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2005 2.5X AT
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi, All
As you can see I’m new and need some help to avoid making a mistake.

So I never have had Subaru and reading forums this company make great cars.
I was considering Outback but now Forester looks better and my price range between $5,000 to $7,000
Most of the time pavement driving, about 1,500 miles/month and occasional mad roads that I have to share with Fords and Chevy tracks after rain. No hills but I expect some dip tracks filled with water and mud.
So for this use and price what Outback year model is better to get?
Where there differences in engine, transmission that one year model may be better than other?
And what biggest mud tires I can put without doing my pavement driving miserable?
The same time I don’t want to seat in mud without help because this place is deserted.
(hunting lease)
 

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2018 XT Touring CVT
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1,294 Posts
Unfortunately, no Subaru can run with Jeeps and the other big dogs in deep mud. You need higher clearance, low gearing, and locking hubs. The shorter Forester will be better than the longer Outback.
 

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2009 Outback XT-B 5MT
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10,254 Posts
Sounds like a truck would better suit you.
 

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2005 2.5X AT
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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
lift kit

(98-08) Subaru Forester - 1" Lift Kit $234.99 from subtle-solutions will
improve approach-departure? The ground clearance will stay the same about 8"?
What is the size of biggest mud tires I can use with this kit?

And I know track may be better but cost of gas for 1500 mile on pavement and 40 mile of mud a month does not justify purchase of monster with 17-20 mpg, I think
 

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Administrator
2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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29,449 Posts
I think you will be disappointed with a Subaru if you're looking to keep up with Chevys and Jeeps in challenging terrain. It's easy to get high-centered and the approach and departure angles are not great. Don't be this guy:

 

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There are exactly 0 mud tires that will fit any subaru without a significant amount of work.

An aggressive directional all season or snow tire will work somewhat well, but the main issue is still going to be the lack of solid axles, lockers, ground clearance etc. If the mud is deeper than the underside of the car you WILL get stuck.

Once again I'll have to post the picture of my friend's outback after some moderate mud:


It was very sticky thick mud, but ended up having to call my friend in with a winch.

What exactly are the sort of conditions you're expecting to see? Any pictures of the worst spots you'll need to get through? Down a muddy trail we used to take the gf's jeep, we found some guys camping with their old vw golf that had made it back by just keeping up their momentum. So mud can be done, but I wouldn't push it.
 

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2006 V50 T5 6spd Manual
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2,510 Posts
(98-08) Subaru Forester - 1" Lift Kit $234.99 from subtle-solutions will
improve approach-departure? The ground clearance will stay the same about 8"?
What is the size of biggest mud tires I can use with this kit?

And I know track may be better but cost of gas for 1500 mile on pavement and 40 mile of mud a month does not justify purchase of monster with 17-20 mpg, I think
Toyota Tacoma. That is all...

We have a 2010 Tacoma 4x4, double cab, 4.0L V6, and while it is rated 14/18, we NEVER get less than 18mpg. We've gotten as high as 26 on the highway.

Then again, we don't drive it like it's a speed demon either. I think that would suit you well though. There is a time when the right tool for the job IS a little more expensive. I drive a lifted Outback, with a rear LSD, but I will be the first to tell you that it is not the best tool for the job of offroading. If I did it all the time, or it was required to get to where I need to go, I'd be in a truck. I just do it for fun though.
 

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Toyota Tacoma. That is all...

We have a 2010 Tacoma 4x4, double cab, 4.0L V6, and while it is rated 14/18, we NEVER get less than 18mpg. We've gotten as high as 26 on the highway.

Then again, we don't drive it like it's a speed demon either. I think that would suit you well though. There is a time when the right tool for the job IS a little more expensive. I drive a lifted Outback, with a rear LSD, but I will be the first to tell you that it is not the best tool for the job of offroading. If I did it all the time, or it was required to get to where I need to go, I'd be in a truck. I just do it for fun though.
If I needed something more offroad oriented and a bit heavier duty I'd probably get the 01-04 tacoma prerunner. For an IFS truck they're quite capable. I rode along with a buddy in one on 33" tires and slight lift and it did better in the mud than the locked wranglers actually. It only has about 2-3" of lift using shackles in the rear and coilovers in the front.

Figured I might post a pic of it as we had a bit of a competition to see who could get furthest into this pit (we had a winch to pull everyone back out):


We had gotten it up onto that wall of mud, but ended up overheating it (the radiator was pretty covered in mud from previous shenanigans).


None of the other trucks got within 5 feet of us oddly enough and they were all running bigger tires, lockers, dual range etc. After we got it back out, we found the metal skidplate in the mud and it looked like a crumpled up piece of foil!
 
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