Xterra 4wd vs. Subaru AWD - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Question Xterra 4wd vs. Subaru AWD

I am in the market once again for an SUV. I really wanted an suv to do some off roading in (nothing extreme). However, I am a bit confused as to the difference between the 4wd in the xterra and subaru awd. I have read that xterra 4wd is part time, I am not sure if that means that power is only sent to all wheels when slippage is sensed or whether that you have a choice between 2wd and 4wd as with the switch in the console in the xterra. In addition, I am not sure if the fuel economy on the 4wd xterra is when is it engaged full time or part time.

I really do like both but in terms of appearance the forester just seems so bland to me while the xterra has a good look to it. But it suffers from poor fuel economy.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 07:10 PM
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What are you driving right now?

In terms of fuel economy I think every car is hit and miss, sometimes you get an awesome one and other times it is lacking, the same can be said for problems.

I like to think my 09 looks like the BMW X5, but unfortunately it also looks like a Hyundai Santa Fe, I have caught myself more than once spotting a car in the parking lot thinking it was another Subie, to find out it is one of the aforementioned cars.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 07:16 PM
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I think it depends on the style of off roading you want to do. The Subaru will let you do soft-roading.

The Xterra will allow you to do some pretty serious off roading. I'm guessing that the Xterra is RWD until you engage 4wd, so you probably will not have it on all the time, like the AWD in the Subaru.

Really two very different cars...

'09 Forester XT
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtom View Post
I am in the market once again for an SUV. I really wanted an suv to do some off roading in (nothing extreme). However, I am a bit confused as to the difference between the 4wd in the xterra and subaru awd. I have read that xterra 4wd is part time, I am not sure if that means that power is only sent to all wheels when slippage is sensed or whether that you have a choice between 2wd and 4wd as with the switch in the console in the xterra. In addition, I am not sure if the fuel economy on the 4wd xterra is when is it engaged full time or part time.

I really do like both but in terms of appearance the forester just seems so bland to me while the xterra has a good look to it. But it suffers from poor fuel economy.

Thanks!
Where two rivers meet? Souinds like Wallula. If you are indeed in SE Washington, it really is going to rest on what sort of driving you are going to be doing. If you spend a decent amount of time on the highway, you'll like the Forester. If you want to drive fire roads in the mountains (soft roading) you'll like the Forester. If you want to do more primitive "jeep trails" you will want something beefier like the Xterra. Personally, I'd recommend you check out the off roading forum and see what people (particularly those aussies) are doing with their Foresters.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 08:22 PM
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Part time 4WD means

there is no mechanism to allow each wheel to slip while navigating in turns. When a part time 4WD vehicle is engaged you should to be in snow or sand or anything that will allow the wheels to slip while turning. If you use part time 4WD on dry pavement other than straight line driving it will become damaged and fail.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 07:40 AM
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I had an 05 Xterra and have an 07 FSXT now. The part time 4wd does mean that it engages with a switch. For serious offroading, go with the Xterra. The Forester isn't really meant to be rock crawling or whatnot.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 09:09 AM
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I had an 05 Xterra and have an 07 FSXT now. The part time 4wd does mean that it engages with a switch. For serious offroading, go with the Xterra. The Forester isn't really meant to be rock crawling or whatnot.
I had a 2002 Pathfinder and now have an 09 Forester. To address some of the issues:
  • Fuel economy will be much better with the Forester;
  • Off road ability will be much better with the X;
  • On road comfort will be much better with the Forester;
  • My Forester has more interior room than the Pathy did, not sure about the X on this one;

The X is not available with Nissan's All-Mode transfer case. This is Nissan's version of AWD and is available on the current gen Pathfinder as well as older versions, such as my 02. It has 2wd, AUTO (ie AWD), 4wd High and 4wd low settings. The X has a "true" four wheel drive system in that it has a owner operated (via the knob) center transfer case that will lock the front and rear axles together. it is not recommended that you drive on dry pavement with this engaged as it could result in serious damage to the transfer case. The X is not AWD, it is part time 4wd. The 2wd mode is the rear wheels. And the X has a low range, while the Forester does not.

So as noted, it really comes down to the type of off-roading you want to do. For me, it made sense to 'downgrade" the off-road ability as I ended up with a cheaper vehicle to operate in the long run but the Forester still gets me to 90% of the places I took the Pathy.

If you opt for the X, try and get one with the limited slip rear differential. It will make a world of difference off-road.

2009 Subaru Forester Touring Edition, AT
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 06:37 PM
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Fuel consumption isn't that much off between my XT and the Xterra. I got at or around 17mpg with both rides. The Xterra used regular while the XT uses premium.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 07:34 PM
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Xterra's four wheel drive systems aren't intelligent. They just put the power to whatever spins the easiest. Also Xterra's are the definition or body roll. I watched one almost flip once on a flat dry highway. No thanks, I'll keep my fuel efficient, AWD Forester that can put the power to the wheels that have traction.

-Chuck
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-03-2009, 05:47 AM
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That's cuz we're comparing apples to oranges. The Xterra and Forester are two different class vehicles made for different purposes. Sure, I can put in a Stillen supercharger and make it quick, but the height of the vehicle will never compare with the Forester in terms of handling during high speeds. And I can lift a Forester, but I'll never get the same ride height to do any true offroading or rock crawling as an Xterra.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-03-2009, 02:48 PM
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That's cuz we're comparing apples to oranges. The Xterra and Forester are two different class vehicles made for different purposes. ....
Exactly, so it depends on the use the vehicle will be put to.

2009 Subaru Forester Touring Edition, AT
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-03-2009, 09:30 PM
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If your're going to get an Xterra then you should read this first.

NINJA HAULER: 2005 Nissan Xterra
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-03-2009, 09:42 PM
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If your're going to get an Xterra then you should read this first.

NINJA HAULER: 2005 Nissan Xterra
That is the greatest ad for a vehicle ever!

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 01:08 PM
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why dont you check out the suzuki grand vitara
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 01:22 PM
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If your not into so called "serious off road" get the Forester,better ride,fuel economy.
If you are get the Xterra with the off road package,comes with full skid plating,decent A/T tires and ...........drum roll..............................LOCKING rear diff.

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