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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

First time on the forum.
Great website. Lots of info!

Been reading lots of useful stuff but haven't found an answer to one question that bothers me so I'm posting here and hoping you guys can give us some tips/ideas etc.

We are looking into buying a 2010 outback as a second car [own a Tacoma].
We have 3 miles of unpaved road that leads to our house. It's pretty rough in some parts and has 3 ,100-150 ft long slopes with some holes and loose gravel that can get bad depending on the weather [used to be a paved county road but then they stopped maintaining and it has been deteriorating ever since].
It's not for rallying [unless you don't care about your car] but I have seen some 2wd sedan's driving up and down successfully and I think one of our neighbors owned a forester.

We like the idea of an outback but are a bit concern whether it can handle the road. When I say "handle the road" I mean drive down and up on a daily basis about five times a week.
I know it can handle offroading and red lots of stuff about people taking it to trips in different terrains, but my question is whether it can handle it on a regular basis and NOT just a few times a month.

We used to own a 2005 chevy Astro van [AWD, V6. 4.7L] and it managed the road fine for a few years, but when driving up and down regularly we could hear the suspension creaking and we had to replace the tie end rods, ball joints etc a few times [Unfortunately it died when we had a care taker that drove fast on the road, broke the oil pan and the engine seized cause she was stupid enough to ignore the red lights].

Hope you guys can give us a hand here.
Thank you very much in advance!
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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27,048 Posts
does this get snow / ice on it? where in the wild universe is it?

a outback can go anywhere a old AWD astrovan can and more.

hope you got something / someone to maintain the worst spots,.
 

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2013 OB 3.6R (former)
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Personally, I would buy an OB for a road like that.

While suspension components will wear faster, the same applies to a Tacoma or anything else.

The only suspension component on a IV gen that comes to mind as subpar is the rear bushing of the lower front control arms but it is hardly a deal-breaker. It is easier to replace the entire control arm when that happens. Good control arms are 50-60 per side, bushings and ball joint included.

Realistically, the road as described is no worse than paved roads in some parts of the country. And it is probably better for the suspension as it takes on those holes at lower speeds.

EDIT: also, the Australians put thousands of unpaved miles on their Subarus quickly due to their roads and distances. And a quick look at the Tacoma forum shows that their expectations for the life of the stock suspension are fairly similar to those on this forum. I have more than 3000 unpaved miles on mine now, 61000 total, and have no worn components other than said bushings.

EDIT 2: Compared to the Tacoma, the OB would probably feel like a limo over a road like that. The multi-link rear suspension is great (until one starts talking tackling big boulders and the like).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your input!

Looks like my wife is winning this one since she is sold for the OB. I'm still hanging...
Not feeling confident with the slopes I mentioned, especially due to the fear of bottoming out [though the OB has reasonable clearance] if I need to speed in order to gather momentum [If there's no traction].

In any case we got our eyes on a 2010 Ob with 36K miles. Might go check it out this weekend.

Thanks again!
 

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2013 OB 3.6R (former)
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Thanks for your input!

Looks like my wife is winning this one since she is sold for the OB. I'm still hanging...
Not feeling confident with the slopes I mentioned, especially due to the fear of bottoming out [though the OB has reasonable clearance] if I need to speed in order to gather momentum [If there's no traction].

In any case we got our eyes on a 2010 Ob with 36K miles. Might go check it out this weekend.

Thanks again!
I will venture a guess that you will be pleasantly surprised; hope it all works out well for you.
 

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I live in rural western Colorado making frequent trips across the rocky mountains. I've taken my Outback on some pretty intense forest roads where the hardcore off roading vehicles play. The ground clearance of the Subaru definitely helps, as well as strategic driving for the ruts, big rocks, snow/ice, and other obstacles you may encounter. Subaru makes a great car. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised if you decide on getting one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks MiddleAgeSubie & OpenRoads.

Sounds reassuring!

I'll be more than happy to be surprised...
 

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Thanks for your input!

Looks like my wife is winning this one since she is sold for the OB. I'm still hanging...
Not feeling confident with the slopes I mentioned, especially due to the fear of bottoming out [though the OB has reasonable clearance] if I need to speed in order to gather momentum [If there's no traction].

In any case we got our eyes on a 2010 Ob with 36K miles. Might go check it out this weekend.

Thanks again!
If you were OK with an astro van there is do doubt if you buy an outback you will be delighted!
 

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To help readers formulate their replies, you might consider editing your post to ask about DURABILITY rather than capability.
I think that is really what you are asking about.

Many of the responses address the capability of the OB, which is not really in question.
 

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The family beach house is at the end of a 4 mile unpaved (never paved) road. It does get graded a couple of times a year but most of the time it is hard washboard and lots of deep potholes.

Just about every kind of car is represented in the neighborhood. Lots of AWD, lots of real 4x4 trucks, and some ordinary cars too.

One guy has been coming out for years in an old Ford Focus with no trouble at all.

Another managed to break the suspension on his Hummer H1. And we've seen just about every result in between. The usual difference between results is speed.

Keep the speeds down and that car can last a long time, even on that road.
 
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