The page for The Vegetable https://www.mountainproject.com/v/the-vegetable/112332008 says "You will absolutely need a high clearance, 4WD vehicle once you turn onto Metberry Gulch (FS-205)." For anyone who's made the drive, how serious is this warning? Basically, can it reasonably be done during the summer in a newish (>2010) Subaru Outback? Or do you really, truly need a Jeep / 4WD truck?
I would say you really need a Jeep/truck...but I guess it depends on your threshold of adventure. There are more than a few areas that I remember that would be totally hairy in an Outback. You might be able to get down, but getting back out would be a different story.
There is no way a Subaru will make it all the way down Metberry. The worst parts of Metberry are immediately south of BRCM and after the power lines where you would park to get to the Vegetable. Prior to all the climbing are several massive drain dips that cross the road, there is no way a subaru would make it past these either. The smallest vehicle I saw that made it to the turnaround at BRCM, which is just past the vegetable, was a 2017 4runner that had no side steps.
The road is very tight and turn around spots are few and far between.
I believe the local 4x4 club has made tremendous improvement over the years, but it still a 4x4 route. I rode my atv all the way down to the river in June this year, there were a few bad spots I remember back in '07 that were before the BRCM turn around that were not there this year.