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


Keithb00ne · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 45
Austin Baird wrote: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?
I have taken my Foster down Titus Canyon and Race Track roads in Death Valley. Both are rated high clearance. I have also been down various 4x4 service roads with no problems.
Phil Esra · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 100
Rodney P wrote:The picture answers your question, that area looks pretty remote.
Amen. I like talking cars as much as the next person, but, come on people, that pic is HILARIOUS! How did they get the car dirty?

But, to follow the surprisingly serious direction this thread has turned,

@ Brandon L, yeah, electric power steering has really hosed the driving experience of a lot of new cars--it's too bad.

My current rigs are a 2002 Sienna and 2003 Corolla. The Corolla is the vastly superior off-road vehicle, but it's less comfortable to sleep in. When the Corolla gets stuck, that means it's time to start hiking.

If I lived in Utah (for example) I'd want a more trail-worthy vehicle, but here in CA you can get to 99% of trailheads in a passenger car. At least that has been my experience. The last 1% are reserved for people with trucks--seems fair to me.
Ian Stewart · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2010 · Points: 155
Phil Esra wrote:that pic is HILARIOUS! How did they get the car dirty?
That's about as dirty as any car gets after some rain or a few hundred feet through construction...

It doesn't really matter what car you're driving if you don't know how to drive it well. I've seen Priuses navigate some pretty rutted roads, and I've seen oil dripping from relatively high-clearance vehicles on tame roads. A lot of Subaru owners seem to think they can get through everything just because they have a Subaru...

Ground clearance is just be one of the many factors that go into choosing a vehicle, but in all likelihood it should be far less important than other big ones like price, fuel economy, space, and comfort. AWD is even less important for climbing (unless you're driving in snow).
Brandon L · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 0
Phil Esra wrote: Amen. I like talking cars as much as the next person, but, come on people, that pic is HILARIOUS! How did they get the car dirty? But, to follow the surprisingly serious direction this thread has turned, @ Brandon L, yeah, electric power steering has really hosed the driving experience of a lot of new cars--it's too bad. My current rigs are a 2002 Sienna and 2003 Corolla. The Corolla is the vastly superior off-road vehicle, but it's less comfortable to sleep in. When the Corolla gets stuck, that means it's time to start hiking. If I lived in Utah (for example) I'd want a more trail-worthy vehicle, but here in CA you can get to 99% of trailheads in a passenger car. At least that has been my experience. The last 1% are reserved for people with trucks--seems fair to me.
I agree...her current DD is a Pontiac Vibe which is the rebadged Matrix, which is essentially a 5-door Corolla wagon. The driveline is the same 1.8 1ZZ four banger that they have used for years. Nothing stellar, but perfectly adequate in every way for her. We've bounced it up 4x4 trails and had it on three wheels more times than I can count. With snow tires, it'll go until its plowing more than it can handle. It's quickly approaching 200k and doesn't ask for anything other than about 1/2 quart of oil between the 5k mile oil changes. Absolutely the best automotive deal we've ever made. Unfortunately, I am an oddball that likes strange cars that I easily get bored with. I tend to be on a 1-2 year cycle and I bounce from one flavor of the month to the next for daily drivers. I have driven everything from my current turbo wagon (Volvo V70 T5M) to full size 70's 4x4's...like I said, I get bored.
Keithb00ne · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 45
Phil Esra wrote: Amen. I like talking cars as much as the next person, but, come on people, that pic is HILARIOUS! How did they get the car dirty?
I'm just focused on that 5.2 on autobelay..... (shutter) Scary... :)
Phil Esra · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 100
Ian Stewart wrote: That's about as dirty as any car gets after some rain or a few hundred feet through construction...
I suppose you're right. But even when an ad shows a car in a dirty environment, it's normally shiny and spotless. I like to think that at this shoot they had an assistant with a spray bottle of dirty water... At the very least they had to decide to leave the dirt on it for this one.
vincent L. · · Redwood City · Joined Jan 2005 · Points: 545

I'm partial to Toyota trucks...

90 4runner

This is my rig , it might be a little overkill for getting you to the crag, but I'm also into rock crawling ... and exploring the desert , havn't gotten this guy stuck yet .

Eureka Sand Dunes
Jon Zucco · · Denver, CO · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 245
vincent L. wrote:I'm partial to Toyota trucks...
now we're talkin'
Kyle Kimball · · Asheville, NC · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 280
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.
Ever heard of a Porsche? This would be a wonderful climbing vehicle.
Alex Bury · · Ojai, CA · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 1,948
Ian Stewart wrote: I've seen Priuses navigate some pretty rutted roads
Funny you mention that. I saw several Priuses at the Needles this season.
Norse Force · · Nederland, CO · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 0
Keithb00ne wrote:In a stock configuration, a Subaru will go anywhere a Jeep will, and sometimes more places.
Only if the Jeep driver is a 100 year old grandma and the Subie driver is on crystal, my friend.
Keithb00ne · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 45

If we are uploading rig photo's. This one get's me to most of the hard to reach places.

Jeep
hikingdrew · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 25

I've owned one for about a year, taken it out to many local destinations on dirt roads and snow and it does fine. Toughest place was probably up partway Rocky gap road on the backside of Red rock. I haven't gotten the aluminum skidplate or diff guard from Primitive racing yet. The stock tires seem to do pretty well, but if i were to do more offroad, would want steelies 16 or 15" with higher sidewall tires. It's not an articulating rock-crawler but the AWD does a good job on most terrain..

One thing you should keep in mind is that it's a compact car based on the Impreza hatchback, that rear section is a big hunk of plastic which is not part of the cargo space. It's barely five feet from the hatch to front seats with the rear seats down so unless you're small you can't sleep in the back comfortably. It will take two people and camping gear, but not much more.

The upside is the gas mileage, I get ~30 mixed in city, ~33 highway. Power isn't great, but cruising is pretty quiet and interior is comfortable.

Matt N · · Santa Barbara, CA · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 273

2014 Forester seems like a better bet for not much more. The CVT gets 32 hwy in a bigger vehicle.

hikingdrew · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 25
Matt N wrote:2014 Forester seems like a better bet for not much more. The CVT gets 32 hwy in a bigger vehicle.
If I didn't need to replace my car in late 2012, I may have held out for this one. The old Forester had the old EJ engine with a 4 speed auto, the new one is updated to have the new engine and CVt trans...
Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 310

Kyle.... that Porsche --- will do the job. I'll take two please.

And My friends Outback is a 6 speed manual to boot... none of the mushey shifting.

Keithb00ne..... the Jeep wins, Outback will never do that...

dawdle Chavez · · SLC,UT · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 0

i bought my crosstrek last december, i agree the engine power is lacking on the automatic so i went with the base manual which still comes nicely equipped with the winter pkg and bluetooth. this car has taken me to red rock, city of rocks, wild iris, maple canyon(and all the way up the maple canyon road), soul asylum down in st. george and down to ibex. i'm not sure what you mean by hard to access destinations but the toughest road i've been on is the road to soul asylum. the first part of the road is pretty rocky and i was planning on parking and not trying the second more sketchy road but before i knew it i was at the end next to all the trucks. the car is a trooper and i'm pretty happy with it.

Meme Guy · · Land of Runout Slab · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 325

Saw that picture pop up on Facebook like a month ago and had to hit save to use it later as a meme but forgot hahaha fucking yuppies

Fat Dad · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 60
Alex Bury wrote: Funny you mention that. I saw several Priuses at the Needles this season.
I was surprised by the cars that navigated the Needles road this season, which is about the worst I've ever seen it. Have to wonder what the undersides of their cars look like.

I inherited my wife's Forester when the family needed a new car. It's been on the Needles road, Shepherd's Pass trailhead and the like without any issue. I probably wouldn't take it places where I took my old 4Runner, but it has yet to disappoint.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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