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Thread: Subaru forester offroad capability ?

  1. #1

    Subaru forester offroad capability ?

    I have a Forester that I bought new in 2003, which has been the family car and now has 72K on the clock. I am starting to think of a replacement family car and need to decide whether to keep the Forester or my Jimny for my stalking etc. Neither have been any trouble so reliability is not an issue. My Jimny, although 2001 has only 54K on the clock and never lets me down but it's size has its limitations in some circumstances.

    I know the bad guys use the Forester for illegal coursing etc. but perhaps that is more to do with its speed for getting away than genuine off-road capability ?

    I was wondering if any of our members have used a Forester off road for genuine stalking work and if so what it was like ? Your experience would be appreciated.

  2. #2

    forrester

    I had a 2001 2.0 petrol non turbo model, which had the extra low gear.

    It had decent Bridgestone Dueller AT tyres, it was very good in the mud and grassy fields, good on slippy tracks, great in snow, and a great sized boot, the only thing that let it down in my opinion was the ground clearance which wasnt brilliant, it also had quite a long overhang, so was always ploughing/banging the towbar.

    But other than that a cracking car, not too thirsty, fairly quick, but parts were a nightmare and expensive.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    what tyres and who is driving?

    key ingredients to getting from A to B in offroad conditions.
    Father has one, it wears winter tyres all year round, seem pretty handy with low and high box
    ground clearance is the main issue but route choice can negate that if you are truly off road rather than navigating a rutted forest track with no change of course possible

  4. #4
    I have a Ford F150 4x4 with a transfer case(low & high range). It has a relatively high ground clerance. It is rugged. It has truley 'off road' capabilities. About 6 months ago I bought a Toyota Rav4 all wheel drive. It is basicaly a small station wagon , SUV, that goes into AWD when sensors tell it that it is loosing tractions in the front wheels. I have found that it is realy not an 'off road' vehicle. It's fine on rough roads, relatively flat trails/paths and across grass fields. It's not bad on the sand. But it's not something I'd want to take to the outback, plains of Africa or off road here in Texas. It does work fairly well on the ranch roads/trails as long as I am aware of the ground clearance. I might add the obviousl fact that the gas milage and comfort of it around town are far better than the truck. capt david
    Last edited by captdavid; 05-12-2012 at 15:51.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by floyd View Post
    I had a 2001 2.0 petrol non turbo model, which had the extra low gear.

    It had decent Bridgestone Dueller AT tyres, it was very good in the mud and grassy fields, good on slippy tracks, great in snow, and a great sized boot, the only thing that let it down in my opinion was the ground clearance which wasnt brilliant, it also had quite a long overhang, so was always ploughing/banging the towbar.

    But other than that a cracking car, not too thirsty, fairly quick, but parts were a nightmare and expensive.

    Good luck.
    I too am interested, what do you mean by extra low gear? I know they had hi /lo range, but was there an alternative from that? cheers Pauly
    Life is too short!

  6. #6
    Driven a forester and its a good laugh but useless properly off road due to ground clearance

    I have had four Jeeps and a Shogun and if you want a proper off road capabul comfortable car the Shogun is the one to go for. Its off road capabuility was astonishing

    But i had to sell it as 25mpg in diesel was killing me at 1000+ a month on durv so I baught a Rav4

    Its no where neer as good but if I am honest its not that bad and the extra stuff i could do in the Shogun was just for kicks

    A good set of tyres and the Rav will get me most places and it does it all at 45mpg

    A compromise would be the 3.0v6 Grand cherokee which was prety damed good off road and gave me 30mpg

    I had the old box type Cherokees in 4.0ltr Petrol and the Diesel (cant remember the engin size think it was 2.3 or something) The 4.0ltr petrol was prety good off road but lacked ground clearance. 15mpg was a killer even in 1995.

    I havent tried the later ones as I thaught they looked crap but I am likeing the latest version.

    If you can put up with the styleing of the older ones, the diesel might be worth a look.

    ATB

    Mark

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by captdavid View Post
    I have a Ford F150 4x4 with a transfer case(low & high range). It has a relatively high ground clerance. It is rugged. It has truley 'off road' capabilities. About 6 months ago I bought a Toyota Rav4 all wheel drive. It is basicaly a small station wagon , SUV, that goes into AWD when sensors tell it that it is loosing tractions in the front wheels. I have found that it is realy not an 'off road' vehicle. It's fine on rough roads, relatively flat trails/paths and across grass fields. It's not bad on the sand. But it's not something I'd want to take to the outback, plains of Africa or off road here in Texas. It does work fairly well on the ranch roads/trails as long as I am aware of the ground clearance. I might add the obviousl fact that the gas milage and comfort of it around town are far better than the truck. capt david
    And the least relevant post of the day goes to....

    Meanwhile, back to answering the OPs question. It depends what sort of 4x4 capability you need for your ground - you know your ground best, but as stated above, Foresters are pretty handy but limiting factors are always ground clearance and tyres. You own one already, so give it a couple of runs off road and see how it stands up. If it's not up to what you want then a quick jetwash and valet and nothing lost.

  8. #8
    I have a 2litre turbo auto and it is fantastic off and on road. Ground clearance plus front and rear overhangs can be a problem (as mentioned) but you can quickly get used to these and choose your route accordingly.

    Mine wears Yokohama Geolander g900's which are good on all surfaces.

    Put "Forester off road" into YouTube to see what they can do.
    Handle every stressful situation like a dog. If you can't eat it, hump it or learn from it then piss on it and walk away.

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  9. #9
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    Not a bad car the forester, my mother has the 2.0 non turbo petrol version, circa 2007 I believe. As has been said above, great boot, not too bad on the motor way, reasonable returns per gallon, surprisingly comfortable and pretty durable. Not really what I would describe as a 'true' off roader though. It is fine for parking on muddy fields when I go beating and is ideal for snow or rough country tracks and is also fine for getting on and off beaches with the boat, but would I trust one to get me home from the middle of Dartmoor over a shogun or even a freelander? No. I don't think so. Also worth bearing in mind that it is a touch underpowered for towing, irrespective of whatever the instruction manual says. My mother occasionally uses it to take the horse over short hops, but give it any sort of gradient and it struggles hugely. Don't get me wrong, with the right tires and driver, it will be reasonably capable, but don't expect the world...

  10. #10
    i got pulled out of a muddy boggy field buy one i was bogged to my axle's in my old nissan, then came this little shopping cart ? and if damnedest thing happened it pi******d over the mud and pulled me out it had not even got mud tyres on !!!!

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