Advice on a "offroad" vehicle? - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-14-2020, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Default Advice on a "offroad" vehicle?

I am looking for a new daily driver that can ALSO take me up the FSRs and other places I'd like to explore. So far, the main thing that has prevented me from going further have been those damn water bars from the washouts/removed culverts.

I don't want something like a Toyota 4runner because although it would be AMAZING covering the last 5-10% of difficult driving, the other 90% is not so ideal.

Something like the Subaru outback has a relatively impressive 8.7" clearance, but poor approach+departure angles. Given some of these FSRs can be a bit narrow, you aren't always able to approach at an angle to make it easier.

So ultimately, I don't know what sort of clearance I need to be looking at minimum, plus how the approach+departure angles truly compare to each other (22 vs 25 degrees.... how can you actually know if that matters).

Any advice for capable vehicles? Anything you have that has NOT been able to get somewhere?
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-14-2020, 05:55 PM
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I plan to drive my Xterra until it falls apart. I absolutely love mine, it's reliable and great both on road and off.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-14-2020, 05:59 PM
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What is your price point for a vehicle as that will be the most important detail before you can even look at model and year.

I disagree about the 4runner though as I just sold my 2017 Crosstrek for a 2012 4runner and it is absolutely awesome. It is not as fuel efficient as I was getting 10L per 100km on the Subaru to 14L per 100km with the Runner but it is worth the extra capability and I used them both as everyday commuters as well. Also the reliability of a Toyota cannot be understated.

The approach angle of the Crosstrek was way to restrictive and the tires were a 17in rim with a low series of tires which were horrible on logging roads I was getting flats quiet a bit. You cant even air them down properly as the tires have no sidewalls. I bought the Crosstrek because of the 8.7in of clearance but like you mentioned the approach and departure angle dont allow you to use the clearance properly. In my opinion the Subaru's are only good on the steep FSR's because of the AWD but as soon as you hit cross ditches its not as capable.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 02-14-2020, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MikeW View Post
What is your price point for a vehicle as that will be the most important detail before you can even look at model and year.

I disagree about the 4runner though as I just sold my 2017 Crosstrek for a 2012 4runner and it is absolutely awesome. It is not as fuel efficient as I was getting 10L per 100km on the Subaru to 14L per 100km with the Runner but it is worth the extra capability and I used them both as everyday commuters as well. Also the reliability of a Toyota cannot be understated.

The approach angle of the Crosstrek was way to restrictive and the tires were a 17in rim with a low series of tires which were horrible on logging roads I was getting flats quiet a bit. You cant even air them down properly as the tires have no sidewalls. I bought the Crosstrek because of the 8.7in of clearance but like you mentioned the approach and departure angle dont allow you to use the clearance properly. In my opinion the Subaru's are only good on the steep FSR's because of the AWD but as soon as you hit cross ditches its not as capable.
I mean, I don't quite have a budget in mind right now, but also don't want a crazy priced g-wagon both from cost and from maintenance concerns haha

I was considering the 2020 4runner - I haven't test-driven it yet, but definitely worried about it being so outdated and inefficient, even with some tech updates in 2020... Also, I am exactly 6' tall and I'm pretty sure I can't sleep in the back without a platform because the bottom of the back seats create a "wall" that is too short

Looked at the grand cherokee trailhawk - checks a lot of boxes, but quickly come across reliability/maintenance concerns. Also the air suspension sounds fantastic, but also a potential maintenance headache too. Also it's pretty outdated too, and supposedly being refreshed for MY21

Outback - again checks a lot of boxes... approach/departure not amazing for these ditches but the community is huge. Swapping tires, lifting it, etc. all seem well-supported and documented. People complain about the CVT but... I dunno. Obviously plenty of people use them. Heard about issues with head gaskets on older models not sure if that's still a problem.

Most recently came across the Honda Passport - I loveeee the cargo capacity, but it only has 8.1" clearance. Good but not amazing approach/departure angles.

Toyota rav4 - I just feel like ultimately it's a bit too small, and truly not really that offroad-worthy. That's what their tacoma+4runner are for...
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 02-14-2020, 08:32 PM
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I can also recommend the Xterra, great car, but the gas mileage sucks (fortunately I have a short commute) and it's not up-to-date in the tech department. They discontinued them in 2015. The passenger seat folds flat in the off-road models for a long flat sleeping platform.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 02-14-2020, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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I can also recommend the Xterra, great car, but the gas mileage sucks (fortunately I have a short commute) and it's not up-to-date in the tech department. They discontinued them in 2015. The passenger seat folds flat in the off-road models for a long flat sleeping platform.
My friend has an xterra, and I think they have their place... but I feel like I am putting it in the same arena as the 4runner - capable, but so sucky for the other 90-95% of the driving, especially when you're limited to just 1 car
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 02-16-2020, 12:32 AM
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I'm in a similar situation looking for a new family SUV that still handles the 80-90 % on road duty comfortably but still take us to trailheads and camping etc. I've been thinking about newer Subaru Foresters as I believe they are a shorter wheelbase than outback. I have a co-worker that has a jeep patriot that he is quite happy with. I've been looking into shorter wheelbase midsize suvs as to minimize cross ditch hang-ups.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 02-16-2020, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by J.Seidl View Post
I'm in a similar situation looking for a new family SUV that still handles the 80-90 % on road duty comfortably but still take us to trailheads and camping etc. I've been thinking about newer Subaru Foresters as I believe they are a shorter wheelbase than outback. I have a co-worker that has a jeep patriot that he is quite happy with. I've been looking into shorter wheelbase midsize suvs as to minimize cross ditch hang-ups.
Yeah, the forester does have the shorter wheelbase, and I generally prefer the higher SUV over sedan/wagon, but I liked the Outback more than the Forester.

I certainly don't want to get stuck in any of those ditches either... certainly the main offroading concern I seem to have!

I definitely have two competing issues - I want to be able to sleep in the back and I'm 6' tall, but the shorter wheelbases definitely make exploring offroad a bit easier!
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 02-16-2020, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by kaitlyn2004 View Post
My friend has an xterra, and I think they have their place... but I feel like I am putting it in the same arena as the 4runner - capable, but so sucky for the other 90-95% of the driving, especially when you're limited to just 1 car

Not sure what you mean by "sucky for the other 90%-95%". It's my daily driver and I have no issues with it on the road. It does drive more like a truck, but you're going to get that with any of the more capable vehicles (it, like the 4 Runner are built on truck chassis). It has true 4 wheel drive with low gear and a locking diff which is exactly what you want if you're worried about getting stuck in ditches. I've done road trips down to Wyoming and across BC and have no qualms.


One thing I would caution is going new. I bought my Xterra new, and the amount of anxiety I had the first few times I went offroading was palpable. You will get scratches from trees and rocks, you'll scuff the new rims etc. Make sure you're good with that first. Now that its 5 years old, I'm less concerned.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 03-20-2020, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kellymcdonald78 View Post
I plan to drive my Xterra until it falls apart. I absolutely love mine, it's reliable and great both on road and off.
What year? I bought one in kauai and drove it hell and back for about 6 months. The thing I hated about it was the god awful mpg. I'm talking like barely 12-14mpg. And the older ones (I had a 2004 5 speed) had leaky seals around the doors esp trunk....and the power windows notoriously likely to fail...

All in all...if you are aware of the limits..you can pick up one in sweet shape for as low as $3k.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 03-23-2020, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by pointbob View Post
What year? I bought one in kauai and drove it hell and back for about 6 months. The thing I hated about it was the god awful mpg. I'm talking like barely 12-14mpg. And the older ones (I had a 2004 5 speed) had leaky seals around the doors esp trunk....and the power windows notoriously likely to fail...

All in all...if you are aware of the limits..you can pick up one in sweet shape for as low as $3k.
Mine is a 2014 (bought new). Second last year they made them
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 03-23-2020, 10:19 PM
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Another viable option would be the new Toyota RAV4 Trail TRD if you don't want to spend $100 a week on gas for the 4Runner.

It got surprisingly good reviews, excellent fuel economy (33MPG highway, or ~7L/100km) decent ground clearance (8.6"), off-road tuned suspension, and it is surprisingly quite capable off road, getting you to just about any Trailhead. Not to mention you are in at ~$15,000 less than the 4Runner.

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post #13 of (permalink) Old 03-25-2020, 06:58 PM
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Are you looking at the RAV4 Trail TRD or RAV4 Offroad TRD?
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 03-26-2020, 05:19 PM
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I am also in the market for a similar vehicle. The Lexus GX 460/470 series is high on my list. It is body-on-frame and known as the Prado in overseas markets. If you are concerned over the 4runner's comfort for everyday driving then the GX will be more forgiving with air suspension.
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 06:36 PM
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Everything you have mentioned so far screams 4cyl pickup.

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