Posted Monday, October 2, 2023 at 10:48pm

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness Proves Surprisingly Capable

Mountain goats look unbalanced—they have goofy faces accented by a tuft of chin hair, and their heads look far too small for their bodies. Yet these large, oddly proportioned beasts possess extreme rock-climbing capability, able to navigate sheer cliff faces and perch on the narrowest of ledges.

In the automotive kingdom, the new 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness is similarly deceptive. Compared to boxy body-on-frame off-roaders such as the Jeep Wrangler and Ford Bronco, the Crosstrek’s tall-boy hatchback stance and smallish size don’t suggest all-terrain competence, even with its acres of plastic body cladding. But our first drive of the Crosstrek Wilderness—which took place largely on trails through the desert surrounding Zion National Park in Utah— revealed a surprisingly spry and adept machine, one that was able to climb steeper hills and traverse more treacherous terrain than expected while maintaining the comfortable on-road demeanor of a standard Crosstrek.