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This comes from another forum where the subject of off-roading with an SUV/CUV came up:

>>>>Outback? Put that on a lift and you will see how much cost-cutting was done over the previous generation. The rear control arms are like the original Ford Escape. Another car you're not going to take off road.<<<<<

I have no clue if this is true or not, and really don't care since the farthest off-road my 2012 2.5 Limited will probably go is when I park the vehicle on grass when I attend a New Home show or golf tournament. But I'm curious if this indeed is a legitimate observation (if for no other reason, because I don't happen to care for the know-it-all who made the post).
 

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This comes from another forum where the subject of off-roading with an SUV/CUV came up:

>>>>Outback? Put that on a lift and you will see how much cost-cutting was done over the previous generation. The rear control arms are like the original Ford Escape. Another car you're not going to take off road.<<<<<

I have no clue if this is true or not, and really don't care since the farthest off-road my 2012 2.5 Limited will probably go is when I park the vehicle on grass when I attend a New Home show or golf tournament. But I'm curious if this indeed is a legitimate observation (if for no other reason, because I don't happen to care for the know-it-all who made the post).
I didn't put mine on a lift and compare notes with previous gens... but I did put a lift on mine and go off-road.

It does fine. Sounds like an internet forum genius to me. Never does it, says it can't work... Meh.


I looked around and found the thread you got that from. Since he never goes off-road either, what's his point? I have yet to hear about someone bending a rear control arm because they are made of stamped steel, rather than aluminum (I think that's his point, there.) We've got whole cities full of skyscrapers held up with steel... Even in "cheap" stamped form rather than forged, the steel they use to manufacture the suspension is pretty durable stuff. If he wants to bring his Buick down here and play in the mud and sand, I'd be glad to pull him out when he's ready.

They're probably an idiot. Personally, I wouldn't waste time arguing with them.



Probably because I'm too busy driving off-road to argue. ;)
 

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Subaru like many other manufacturers changes components on their vehicles for a number or reasons cost being one of them by certainly by no means the only thing. The previous control arm may have been made of another material, aluminum alloy for example and replaced with steel. Conjecture on my part because I don't know what the previous material was. However I do know that cost to manufacter or durability of steel over aluminum might all be factors. If the part replaced is of the same strength but cheaper than what is the big deal.
Looking under a car and seeing one part replaced with another is meaningless unless you know the material properties of what is there.

Ponder this given our legal system it is unlikely that Subaru would replace anything with something not as strong or stronger or more durable.
 

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Even in "cheap" stamped form rather than forged, the steel they use to manufacture the suspension is pretty durable stuff.
Even stamped sheet steel is forged. Steel doesn't naturally occur in sheet form. Those sheets are forged - roller forged, but forged nonetheless.
 

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All previous generations had stamped steel too. The Gen4 has longer arms that don't have the curvature of previous models. Perhaps this translates to some people as not aesthetically appealing or "cheap." They also "appear" to hang down lower, though I don't know if that's actually true.





2nd image courtesy of superu on this site. Will remove if requested.
 

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I took my 1" lifted 2003 Outback for some really "mild" offroading, but it was not able to do the real stuff. The ground clearing was not such a big problem, but the long overhangs create terrible approach and departure angles, the wheel base is a little longish, and last it is missing a low drive setting and has no locking differential.

It's offroad abilitis are far from what I can do with my lifted Jeep. The Outback is good for rutted forest trails and similar terrain, but an offroader it is not!
 

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I took my 1" lifted 2003 Outback for some really "mild" offroading, but it was not able to do the real stuff. The ground clearing was not such a big problem, but the long overhangs create terrible approach and departure angles, the wheel base is a little longish, and last it is missing a low drive setting and has no locking differential.

It's offroad abilitis are far from what I can do with my lifted Jeep. The Outback is good for rutted forest trails and similar terrain, but an offroader it is not!
I hear this a lot when off roading in an Outback crops up. That is, that a Jeep is better. Well, of course it is! They are built with this in mind, the Outback is definitely not.

I guess you have to have reasonable expectations of what the car can do. Like you said, on a trail or unimproved road, they are great, but to go bashing over rocks and through swamps, you're asking the car to do what it's just not capable of.

Whether the car is an offroader or not is entirely dependent on what your definition of an offroader is.
 

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Well there is "off road" and "off pavement" and people think they are the same thing. These cars are great for off pavement and limited off road too. As stated know your limits. If you want to do some crazy off road stuff nothing stock will do so everyone is full of crap when they start saying anything else.

For the $$$ I think the smart thing to do is get an OB or other DD (daily driver) and a Quad if that's your thing. Best of everything and few draw backs. Significantly cheaper all the way around too.
 

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I use my 2012 OB LTD as my Oilfield-service-vehicle (and before that a 2009 Forester X and before that a 2007 FXT).

While they ARE NOT "rock crawlers" I OWN "rig-roads" and unimproved fire-roads. How many of us have run a Jeep down the highway for 500+ miles in a day?, you feel like you have been Mugged!

Vince
 

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I took my 1" lifted 2003 Outback for some really "mild" offroading, but it was not able to do the real stuff. The ground clearing was not such a big problem, but the long overhangs create terrible approach and departure angles, the wheel base is a little longish, and last it is missing a low drive setting and has no locking differential.

It's offroad abilitis are far from what I can do with my lifted Jeep. The Outback is good for rutted forest trails and similar terrain, but an offroader it is not!
Very true! The OB is very capable off-pavement perhaps more so than most other vehicles in its class, but a pure off-roader it is not. A lot also depends on the driver and his/her common sense. I have taken my OB on 4x4 high clearance roads in CO, but I walked parts of them prior to committing going in. My OB is lifted somewhat, but boulder climbing is out of the question. For that a lifted CJ with lockers front, center and rear is much preferred.
Just because a car has AWD doesn't mean a climb on Mt Everest is possible. YMMV
 
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