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  #21  
Unread 8th November 2015, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by MiddleAgeSubie View Post

Subaru is a completely irrelevant player in Europe, so frankly it does not really matter; few people will buy them either way considering that they are essentially a luxury product there.
Subaru is not a luxury product in Europe, luxury brands are Mercedes-Benz, BMW

Subaru sells their cars to people living in the Alpine region and the Scandinavian countries and to the rally fans of the 90's
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Unread 8th November 2015, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by jf1sf5 View Post
Subaru is not a luxury product in Europe, luxury brands are Mercedes-Benz, BMW…

Subaru sells their cars to people living in the Alpine region and the Scandinavian countries and to the rally fans of the 90's
I know what you mean, but the prices that Subaru charges in Europe are luxury car territory. More broadly, Japanese cars are pricier in Europe relative to local market than they are in the US. Also, you can spend a week in London, or in Paris, or in Rome. And see zero Subarus.

As you say, you need to go to the mountains or the far north, or to rally fans!, to see Subarus.

Ratbag,

My point is that you are still talking roads. I am talking trails. Trails in the US are the definition of "off-road" as the expression is typically used. Actual off-road is illegal almost everywhere. Trails are not roads insofar as they do not lead to any settlements or businesses. They are usually roads built half a century ago in search of minerals/service of mines. Some of them are maintained once a year or every few years and are county roads. Others are not maintained at all except by 4x4 clubs. Ditto for former forest roads that are still legal in the latest maps but no longer maintained by the forest service.

On dozens and dozens of these trails, just in the three states I go unpaved, you will not be taking but a handful of Subarus, like Vincent's, and most emphatically, you will not be taking there a stock one. That said, one will not be going there in the Renegade either.

I am not saying that conditions in the Australian OB are easy, I am saying that if you can take your Subaru there they are doable, so I imagine they are the same as what I drive here except even longer. Remember that it is hot and dry, desert climate where I live. You will not be taking your car or mine on many trails here, no matter your driving excellence. It would be interesting to see Vincent's in action, but that is a little far from stock
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Unread 8th November 2015, 02:05 PM
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Here is an example of a low-end "difficult" trail I thought I might try as recently as this summer. The trail has eroded further, making my idea laughable. But this kind of erosion is typical:

http://www.traildamage.com/trails/report.php?id=1149

By contrast, even on small ledges, I need to use firewood or rocks to build them due to approach and departure angle limitations. And so, I have not gone beyond a 1', 30 cm ledge, nor do I plan to while I remain with mild mods.
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Unread 8th November 2015, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by MiddleAgeSubie View Post
I know what you mean, but the prices that Subaru charges in Europe are luxury car territory. More broadly, Japanese cars are pricier in Europe relative to local market than they are in the US. Also, you can spend a week in London, or in Paris, or in Rome. And see zero Subarus.
Cars are more expensive here, even the cheap ones ! And true, Subarus are more country side cars and because they didn't make any diesels before '09, they were not very popular in France nor Italy for example.


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Originally Posted by MiddleAgeSubie View Post
On dozens and dozens of these trails, just in the three states I go unpaved, you will not be taking but a handful of Subarus, like Vincent's, and most emphatically, you will not be taking there a stock one. That said, one will not be going there in the Renegade either.
Its me !
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Unread 8th November 2015, 04:04 PM
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Cars are more expensive here, even the cheap ones ! And true, Subarus are more country side cars and because they didn't make any diesels before '09, they were not very popular in France nor Italy for example.

Its me !
Right, yours! May be the most trail-ready Subaru I have read about. Kevin's maybe up there, too. Superu, who posted above, has driven a classic hard-core trail in his modified Legacy with Aussie gearbox. But even he needed a little help from a Toyota truck due to lack of sufficient break-over angle. What he drove then, Lockhart Basin is stuff the true Wrangler crowd (not the Wrangler crowd that goes no further than big box stores and fast food chains) drives all the time, not once every half a decade.

All this pushed us too far from the original topic, though.

The point is that the Renegade TrailHawk is no trail-ready off-roader. It will not go where the Rubicons go and it cannot be modified like a Wrangler can.

In addition, most people in the US that modify their vehicles, I would venture a guess, do so entirely for "looks." "Off-road" is, I would bet a penny, just a matter of "look tough" for most and that means trucks, giant tires, and big lifts.


The US is a big market and the Trailhawk trim will find its buyers, but I cannot help it and think that its existence is nothing but a nod to Jeep's heritage. One cannot sell scores and scores of specialized vehicles. But adding an off-road capable trim to each volume seller is the silver lining that allows perpetuating the perception and providing the 0.5% who care something they can actually use.

These days the average Subaru is a far more capable vehicle than the average Jeep. But that does not mean much when the going gets rough.
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  #26  
Unread 8th November 2015, 05:49 PM
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Yes, mine can handle most hard rated "trails" without problems.
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Unread 8th November 2015, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiddleAgeSubie View Post

Ratbag,

My point is that you are still talking roads. I am talking trails. Trails in the US are the definition of "off-road" as the expression is typically used. Actual off-road is illegal almost everywhere. Trails are not roads insofar as they do not lead to any settlements or businesses. They are usually roads built half a century ago in search of minerals/service of mines. Some of them are maintained once a year or every few years and are county roads. Others are not maintained at all except by 4x4 clubs. Ditto for former forest roads that are still legal in the latest maps but no longer maintained by the forest service.

On dozens and dozens of these trails, just in the three states I go unpaved, you will not be taking but a handful of Subarus, like Vincent's, and most emphatically, you will not be taking there a stock one. That said, one will not be going there in the Renegade either.

I am not saying that conditions in the Australian OB are easy, I am saying that if you can take your Subaru there they are doable, so I imagine they are the same as what I drive here except even longer. Remember that it is hot and dry, desert climate where I live. You will not be taking your car or mine on many trails here, no matter your driving excellence. It would be interesting to see Vincent's in action, but that is a little far from stock
There is simply no way I would regularly attempt things in my Impreza that I routinely do in my Forester. Same goes for driving a Tribeca, OB, Liberty/Legacy. The approach/departure angles of the Forester are adequate for what it is, and what I expect of it, which is to take me safely anywhere I am brave (stupid?) enough to drive it - and bring me home again afterwards ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MiddleAgeSubie View Post
Here is an example of a low-end "difficult" trail I thought I might try as recently as this summer. The trail has eroded further, making my idea laughable. But this kind of erosion is typical:

http://www.traildamage.com/trails/report.php?id=1149

By contrast, even on small ledges, I need to use firewood or rocks to build them due to approach and departure angle limitations. And so, I have not gone beyond a 1', 30 cm ledge, nor do I plan to while I remain with mild mods.
{Repeat comments about approach/departure angles of Tribeca/OB/Legacy}. See also the 'small ledges' in the video I have linked below ...
These vehicles are simply not designed in stock form to do what you are stating they cannot do in stock form. This is hardly surprising ...

Even newer Foresters are reasonably well designed to do these things in stock form. No, they are not a Landcruiser Sahara with a 4.5L V8 (thank goodness ... ), however, they are very capable.

With a 1" lift in mine, the suspension will be at or about the maximum of the OEM spec range. This will be high enough for me without wrecking the vehicle's handling and braking dynamics. I do not plan on tackling slopes with an angle of greater than 25-30. Having said that, I have been up and down 30+ slopes in mine when stock with buggered rear suspension. It did it safely and without dramas. My '68 LC would have rolled and probably killed me in both cases.

Try here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=7h-31AXxixg

Another non-technical rock climb here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=5MNJlPY_6SM

And here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=wXH3k_6eKYQ

More links here:

http://offroadsubarus.com/showpost.p...99&postcount=2

and here:

http://offroadsubarus.com/showpost.p...14&postcount=4

ALL of these are at Bunyip State Park, on marked "roads", within the Greater Melbourne area ...

There are plenty of other examples of Foresters doing what those Jeep drivers are doing, without even leaving our forum.

BTW, the definition of "road" here includes every variation on what you have described as "trails". The term "road" here is the legal term for any marked or surveyed road, track or something that exists only on a survey map somewhere, but does not exist as an identifiable thing in reality. These are marked as road reserves, RoW (Right of Way/Carriageway), etc, on the Australian Survey and Mapping maps, local government plans of subdivision, Parish Plans, etc.
I am unclear as to what, exactly, you are trying to say about these things. It appears to me that you are merely using slightly different terminology for exactly the same things - i.e. the concrete referent is identical in both cases.

Further to the site you posted a link to, from what I saw them doing I would never go out with any of them. I have seen enough videos of such vehicles being rolled in just such situations, and supposedly firm rock shelfs collapsing down the cliff face. Some people are still a living breathing proof of a Darwin Award waiting to be won ...

[EDIT] BTW, I can see Jeep selling a squillion of those. If they are reasonably well made, they will be exactly what many people want, for much the same reason/s they love Foresters. Love the description in JF's expedition portal link that describes the Forester as "too practical". That's precisely why I own one - 120 mph sports truck on the road, and surprisingly capable off road ... .
[End edit]

Last edited by Ratbag; 8th November 2015 at 11:11 PM. Reason: Fixed slope angle number
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  #28  
Unread 10th November 2015, 12:08 AM
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Yeah, ok, but I no longer even remember what the debate was all about.

I guess I said that Subaru is not considered an off-road brand in the US, its largest market by far, which is correct, whether we talk Subaru, its dealers, rangers/sheriff deputies, "wheelers," or the average car buyer. If it's offered as "off-road worthy" in Australia, that only supports my third point, see below.

I also said that Subaru does not care for off-road. This may seem more debatable, but I am at a loss how not maximizing angles, providing only a (barely) adequate battery, not providing LR, not even equipping some models with means of fixing gear ratios, not providing a full-size spare (or keeping it only after consumer pushback), not reinforcing the entire length of the rocker panel, and not offering an AT tire option at purchase can be interpreted otherwise.

Third, I ventured a guess that there is a key difference between what is considered "off-road" in Australia vs. the US. While I have not had the opportunity to visit, it is clear from this forum that when you say off-road you mean overland travel that may, of course, involve challenging situations of all sorts.

You do not seem to understand, however, that in the US the term "off-road" is understood not only as overland travel for the sake of going places, but also, indeed primarily, as the sport of tackling the toughest possible terrain. This typically involves modified Wranglers, old Cherokees, and Toyota trucks.

Now, we can debate endlessly the number of roads/trails where those vehicles are necessary and especially where their modified versions are a necessity and not a matter of looks. But not even Vincent's or Kevin's car will venture successfully on the hard-core trails that--no matter whether rightly or not--have become the standard bearers of "wheeling." Worse, a stock Subaru is far from ready from taking on even the difficult--but not extreme--trails that are worth driving for the purpose of scenery and getting places. I know "moderate" trails that I would not venture on with my mild mods.

Bottom line: if Subaru advertises more conservatively in the US, it probably is in part because they have a good understanding of what "off-road" is associated with here. And their vehicles meet neither what is actually needed, nor the "looks" that the off-road crowd generally covets.
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Unread 10th November 2015, 12:33 AM
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In short, the off-road crowd in the US will reject the Renegade Trailhawk just as it rejected the Cherokee Trailhawk. Functionality is part of the reason, modification potential is another, and looks are a pretty big reason, too. Sure, it will attract a small sub-set of customers who are neither "wheelers," nor satisfied with what Subaru offers. But that's about it in the US.

I would expect the enormous majority to be regular, non-TH trims. Indeed, I would expect the Renegade to do far better worldwide than in the US.

In the US, the Cherokee TH was expected to provide 15-20% of Cherokee sales. No clue what the actual number is. However, I live in Wrangler country and the eye-test reveals exceptionally few TrailHawks, about as common as a Tribeca in a metro area of 5 million, with pretty much every Cherokee I see being a regular model. The same will be the case of the Renegade.
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  #30  
Unread 10th November 2015, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by MiddleAgeSubie View Post
Yeah, ok, but I no longer even remember what the debate was all about.
Maybe re-read what you have written?

Quote:
You do not seem to understand, however, that in the US the term "off-road" is understood not only as overland travel for the sake of going places, but also, indeed primarily, as the sport of tackling the toughest possible terrain. This typically involves modified Wranglers, old Cherokees, and Toyota trucks.
It can be defined in whatever way a person wishes. If this is done specifically to exclude certain vehicles on some arbitrary basis, then it is nothing more than bias ...

Quote:
Now, we can debate endlessly the number of roads/trails where those vehicles are necessary and especially where their modified versions are a necessity and not a matter of looks. But not even Vincent's or Kevin's car will venture successfully on the hard-core trails that--no matter whether rightly or not--have become the standard bearers of "wheeling." Worse, a stock Subaru is far from ready from taking on even the difficult--but not extreme--trails that are worth driving for the purpose of scenery and getting places. I know "moderate" trails that I would not venture on with my mild mods.
As I have previously mentioned, I would not consider any of the un-modified Subaru vehicles I mentioned as being suitable for any kind of off-road use, regardless of how capable they might be in actual use (rather than theoretical use). The approach/departure angles of Legacy/Liberty, OB, Impreza and Tribeca make them all but completely unsuited to this use.

Without modifications, standard Foresters are suited for this kind of use, albeit with caveats. This latter is the case with every kind and make of vehicle that you have mentioned. NONE of them will go places that a Maybach half track or an Australian Bushmaster will happily go. It really depends on how one chooses to define things ...

You now mention 1) old, 2) modified vehicles. If one modifies even a relatively new Forester, it becomes remarkably capable in "true" off road situations. A "modified" "old" Subaru Sportswagon managed to get out of at Moab ...

Also look at , for just one of many examples of the importance of vehicle stability in extreme circumstances ...
I mentioned before about the difference in stability between my '68 LC and my '06 Forester ...

Two relatively unmodified Subaru Sportswagons and an unmodified Subaru Brumby managed the first un-aided crossing of the Simpson Desert here in Oz back in the late 1970s. IIRC, they were the first consumer vehicles to achieve this ... How they even managed to navigate where they were going is all but miraculous to me (I have a DVD made from the film of this venture). How they managed to succeed is also quite amazing.
Perhaps they knew what they were doing, rather than just being gung-ho attention seekers?

Quote:
Bottom line: if Subaru advertises more conservatively in the US, it probably is in part because they have a good understanding of what "off-road" is associated with here. And their vehicles meet neither what is actually needed, nor the "looks" that the off-road crowd generally covets.
Perhaps Subaru US understands the apparent idiocy of the domestic market there? You do not have to go looking for trouble in such artificial ways to get yourself killed in this country!

If the above videos are the sort of thing you are contemplating, then we have a special name for people who do this kind of thing here in Oz ...

AND, form over substance is usually the winner in such markets. Particularly on Internet fora ...
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