bed is key. No, it doesn't have to accomodate a 10 foot longboard (altho that would be nice,) but accommodating skis are a must.

Richard Ward (not verified)    October 30, 2021 - 5:11PM

I would buy this truck in a minute. Absolutely love the idea. I have infact bought a 1991 Isuzu xs 4x4. With the intent to install the drive train from an Impreza RS 2.5 manual.

Patrick Doherty (not verified)    October 30, 2021 - 5:58PM

I would be interested in a new Subaru Baja Pickup. I'd want an automatic transmission however.

Mike (not verified)    October 30, 2021 - 6:17PM

Replaced my Chevy Z71 with an Outback. I would love to have a Subaru truck. I understand everyone wanting a standard tranny but, as an above the knee left leg amputee, I could stick with the CVT or a regular auto tranny with a great gear range. I hope this truly is in the works.

David Wilkins (not verified)    October 30, 2021 - 7:00PM

The problem with off road performance and towing capacity is the two suspension setups are on opposite sides of the spectrum. Off road capability and performance demands a much softer suspension setup versus a suspension in a smaller truck looking to tow 5000-6500 lbs. Not saying it isn't possible, but some compromises would need to be made.

Michael VanNatta (not verified)    October 30, 2021 - 7:42PM

I’m interested in a Subaru truck.
Packaged with a fuel efficient turbocharged engine.
Technology along with safety is a must.
Size like the Ascent along with a functional bed.
Priced 29k - 40k.

John Goepel (not verified)    October 30, 2021 - 11:22PM

This isn't news. Is this someone's job now? Just writing bs about other people's Facebook and reddit post comments?

The photoshop rendering is even trash. They forgot to remove the front aftermarket lip from the side. The front is too short, with the bottom of the bumper a foot higher than the rockers. If anything it would probably look like a late model Ascent at the front.

Try writing articles about actual news man. This is just regurgitating social media shit posts.

Please don't send me emails or give away my email address.

Strve (not verified)    October 30, 2021 - 11:33PM

I enjoy reading your site. I’m a senior and I love my 2014 Forrester XT. I was intent on buying a new one for 2021 or even 2020 but they drop the XT. Turbo charged engine is such a great performer and I don’t want anything less. why does Subaru, turn away what I think is a big segment of possible customers? I really enjoyed eyesight and don’t really want to look elsewhere, but Subaru has shut the door on the XT.

Robert Springer (not verified)    October 30, 2021 - 11:45PM

Yes bring out a 6 cyl. w/auto transmission,6 speed. Towing of 5000lbs. And above all the ride must be comfortable w/ seats adjustable and lumbar support. All in a awd truck. It is doable if Honda can market one (Ridgeline).

Dave (not verified)    October 30, 2021 - 11:57PM

I would seriously consider a Subaru truck built like a wrx. Low, good suspension, nice wide tires. Like the Ford lightening or Tacoma x-runner but with a Subaru turbo AWD and 6-speed. Wow

Hans Oor (not verified)    October 31, 2021 - 3:29AM

I think Subaru's "truck" should be offered with a conventional modern auto trans as well as a manual and a low range of at least a 3:1 ratio with lockable center and rear differentials (rear live axle?) for true off road capability.
Make it a real truck not like that Honda Ridgeline faux truck.

Jason (not verified)    October 31, 2021 - 9:17AM

Their cars aren't worth having, I can't imagine why someone would look for a reason to buy one of their trucks.

JBennett (not verified)    October 31, 2021 - 10:57AM

I love the rendering in grey. Very Tacomaish. Why not go after the Tacoma. They need some REAL competition. Meet their specs or beat them, and you'll have a great vehicle with great sales.