Driving a Subaru Crosstrek or Suzuki Sx4? - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-22-2017, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Default Driving a Subaru Crosstrek or Suzuki Sx4?

Hey folks,

I am currently in search of that holy grail: the fuel efficient car/suv that has 4WD capability. Seems as if certain trade-offs might be necessary (true 4x4 vs. AWD); I just spent some time reading a bunch of older CT threads on possible choices.

I am wondering if anyone can share their experiences with either the Subaru Crosstrek or Suzuki SX4 on decently gnarly logging roads? I would like to be able to get into the Ashlu, Elaho areas as well as regularly up the Rainy River here on the Sunshine Coast.

Any tips/experiences with these vehicles would be awesome!

matthew
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-22-2017, 10:46 PM
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I wouldn't but any Suzuki vehicle. They no longer sell new Suzuki's in Canada and I've been told by a friend who has one that he has had a hard time finding someone to service his vehicle. He also said part prices have gone up and the price of his vehicle is next to nothing because nobody wants them. Maybe that's the one upside, you could hopefully pick one up cheap. Other than this, I know nothing about them other than what I've been told.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 01-23-2017, 01:15 PM
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Personally, I love my Suzuki. It IS the holy grail. Small, 20-23mpg (11L/100km). Actual 4WD, not the fake kind. And just about any mechanic can service it. (if they don't know how to work on a Chevy Tracker, they're probably not a licensed mechanic)

But, downside...as ChubbyTuna says, they're discontinued vehicles. For a modern 4WD, you're stuck with pick-up trucks (too big), Jeeps, or the Toyota 4Runner (also too big).

also discontinued (sadly):
- Nissan Xterra
- Toyota FJ Cruiser

Last edited by guntis; 01-23-2017 at 01:20 PM.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-23-2017, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by guntis View Post
Personally, I love my Suzuki. It IS the holy grail. Small, 20-23mpg (11L/100km). Actual 4WD, not the fake kind. And just about any mechanic can service it. (if they don't know how to work on a Chevy Tracker, they're probably not a licensed mechanic)

But, downside...as ChubbyTuna says, they're discontinued vehicles. For a modern 4WD, you're stuck with pick-up trucks (too big), Jeeps, or the Toyota 4Runner (also too big).

also discontinued (sadly):
- Nissan Xterra
- Toyota FJ Cruiser

Managed to get an Xterra before they stopped production. Not the most fuel efficient, but love the vehicle and will probably end up driving it for another 10-15 years
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 01-23-2017, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the things to consider ChubbyTuna and Kelly - much appreciated!

Guntis, I am stoked you found the holy grail of fuel efficiency and 4x4 styles : ) So you are driving the SX4? Whereabouts have you taken it offroad?

Thanks!
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 01:02 AM
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True enough some very good vehicle styles and brands are discontinued. I liked the Xterra, too bad it's gone. As the owner of many 4x4 type vehicles over the years I'd say, for your criteria, a Jeep Wrangler Sport (2 door) is worth looking at. If you get one that's fairly recent in years, with a manual transmission and basic accessories you end up with a simple, reasonably fuel efficient powerful rig with excellent jeep 4x4. A few years back I had a 2012 Jeep Wrangler Sahara (quite upscale compared to the sport but same motor) and managed to blast to within 1/2 km of the Rainy River Lake 7 dam in horrible weather. Nobody else in our group could touch it, not 4Runner, Land Rover, Xterra or other Jeep models.

I wish i still had it.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 01:30 AM
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Not too sure about the SX4, But the reputation of the Suzuki's goes back a long way. They are very reliable capable 4x4s. I have a 97 Geo Tracker, 2dr and it works great in the snow. They can handle most conditions you throw at them. 2nd generation Tracker/Vitara are as new as I would go with them.


Guntis has a chevy tracker, not the SX4.


Parts are plentiful and easy to work on. No dealers anymore but anyone can do work for you. Very rare to find a used first gen with less than 300K on them
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 01:35 AM
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I agree with the Jeep option. I had a 93 YJ and it was an awesome vehicle. It wasn't the best on fuel but was pretty good. It's a go anywhere, do anything vehicle and the best part is that there are so many around, parts are endless. Not only that but the sky's the limit when it comes to mods. I think I got further in 2 wheel drive with my lockers than most guys did with 4 wheel drive and no lockers. Had to sell it when we had kids. Hoping to buy another one sometime in the near future just to have as an off road toy...
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Last edited by ChubbyTuna; 01-24-2017 at 01:39 AM.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 01:36 AM
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I have a Nissan X-Trail. 2wd/AWD/4wd. The 4x4 doesn't lock differentials so you'll still get opposite wheel slippage, but all 4 tires are equal power to my understanding. Its 2.5L 4cyl so not too bad on gas. I've made a skid plate for it and gotten bigger A/T tires. The tires didn't improve fuel performance as expected but it has gotten me to Mt cheam trailhead, and Tricouni parking lot a couple years ago. I'm unsure of its condition now. I chose it over CRV/ Rav4 for the better clearance and 4wd. My coworker just got a new Jeep patriot for about 25k if memory serves right. Trail rated with CVT etc if you want to go new. He's a fan and got it for getting to trails/ camping. Hope that helps.

- Justin
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 02:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodland.telegraph View Post
Guntis, I am stoked you found the holy grail of fuel efficiency and 4x4 styles : ) So you are driving the SX4? Whereabouts have you taken it offroad?

Thanks!
Sorry, to clarify, I have an '01 Vitara. Last year of production in North America was 2003 I believe. I've done a 2.5" lift, and upgraded the struts/shocks. The SX4 wouldn't even compare. I've taken it up a number of decommissioned FSR's without any challenges. A good reference point would be the road to the headwaters of High Falls Creek (ie. lake on east side of Tricouni). Other roads (easier than that) include upper trailhead to Brandywine Meadows, and east trailhead for Tenquille Lake. I've yet to push the vehicle's capability beyond my skill as a driver.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Much appreciated everyone - lots of food for thought on potential vehicles!
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 02:28 AM
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Great to see this post.. Also looking for a SUV 4X4; in years range 2004 - 2012. Friend has a Suzuki and it looks very capable.

K

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post #13 of (permalink) Old 01-30-2017, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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Question for any Toyota RAV4'ers out there - how far up some of our coastal FSRs have you pushed your vehicle? I am interested in getting up the Ashlu a bit, Elaho etc. Thanks for any further tips, it is much appreciated!
Matthew
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 02:08 AM
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I'll chime in with my 2 cents as someone that has been "that car guy friend" to a few of my outdoor adventuring friends who all want the "bad-logging road capable,reliable,affordable and good on gas". Also a friend to multiple Suzuki owners, Xterra owners and a former Suzuki owner myself who also deals with fixing cars for a living.
-Tracker/Sidekick/Vitara vehicles are the only Suzuki worth buying because they offer reasonable fuel mileage and excellent capability while also being very easy to work on yourself, and because they have a wide following,parts are usually easy to come by. Most wear items are available from Lordco and aren't hard to come by. My 93' 4 door Sidekick has done the Phelix,Stone Rabbit and Tenquille(off Hurley) approaches just fine in 2wd, with regular street tires and no lift.
-SX4 is a car. I have looked at them up close, very little cargo space, ground clearance more on-par with my Toyota Echo than even most small SUVs and about the only good feature seems to be the short rear overhang. Replacement parts that you are likely to rip off are on the pricey side. It does look very cool with a lift kit(strut spacers, i assume) and lifted,it does gain a decent amount of clearance. But I still wouldn't touch one for our purposes.
-XV Cross Trek, I have no experience with those but it seems on par with any car-based SUV and prettier than most.
-Honda CRV- First generation (1998-2001) actually seems to have pretty good ground clearance AND excellent track record for dependability, though they are all getting old. The exhaust is the only low-hanging part but easily enough modified by any half-knowledgeable muffler shop. Second Generation CRV appears to have both lower overall ground clearance AND a relatively exposed,low-hanging fuel tank.
- Nissan X-Trail seems to be liked by owners, but it's something of an oddball model as it wasn't sold in US, it's still a car-based SUV and the engine/transmission are quite exposed and low-ish up front(picturing plowing into a rock at the bottom of a deep water bar would ruin your day). Honestly not sure if it's any better than a 2nd gen CRV and for reliability I would put my money on a Honda by far.
-Toyota Rav 4...I think the 1st generation,especially the 2 door, has the better ground clearance and short overhangs of this bunch. The second generation is also reasonable, and generally it went downhill from there.
-Xterra...Real burly 4x4 with real burly gas mileage. I think of it as a cheaper 4-Runner that's both thirstier and generally not as good in any way but you pay a lot less initially.As someone I know put it,"it eats fuel for breakfast,lunch and dinner, and when it sleeps,it dreams of eating fuel" .
-Jeep Liberty is often overlooked but actually pretty capable while also being pretty civilized. A bit short on cargo space and not a Toyota build quality but can be all around decent.
-4 Runner, I love this vehicle if you want something dependable and capable and are OK paying through the nose for it...
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 11:25 AM
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I have to put a comment in for the Jeep Patriot 4x4. Though no longer being produced, you can get amazing dealer rebates on new ones right now or you can buy one a few years old for really reasonable prices. They use the Hyundai world motor so you have the reliability of an import. I put some Yokohama Geolandar A/T tires on mine, I have yet to get it stuck even in the 3FT of snow going out towards Chilliwack this last couple weeks, up to Mt. Cheam no problem, and have not had any issues with other decommissioned logging roads in Squamish or Chilliwack area.

It also has a options to put a 2in lift from Rocky Road Outfitters, or Moog Spring lift kit, and gets approximately 22-23 MPG average (even with a ski rack on it), with ample room for people and storage capacity.
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