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Subaru Crosstrek SUV--good choice for hard-to-access climbing destinations?


Original Post
Phil Esra · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 100


Image courtesy of subaru.com. The dirt on the rocker panel is a nice touch.
The Pheonix · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 60

Depends on clearance... I think outbacks are 9.8 in. I don't they they are as high, but with some beef tires that thing could get through a lot i bet.

Rodney P · · Ouray,CO · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 335

The picture answers your question, that area looks pretty remote.

Avalon · · East Longmeadow MA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 50

I have a subaru, AWD is great for slippage but nothing beats a decked out wrangler. I did own a 2005 wrangler 4" lift 33" tires and that thing was a beast. When I think of "remote" areas I feel that ground clearance and suspension is the real issue so no subaru can compare to a wrangler in that aspect. For the winter AWD with some good 4 season or snow tires is excellent to get around. It's more practical then a wrangler and you can fit more gear and friends but don't plan on trucking through the woods or mud without problems.

iceman777 · · Colorado Springs · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 60

Yep I say if you stay on pavement and only climb plastic rock you will be fine .

If you want to get off the beaten path go find yourself a good jeep grand Cherokee w the flat 6 , great engine , pretty good mileage , and the best part is you'll have more money for gear or a great climbing vacation .

Weston L · · Summerlin, NV · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 853

Define "hard to access."

I bought a Crosstrek back in September and love the thing. I average 30 mpg and do a ton of city driving, as my job has me driving all through Las Vegas pretty much on a daily basis.

It is basically an Impreza with a lift, bigger wheels, and by virtue of both of those, higher clearance. How much clearance? 8.7 inches. Not bad. I still look at it and go "How does it have the same amount of clearance as my old ride?" The absence of part-time 4x4 does make me intrigued, but I didn't find myself using it that much anyway when I lived in Reno, let alone down here in Vegas.

I was driving an '03 Mitsubishi Montero Sport prior to that and it had...wait for it, wait for it...8.7 inches of clearance. In addition to that, it averaged 15 mpg. I'd had that thing on three wheels out in the Buttermilks on the way out to snowboard Mt. Humphreys and ski Basin Mtn.

Get whatever makes sense. Look at the numbers relative to what you anticipate doing and make sober judgements about whether or not the vehicle fits your lifestyle.

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,348

Unless there is some specific local crag you want to access and it needs 4x4, I would not buy an AWD/ 4x4 vehicle solely for access to crags. The vast majority of America's climbing can be accessed with a Prius. There is more than enough accessible climbing to last many lifetimes. I dont think you are really missing out on much without an AWD vehicle.

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 310
Cherokee w the flat 6 , great engine

A flat six... never heard of that one before.

I take desert trips in my friends 012 OUTBACK... you can't really rock crawl but the all time 4x gives pretty good traction...

...nice add, wonder what demographic they be after????

EDIT: 20KN.... I know of tons of great spots out here in the Southern Sierra where 4x4 is very usefull.... it's how one can get away from the Prius types (not that they are bad or anything) and climb in solitude.
Brandon L · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 0

As for the Crosstek, I drove one a few weeks back as a potential replacement for my wife's car. It would probably work fine for her, but my biggest issues are the steering, the engine and the tranny. I am used to driving a manual and the CVT makes it feel like driving a go cart...that being said, that's a fault with me and my preferences and not a true issue with the car. The steering is a bit vague and feels disconnected/numb. Again, this is probably me because I have this issue with most newer, non-sporty cars. As for the engine, it is just painfully slow to me. It would probably be fine in most situations, but even my wife thought it was about on par with her old Pontiac Vibe in terms of acceleration. Just one of those cars where you'd have to plan your merges and overtaking...power ain't going to get you out of a sticky situation, that's for sure.

iceman777 wrote:Yep I say if you stay on pavement and only climb plastic rock you will be fine . If you want to get off the beaten path go find yourself a good jeep grand Cherokee w the flat 6 , great engine , pretty good mileage , and the best part is you'll have more money for gear or a great climbing vacation .
What year Jeep you talking? I had a 2001 with the 4.0 straight six and barely could squeeze out 18 mpg if I was nice. That thing was not particularly good on gas. If you are talking about the 4.0L V6 ones that they band-aided into the Jeeps for a couple of years until the Pentastars were ready, those weren't much better...maybe 20-ish mpg. The new V6s are bit better, but at the end of the day, they are still 4500 lbs Chryslers...not going to be fantastic at getting good gas mileage.
Brandon L · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 0
Guy Keesee wrote:Cherokee w the flat 6 , great engine A flat six... never heard of that one before. I take desert trips in my friends 012 OUTBACK... you can't really rock crawl but the all time 4x gives pretty good traction... ...nice add, wonder what demographic they be after???? EDIT: 20KN.... I know of tons of great spots out here in the Southern Sierra where 4x4 is very usefull.... it's how one can get away from the Prius types (not that they are bad or anything) and climb in solitude.
I think he was talking about the old AMC-based inline six that Jeep used to use. Now, a flat six? That's a Subie all the way - they have a 3.6L flat six they use in some of their bigger cars.
Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 310

Brandon... Flat 6 in a Porsch....

I have mechanic friends who live in central CO.... they like to go 4 wheeling a lot. They swear by the 4.0 L Jeep, straight 6..... as a bomb proof motor. All 4x4 eat fuel.... no way around that.

And I hate automatics and vague stearing....

Brandon L · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 0
Guy Keesee wrote:Brandon... Flat 6 in a Porsch.... I have mechanic friends who live in central CO.... they like to go 4 wheeling a lot. They swear by the 4.0 L Jeep, straight 6..... as a bomb proof motor. All 4x4 eat fuel.... no way around that. And I hate automatics and vague stearing....
Of course, Porsche! I don't know why that didn't pop into my head!

I agree, the jeep 6 is bombproof and will last longer than most of the trucks that they are in. The only real issues I ever had with one was main bearing seals - they like to mark their parking spots!
Buff Johnson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2005 · Points: 1,145

Jaguar -- for men who like handjobs

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 310
"Jaguar -- for men who like handjobs"

Buff, Speaking from experience???
20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,348
Brandon L wrote:What year Jeep you talking? I had a 2001 with the 4.0 straight six and barely could squeeze out 18 mpg if I was nice. That thing was not particularly good on gas. If you are talking about the 4.0L V6 ones that they band-aided into the Jeeps for a couple of years until the Pentastars were ready, those weren't much better...maybe 20-ish mpg.
x2. I had a 1994 Grand Cherokee with the 4.0L I6 HO engine, and I got about 15 MPG. I have driven the new 2013 Wrangler with the 3.6L V6 and the fuel economy sucked (it's rated at 17/21). Not only did the fuel economy suck, but the 3.6L does not have very much power.
iceman777 · · Colorado Springs · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 60

Yea 4.0L inline six ,damn typos , practally bombproof , I had one in one of my many jeeps , this one was smoking a bit so I enlisted a mech friend to help me open her up
He figured it just neede rings , imagine our supprize when we saw there was NO #6 piston and half of five , I had been driving the thing around for a few weeks like that .

Never knocked or gave any ind of power loss just smoked a bit . Never seen anything like it . Ended up boring it out 80 over n bought pistons ect for the rebuild , drove that sucker into the ground . Finally threw a rod a 385000 mi.

The SUV in that picture looks nice ,if a picture is worth a thousand words then this one to me screams , yea I want to look like I climb off the beaten path but I really don't .
I think all the plastic in that picture would be better spent on that chicks tits

Buff Johnson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2005 · Points: 1,145

Hey...I deeply resemble that remark

Nick Votto · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 320

In September my buddies and I went a very hard to access lake in the Tahoe National Forest (Lake Faucherie). The access via Meadow Lake Rd is probably the burliest forest road I have ever experienced, we had a decked out Tacoma luckily but....one of these Crosstreks came ripping by us on the way, that's when I knew these things must be pretty damn nice to have, at least for a crossover vehicle. Great gas mileage too...

Keithb00ne · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 45

In a stock configuration, a Subaru will go anywhere a Jeep will, and sometimes more places.

Weston L · · Summerlin, NV · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 853

Acceleration on the Crosstrek is my only complaint. Steering and handling are quite nimble, but the thing takes a bit to get up to speed if you aren't punching it and/or aren't a stunt double for Fast and the Furious IVVIVIVXVIV. Once at cruising speeds, the thing is quiet and effective at passing (or at least it has been on the desert highways of NV, UT, and CA).

Space-wise, it's not as roomy as the Montero Sport I was driving, but hey...I don't need to lug that much sh!t around anyway.

Austin Baird · · SLC, Utah · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 95

I just bought a Forester and haven't taken it anywhere off-pavement yet. I know it has the same ground clearance as the Crosstrek - anyone have experience taking it off-road/to out-of-the-way crags?

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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