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Unread 24th April 2018, 05:52 PM
Jason Jason is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Brisbane
Year: 2017
Model: Forester
Transmission: CVT
Posts: 3
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I have an 89 300 SEL with 90,000km on the clock. It belonged to a Japanese family on the Gold Coast who bought it new in 1989 and kept it at their holiday appartment and only used it a couple of times a year when they came on holidays from Japan. I bought it three years ago with 75,000 km on it. It's in almost new condition. It's our daily driver but will get retired for more limited use later this year, hence the SUV/4x4 question. I had always thought I'd simply get a 2010/2012 petrol Prado as they simply do many things so well, but I've always liked Subaru and both the current gen Forester & Outback appeal to me on many levels. The Forester XT has the lions share of my interest so far.
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Unread 28th April 2018, 09:22 PM
Subaru Man Subaru Man is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Sunshine Coast
Year: 2016
Model: Forester
Transmission: CVT
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* Primarily a daily driver, (I also have a classic Mercedes) I'd like a vehicle that can handle some beach work at places like Fraser Island, Double Island Point and Moreton Island here in Queensland.

A Subaru would be perfect then.

* I'm only interested in petrol as I don't want the hassles of modern diesels with injectors, high pressure fuel pumps, sensitive fuel filters and the dreaded DPF.

If you want things to be less hassle that would also be a reason to go the non-turbo vs the XT as in places like Fraser Island you can't get premium unleaded. You would have to take extra fuel and / or octane boosters.

* Is a Subaru as capable as a traditional 4x4 like a Prado for beach work?

More so.

* Which is best suited to off roading, the Forester XT or the Outback?

Both would be fine but as mentioned elsewhere the Outback has longer overhangs which can be a problem in sand as well as other off-road conditions.

* In regard to the Forester is the XT is it OK for off roading or is it more suited to being a semi performance orientated road based SUV or should I just save money and go for the 2.5 non turbo?

Both would be fine and it depends what you want. I would love to drive an XT but my non-turbo does the job for me without any complaints from me, or the car. If you want extra performance, go the XT, If you prefer to save the money and happy with what is still a perfectly fine drive then save your money and get the n/a. I spent a week on Fraser Island in my SJ Forester with a group of Subarus including an SJ XT. We both had no problems re getting through the soft sand. The XT has more power but the non-turbo still has plenty and has a softer ride and no need to worry about premium unleaded. I was also able to fit 16 inch wheels whereas the XT was limited to 17 inch rims as a second set. I believe it is still possible to fit smaller rims to the XT but it is a more costly exercise to get Sparco wheels as apparently these will fit over the XT's larger break calipers. I am not aware of anyone having done this! I put on a set of 16 inch wheels and run 225/70/16 when off-road, compared to stock 225/60/17.

- How does the CVT perform off road? Like most people I hear CVT and shudder how ever I've read good things about the Subaru CVT and my mind is open.

People tend to give the CVT a hard time. I also have an earlier Subaru with CVT and it's not great but it's still fine for a family wagon (2013 Subuar Exiga 7 seater). However, I am hardly aware I am driving a CVT in my 2016 Forester and it performs very well off-road. It spent a week at Fraser Island and caused me no grief at all. I think that if you are happy driving an automatic transmission then the CVT will suit you just as well.

The XT CVT also had no problems at all after a week on Fraser Island.

* What are the off road essentials (other than standard recovery gear) for the type of use I'm looking at to protect my vehicle.

A sump guard is a very good idea!
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Unread Today, 01:10 AM
ignas ignas is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Sydney
Year: 1998. Hopefully 2010
Model: Landcruiser Troopy. Next purchase Forester.
Transmission: Manual. Auto.
Posts: 3
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I'm in a similar purchasing situation as Jason except I'm sold on the XT & it will be older though, probably 2009-11.

Originally Posted by MiddleAgeSubie View Post
You WILL have overheating issues on moderate climbs (inexperienced folks will find those climbs scary, so there is that). Presumably something to ask others about for beach. But the CVT in the FXT performs great. It is really fun to drive.
I've had a Landcruiser Troopcarrier for quite a while. Have been up nearly 45 degree slopes. Not expecting an XT to do that but what do you consider a moderate slope? Is overheating of a CVT a problem/cause damage? If in the middle of a slope do you just wait a bit for it to cool down & continue?

I don't believe the older Forester XT had CVT anyway but I was wondering if the X Mode is available of later models & does it make a decent difference to of road & climbing abilities?

I've heard that some Subies will peater out on steeper climbs. Is this the result of overheating of the CVT or lack of power/low range? I will get an auto, so I'm assuming if the track isn't too rocky/bumpy one could just use low gear & power up a steep slope with the XT. I'm assuming I could but an XT without CVT but maybe not with X Mode. Need to do some research on when these features appeared & disappeared.
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Unread Today, 01:32 AM
MiddleAgeSubie MiddleAgeSubie is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: AZ
Year: 2013 / 2008
Model: H6 5EAT OB with SubieLiftOZ kit / Tribeca
Transmission: 5EAT
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Originally Posted by ignas View Post

I'm in a similar purchasing situation as Jason except I'm sold on the XT & it will be older though, probably 2009-11.

Well, I am no expert and what I know is more applicable to the US. I was referring to trails rated moderate in the most popular 4x4 guides for the state of Colorado. We are talking elevation of 3,000-4,000 meters. There only turbo and six cylinder Subarus cope with any more or less steep slopes.

The picture is one example, the slope beyond the dirt bike, not what is right in front of me. I know an XV with a magazine driver made it up that one, but barely. I have seen an H4 CVT barely make it up a less steep looking slope. At that altitude an n/a engine loses about 30% of its hp at sea level, so the H4 literally runs out of horses. Well, not literally! And without low range...

Some climbs in the area have sections of about 30% and sustained, miles long ascents of 15sh %. Where all Subaru transmissions I know get hot is on the latter type of climbs. The H6's 5 EAT would normally go to about 250F on such climbs, to I managed to get into the 260s on a faster climb of this type. Here in the heat of AZ, 230F is a normal ATF temp on freeway climbs in summer (not that 230 is "normal" in absolute terms).

As for downhill, I used Hawk HPS 5.0 pads which were stellar while the stock pads felt dangerous to me on trails like those. Again, that is really specific to Colorado though the stock pads can also be overworked on very long always-on-the-brake flatish trails.

The 4R I now have is better at some things and the H6 OB I had was better at others. My current priorities being cargo space and offroad, the 4R wins. But the OB was the right tool when we needed less space and drove dirt roads only. Certainly, a turbo Subaru will be a far nicer vehicle to drive on road (though my Toyota is much more comfy than a Forester on long trips).
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Engineer Pass Steepest Section AheadSmall.jpg (19.0 KB, 2 views)
18 4R TRDOP, 08 Tribeca
(13H6OB 2" SLOz, 06 B9)
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Unread Today, 02:59 AM
scalman scalman is online now
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Lithuania
Year: 2001
Model: Outback '01, 2.5 NA , VDC
Transmission: 4eat
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Well newer prados interior and comfort is on another level from subaru. Amazing suspension for bad roads.
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Unread Today, 03:31 AM
Beachworm Beachworm is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Brisbane Australia
Year: 2010
Model: Forester X Luxury, sump guard, bigger AT tyres and 50mm Subieliftoz lift, breather extensions
Transmission: Auto
Posts: 223
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Seeing my user name is Beachworm, you could conclude I know a little bit about beach driving and seeing I come from Brisbane, I have driven on the beaches you mention (and others) so this is my two cents worth.

I would (and did) choose a Forester over an Outback for beach work for the reasons others have mentioned. Once you get off the hard sand into the soft stuff, going up hill, like the exits from Bribie Island or Noosa North, you will impact under the front. The Outback will hit before the Forester. Dragging your undercarriage causes loss of momentum and this is a killer in soft sand.

I chose a naturally aspirated 2.5 SH because the turbo chews through fuel on sand and the extra power is only an advantage if you want to do drag racing up sand dunes. The reason I chose an SH is because an auto is better on sand unless you want to drive everywhere in low gear and I have driven an SJ with a variable transmission and didn't like it one bit.

I found that the Forester needed a bit more clearance (hence a 50mm lift) to make the approach to Bribie Island beach easier and to negotiate the track across the middle of Moreton island where there are deep wheel ruts. You will find exactly the same issue with a Prado.

I've done a bit of towing with the Foz. The heaviest was a tandem trailer loaded with furniture on the 1500Kg limit from Lismore to Brisbane with no issues though I did stay in the left lane at 90.

I find the leather seats on my Foz to be the most comfortable of any car I've had (and I've had more than 30). I can drive 500K straight without my back playing up where the Mitsubishi I had prior I could hardly straighten up after a drive from Brisbane to the Gold Coast.

All the best with your selection.
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Unread Today, 03:36 AM
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Rally Rally is online now
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Sydney
Year: 2004
Model: SG Forester X 2.5 Turbo
Transmission: D/R 1.446, Twin Lockers, Front LSD, 4.44
Posts: 3,720
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There are distinct limits with what you can achieve with an auto SH XT, and these limits may be lower than what you are expecting. This is a steep climb, but not the steepest I have come across. The combination of a steep incline and far from smooth loose surface is very testing for a Subaru. Although a recent video, being new you may not have seen it. By way of contrast, my turbo SG with low range and rear and centre diff locks made it up easily.
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