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Discussion Starter #1
We just came back from our first off-road driving. It is graded as an easy trail but some sections definitely felt like a medium difficulty as there were steep hills with loose gravels. Our 2011 outback 2.5 with yoko AT tires was awesome. I didn’t even have to try anything. The car just claw up the hill without any traction loss. We also splashed through puddles of water and mud and it was fun. I am new to the off roading but I was thoroughly impressed how capable it is.

The car has been fun but has been giving us some major headaches during the past two years from cracked cylinder, cvt transmission problem, broken window motor, etc. The engine had to be replaced and transmission was repaired. I promised myself that this will be our first and last suby. But today’s experience got me think twice. Is there any alternative that is reliable and equally capable? Or suby is pretty much the only option?
 

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Toyota Land Cruiser, F150 Raptor, Jeep Wrangler Rubicon...and several others come to mind.

A 2.5 CVT OB, while somewhat capable, would be way down my list of vehicles if off roading was one of my hobbies.
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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Same-or-better off roading capability combined with higher overall reliability... Yep I'd expect Toyota and Ford trucks and truck-based SUVs to score well on that chart. They're going to be larger and more expensive, gas mileage probably not as good.

I can't agree on the wrangler though. FCA Jeeps aren't holding up, IMO. I've got a buddy already into his second transmission in 40k miles on his.

The mazdas, nissans, hyundais, toyota & honda unibody (not based on pickup truck) models may show better reliability than an outback but none of them can touch the Outback's traction system.

So it kind of depends on what other compromises you're willing to make.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I don’t want to give up the gas mileage and get larger truck or truck based suv.

If these are the only ones that can match or beat the capability, does anyone know if suby reliability is trending better? It looks like old issues such as head gasket is improving and oil consumption issues are getting addressed. If there is no new common issues in newer model and if the old issues are getting fixed then the suby reliability must be improving. But I am not sure if there aren’t common powertrain issues in the newer models. Anyone? I don’t mine fixing relatively small things. I just don’t want another engine replacement or other major repairs.
 

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Same-or-better off roading capability combined with higher overall reliability... Yep I'd expect Toyota and Ford trucks and truck-based SUVs to score well on that chart. They're going to be larger and more expensive, gas mileage probably not as good.

I can't agree on the wrangler though. FCA Jeeps aren't holding up, IMO. I've got a buddy already into his second transmission in 40k miles on his.

The mazdas, nissans, hyundais, toyota & honda unibody (not based on pickup truck) models may show better reliability than an outback but none of them can touch the Outback's traction system.

So it kind of depends on what other compromises you're willing to make.
I would agree new FCA Jeeps may have reliability issues. But there are many older Wranglers and Cherokees out there with the old inline 4.0 that would make great off road vehicles. I know my brother beats the crap out of his and like a Timex watch, it takes a licking and keeps ticking.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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Cherokees out there with the old inline 4.0 that would make great off road vehicles. I know my brother beats the crap out of his and like a Timex watch, it takes a licking and keeps ticking.
My 2000 XJ was the best vehicle I have ever owned. I did do the front end 3x and the axles once, each driveshaft once, in 180K miles. But she rarely ever had an easy day. Pulled trailers across the country, used a construction vehicle. Pretty tough, if you get the right one. Like all cars there are horror stories.

Most of the time around here, people buy them and chop the fenders right away. 35's and built axles and then they pound the crap out of them on the trails. I myself took a family of 4, plus me fully loaded wheeling out here once with over 160k miles on the clock.

But as @rasterman once said, a few years ago. "Riding in one is like getting thrown down a set of concrete steps."
 

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My 2000 XJ was the best vehicle I have ever owned. [/I]
anything wrong with the AWD system in the last of those?

was it tougher or better then the 4WD ?
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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anything wrong with the AWD system in the last of those?

was it tougher or better then the 4WD ?
Grand Cherokees got that full-time transfer case. In the early 2000's the JGC guys were all looking to swap out to the XJ transfer case. Evidently, the full time system wasn't great. Compared to the traditional system. At least for wheeling. I'm sure the fulltime was better for the highway

I have to give it to law enforcement. Using XJs as a pursuit vehicle is sketch IMO. 75mph is plenty fast when what you drive is one step above tractor tech.
 

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Grand Cherokees got that full-time transfer case. In the early 2000's the JGC guys were all looking to swap out to the XJ transfer case. Evidently, the full time system wasn't great. Compared to the traditional system. At least for wheeling. I'm sure the fulltime was better for the highway

I have to give it to law enforcement. Using XJs as a pursuit vehicle is sketch IMO. 75mph is plenty fast when what you drive is one step above tractor tech.
there was a couple 2001 ish AWD XJ made. just before the Liberty.

here the state cops always had chevy tahoes, (for the past 10 years,...slammed down so they can go fast and not roll)

a rare few had some 6 banger jeep grand cherokees over the years though.
(like state agencies humping up into trail heads and nasty driveways as far as they can go).

_____

the ones that really get them: the ones toting big dogs.
 

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I would agree new FCA Jeeps may have reliability issues. But there are many older Wranglers and Cherokees out there with the old inline 4.0 that would make great off road vehicles. I know my brother beats the crap out of his and like a Timex watch, it takes a licking and keeps ticking.
I'd agree with you there. I've had a few cars with that 4.0 engine. In every carbureted version it was an awful turd. Stranded me more than once. After they blessed it with FI? Wow. Night and day improvement.
 

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What about euros? I feel like I'm out of date, is there a VW etc in this space worth looking at?
you would be looking for a longitudinally mounted engine, with 4motion or Quattro.

they use the same engine size/ type, (sometimes mounted sideways,

...sometime longitudinal, = the subaru way).
 

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A 4Runner would be capable and then some, solid enough that you could use it for a DD. I know a ton of folks who go offroad a lot and they're popular for a reason. If you need luxury, maybe a LC or a Lexus LX470. Pigs, but comfortable as heck. We had a Prado (LC) in Costa Rica, it handled nearly everything we threw at it. We did bypass some water crossings as insurance wasn't going to cover them.
 

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I don’t want to give up the gas mileage and get larger truck or truck based suv.

If these are the only ones that can match or beat the capability, does anyone know if suby reliability is trending better? It looks like old issues such as head gasket is improving and oil consumption issues are getting addressed. If there is no new common issues in newer model and if the old issues are getting fixed then the suby reliability must be improving. But I am not sure if there aren’t common powertrain issues in the newer models. Anyone? I don’t mine fixing relatively small things. I just don’t want another engine replacement or other major repairs.
getting back to what you want.

seems like you got everything fixed on this one that needed to be fixed. so you are ready to take it to 250,000 miles.
(2016 and newer should not have systemic CVT problems like the 2010-15).

and anything else mentioned here, and the plenty of similar threads:

will be something to park next to your subaru to complement it.

______



and I have known people that used a subaru as the on pavement vehicle,
and a old jeep with truck chains in winter to hump up the last 50 yards of nasty private driveway over the sheet of ice.
(driveway was under pines,...never really melted 100% from december -april).

and I have known a few people that have used a subaru to bring gas to vehicles such as snow plow pickups:
(just too old and/or thirsty to go to the gas station to get their own gas)
 

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Brucey
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If you want something off road capable that gets better gas than a Subaru I'm not sure there really is such a thing. Truck based SUVs are typically more capable but have worse mileage. If there is such a thing as an off road Prius you could do very well with it.
 

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If you want something off road capable that gets better gas than a Subaru I'm not sure there really is such a thing. Truck based SUVs are typically more capable but have worse mileage. If there is such a thing as an off road Prius you could do very well with it.


subaru crosstrek evoltis plug in hybrid,...probably coming to a showroom near you before the year is out.

(and needing a lift kit, to make it more bad ass)
 

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Brucey
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subaru crosstrek evoltis plug in hybrid,...probably coming to a showroom near you before the year is out.

(and needing a lift kit, to make it more bad ass)
The guys that put tires and lifts on their Crosstrek say they get 20 mpg. I actually do better than that in a 3.6 Outback.

I wonder if anyone has lifted the previous Crosstrek Hybrid? That is probably the best bet for "better mileage and good off road" that you can buy right now. Although they're super rare.

I'm interested in the Plug in Crosstrek but honestly will likely keep what we got for the foreseeable future.

Maybe even a model 3 if a certain bond villain could actually keep his promises.
 

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Insofar as capability, the closest competitor often named is the Mitsu Outlander: A bit less power, reasonable fuel economy, comparable off-road capability with the driver selectable locking center differential, a bit less ride comfort. But, Mitsubishi is not anything close to Subaru for reliability from my experience. Maybe Mitsu has moved up to average now, but that is still several steps below Subaru.

The Outback really is in a niche class with no strong competitors when looking at its well rounded characteristics. Clearly there are other vehicles that outperform the OB in one or two categories, but no other car hits them all as well.
It is too bad your particular example suffered major failures so it is understandable that you would be jaded against Subaru reliability.
 

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The guys that put tires and lifts on their Crosstrek say they get 20 mpg. I actually do better than that in a 3.6 Outback.

I wonder if anyone has lifted the previous Crosstrek Hybrid? That is probably the best bet for "better mileage and good off road" that you can buy right now. Although they're super rare.
Crosstreks were more underpowered weren't they..? And wasn't there just one that year they made a Hybrid? I saw the Toyota RAV4 looks like a comparable one and they were advertising a hybrid that might be more developed having been produced for more years? Anyone here try one?
 

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The GM Colorado/Canyon in diesel format beat the OB in mileage and give you a big bump in ability. Reliability is decent but if you do lots of short trips then the diesel is out. The emissions systems need to see a fair number of highway runs during the weekly use to keep them happy. Lots of short local trips around town is no bueno with the diesels.
 
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