Upgrade my Subaru Outback or trade it in?


As another counter-point to the litany of anti-Subaru folks: Subarus are very capable. And if you haven't pushed it to its limit then you don't know what it can do. If you aren't super experienced off-road then you're likely being overly cautious. Believe me: even if you get a 4Runner w/ a locker you can still be worried you're gonna get stuck. You'll hold back until you get winch. Until you have someone with you, until you replace the stock tires, etc.

My opinion: Find a way to safely explore the limits of what you've got.

I drive a lifted 4x4 Nissan Frontier right now, but have owned a 2011 and 2020 Subarus (Outback and Forester). Oh and a 2015 Impreza. They're great. But they are just a vehicle. I'm actually looking to go back to a Suby just to save gas. I'm not worried for 1 second about its "off-road" ability. Will it be as good as my truck? No way. But I'm perhaps unlike a lot of folks here: I don't look to explore rough trails or "go wheelin'". I just drive to explore and camp and hunt and I stay on roads (not pavement: just not "trails" or mud pits). If it is a road on a FS MVUM (no matter how torn up or steep) the Suby will be fine.

My main criteria for 4x4s is:
1) that isn't so expensive that I'll feel bad scratching it up;
2) reliable

Good luck!


If I were younger, I’d hold out with the Subaru until the new Landcruisers are available. Then I’d buy one knowing it’ll carry more than 1200 lbs and last a half million miles, if not more, then build it out over time to suit our needs & wants. I’d love to get one of the new LCs, but as reality hits me in the face each morning as I glance in the mirror, I’ve got maybe 5 more years of doing this thing called overlanding. So I’ll keep my 80 for the duration. Subarus are great cars, no doubt, but for overlanding? Nothing beats body on frame.

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