That’s the mode that we stayed in at Holly Oaks ORV Park in Oakland County, Michigan, where Subaru set up shop for the week and laid out a 25-minute trail ride that showed how the Wilderness attacks the dirt, mud, and sand.
We climbed 40-degree inclines, using the front camera to see over the huge crests. As long as we kept our foot down, the Outback clambered up like a mountain goat. The declines were almost more impressive as we tried out the hill-descent control. Basically, whatever speed you go over the crest at is what you’ll creep down at. Despite some seriously steep declines, where we could hear the antilock brakes jockeying for grip, at no point the Wilderness feel out of control.
It was just as fun as the fast, sandy parts of the trail, where we were allowed to give it some gas. With all-wheel drive kicking up four rooster tails of dirt, the Outback was in its element. Even as the dirt and mud became deep, X-Mode just kept us moving. It was quite impressive, but then again, so is the normal Subaru Outback.