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· Premium Member
06 FXT
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Re: Forester "off-road"

procabbie said:
My final choice in a new car was between the Mazda 3 hatchback, or the Forester. For all intents and purposes, they are the same car, until you leave the pavement, or encounter snow.
We have considered Mazda3, along with the Matrix XR when shopping for new vehicle. After test driving all three, I can honestly say there is absolutely no contest - XT win hands down. My wife, who's 5 ft even, complaint the 3 felt claustophobic. Also, the rear seating is smaller than expected. Too bad, because I like the handling and styling. The Matrix seemed purposeful, but the lack of power is a big turn off, plus visual around the vehicle is not so good. The XT is like a green house - glass everywhere, no major concern for blindspots.

The only advantage the Matrix and Mazda3 has is price. Both are more affordable than the XT. No surprise there.

If you've meant getting from point A to point B, then yeah, all three can perform that task. Other than that, I wouldn't even consider them as being the same. Not even close.

AWD + Turbo = WINS
 

· JDM Foz [sold]
2016 Mercedes E220 AMG Auto
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4,313 Posts
A few nuggets of information from me, not that there worth anything :D

1. Get a sump guard - I didnt and now have a ruddy great dent in mine!

2. Get lessons - I did and it taught me how to get out of trouble once you've got into it!

3. Soft ground/sand and cars dont mix.

4. If the ground looks unsafe, get out and walk it first.

5. If your going through water make sure its not too deep. Get a stick and stick it in to see how deep it is.

mike
 

· #8 Post ho
1999 Subaru Forester
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2,133 Posts
Just remember to carry the necessary equipment if your going off roading (trust me if your really off roading you will get stuck eventually) and I always recommend going with others, at least a passanger but another car helps. The day I got stuck would have been a breeze if my friend drove seperate, but with my luck, we decided to take one vehicle.

Some basic eqip.

Snap Straps (2 x 15 foot should be fine, 25 would work also)

Cumalong

Shovel

and a couple of beers if you really get bogged down :)
 

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mykp said:
5. If your going through water make sure its not too deep. Get a stick and stick it in to see how deep it is.mike
or take your wife/girlfriend :lol: :lol:


Yes, always carry recovery gear when going off-road. Preferable if you have a larger vehicle accompany you when in the really rough stuff!
 
G

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Hey all,

I have not been off pavement with my Forester, yet. I have had off road though. I have a 91 Ford Bronco, and these were some of the best off road vehicles back in the day, with an independent front suspension and front and rear locking differentials plus a load sensing transfer case. Its a machine!

I have two really fond memories. The first one was driving out on the indian rez in Minnesota. When the snow thaws up north, you know it can wash out a road, bed and all. I came up on one of these a couple of years ago, and roads dont get fixed very fast on the rez. So there were two choices, drive through it, or go around. Since the detour was about 100 miles, I went through it. The gulley was deep and wide enough to swallow the Bronco whole, but I drove through it carefully, went down one side and then up the other without scraping anything.

The second memory is where I got to experience Lo range. I had never used it until that time, and I experienced its usefulness. Its for pulling other people out of the mud. I was at a pow wow, and a friend of mine got his MINIVAN stuck in the mud. He went out on a section of property he wasnt supposed to, got locked in there, tried to find a way out and then got stuck. He had to crawl outta there and come back to the pow wow, and he found me. We drove up to the gate, it was a protected watershed area, and luckily the resident there happened to be home, and unlocked the gate. My friend was extremely apoligetic, and just wanted to get his van back. The deputy was nice enough to let us in, and he even loaned us a 30' snatch strap.

We drove out to his van, which was up past the wheels in mud, other than that it ws pretty clean. We dug into the mud and found a part of the frame, and then just hooked onto my tow hitch. I started off in Hi range, would get to the end of the strap and just stop. So I got Lo range andthen the fun began. I had him put his van in reverse to help with the tug, and I would run the length of the strap at full throttle. I snatched on it 5-6 times before I finally got some movement. The first pull was about 5 feet. I told him to get back in the van after we inspected everything, and put it in reverse, I would snatch the final time and I was not stopping until we hit solid ground.

To him, solid ground was out of the hole. I snatched the final time, felt the van pull out of the hole, and then get resistance. I floored it, and felt my Bronco start to slide sideways. I steered to try to find traction, and was sliding sideways back and forth. I stopped for a second, shifted back into high, and then floored it again. Now I was getting results. I pulled him a good 100 yards before stopping. He stepped on his brakes right after he got out of the hole, so I dragged him wheels locked onto solid ground. And his van was covered in mud, big time. The route we had just came looked like a tractor pull contest, my ruts were over 1 foot deep.

And I only had a STOCK Bronco, using Bridgestone Duelers.

I can dream about doing stuff like that with my Forester right?

Derek
 

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'09 X
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367 Posts
Kevin said:
or take your wife/girlfriend :lol: :lol:


Yes, always carry recovery gear when going off-road. Preferable if you have a larger vehicle accompany you when in the really rough stuff!

This sign is on a tree before the water crossing in the pic. My wife did not think it was very funny.

 
G

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
rough roading

Hi all,

I just got to do some rough road driving in the Mojave Desert this weekend. Compared the other things the Forester is not a great off-road vehicle. But it is fantastic on rough roads. It has some really good points compared to a car, good ground clearance, good angle of approach/departure, and AWD. Compared to a 4wd truck it lacks low gearing, but it is light and very resistant to sinking.

In a moment of frustration (my wife and I had been in the Forester too long) stomped on the brakes in soft sand. I expected it to sunk up the hubs, but it was only up the bottom of the suspension. The hard part was the lack of low gearing to get over the piled up sand in front of the wheels. Of course I should have just backed up.

I tried to climb a very steep hill with a boulder and rock trail. I was blown away at how far the Forester went up. I wasn’t going to charge up it, so I just put it in first and climbed. I got to a point very near the top and all the wheels started to spin. When I eased off the throttle the engine stalled. There was no way I was going to get the Forester moving forward without burning the clutch, so I just backed it straight down the hill. And all this is without lowering the air pressure in the tires.

Cole
’05 TX PP manual
 

· Administrator
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Sounds like fun Cole. Most people are surprised with the Forester's off-road abilities. When our Subie club runs driver training classes it's great to see the huge grins on the faces of the newbies when they've conquered a few obstacles.
 
G

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
finally got sand

Hey all,

OK Mom told me to get Dad out of her hair for an hour the other day, go and pick up his rX. This is a half hour at the most, round trip, so I decided to take some back roads, the unpaved ones. The one I chose, I had not driven on for a couple of years, and that was back in my Bronco busting days. In that time the road has seen no maintanance, and some GOBs (good old boys) like to go out and have fun in their toys on this road, I found that out too late.

They left ruts a foot deep, and ground the clay up into sand. The car wanted to seem to fall into the ruts, and bottom out, so the challenge was keeping it on top of the stuff. I actually did pretty well, keeping it around 30-40mph in 3rd gear. When I got out of the stuff, climbing up a hill on the other side, there was one of the GOBs comming down in his jacked Chevy, probably wondering what the heck a car was doing down there, and why I wasnt stuck. I guess thats for me to know, and him to wonder.

Derek
 
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