Subaru’s gunning for the adventurous crowd.
I’m sure you’ve noticed if you look around: Rugged and adventurous vehicles are red hot right now. Even everyday family SUVs like the Kia Sorento or Honda Passport are cashing in on that action. Subaru, for its part, pretty much anchors its brand on people who take their Outbacks and Foresters out to do stuff, especially if that stuff involves heading out into the wilderness.
To that end, Automotive News reports the Japanese automaker will upsell that lifestyle by spinning off ‘Wilderness’ into its own sub-brand with the Outback and Forester. Rather than going to the aftermarket to fulfill your off-road needs, think big, chunky tires from the factory. Subaru reportedly aims to couple more adventure-appropriate rubber with better ground clearance, and I’m sure a whack of factory or dealer-installed accessories will be part of the package as well.
Speaking of “package”, it’s not clear at the moment exactly how Subaru will market the ‘Wilderness’ among its dealers. Will it be a separate brand (sort of like how Outback spawned from the Legacy), or will this just be a top-end trim for the Forester and Outback? So you’d buy something like an Outback Wilderness or Forester Wilderness instead of a Touring, Onyx Edition or something like that. Our friends over at Jalopnik point out all the odd naming conflicts using “Wilderness” with “Forester” or “Outback” as well, so…who knows?
More details to come
We’ll have to wait and see how the company’s marketing team pitches that one. Love apparently makes a Subaru a Subaru, so what makes a Wilderness? Regardless, most of us want more rugged cars, dealers are clamoring for it, and for their part Subaru seems to be listening.
The brand’s built a devout fan base over the years, so I’m sure the die-hard and most brand loyal among them will jump in with both feet as soon as Wilderness hits their local dealers. Better still, the Pleiades badge wrapped in an even more adventurous package might help the company conquest some buyers away from the likes of Jeep and Toyota.