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I travel on very rough roads (numerous road gaps, potholes etc). I was thinking about buying a brand new Prius but I don't know if the suspension will last even 1 year in these conditions.

My next choice is an SUV like Jeep. I see a lot of SUVs on these roads that make "wheel/suspension noise" that is probably caused by potholes/road gaps (there are a ton of them, very poorly maintained).

Do you have any recommendations (Subaru or any other brand)? (max price is 23K, would like high mpg or at least 25mpg+). The Subaru Forester looks good but I don't know if the durability is good.
 

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2009 Forester X Premium
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3,091 Posts
No car is going to hold up to constant abuse, but the Foresters way tougher then the Prius. Durability well thats Subaru's middle name. :cool:
 

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2009 Forester X 4 A/T
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305 Posts
Western Pa back roads suck. Drilling damn gas wells, logging, strip mines, heavy trucks equal craters, ruts and a veritable suspension test battleground.

Toyotas (Camry, Corolla, Prius, Avalon) do NOT like the rough stuff.

Get a Forester!! Best compromise between mileage, durability and handling with a great AWD system and resale value.
 

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2016 Forester XT AT
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I drive mine on rough logging roads out west here and it is holding up well at 48,000 kms.

My Pathfinder also did well but a similar vehicle (Xterra) would be more than your budget would allow.

I think for your budget, the Forester would do. It seems to hold up fine with the Australian owners and I don't think they have the nicest roads either.
 

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2010 Forester
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18 Posts
Generally speaking, vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler are great off road, but due to short wheel base, make for a rough daily ride on rough roads. Longer wheel bases do better. Stiff suspensions, while they sound cool over a cold beer, are not a good choice either. Softer suspensions with lots of wheel travel work much better. Having driven jeeps, trucks, offroad vehicles, military vehicles on lots of rough dirt and paved roads, my opinion is the Outback, non-turbo would be a good choice.
 

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The biggest downside to the prius on gravel/dirt is the terrible traction control programming. You won't actually move anywhere as it will cut throttle if the wheels slip at all. I take the forester, prius, and caddy SRX down VERY rough dirt roads, they've all held up just fine. I'd honestly stay away from everything jeep is making lately aside from the new wrangler, as they're not bad, but they won't be smooth at all really. The forester is really the perfect vehicle for gravel/dirt and access type roads.

Nothing holds up well to big potholes, you just have to be a bit careful.
 
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