Have subarus gotten better on sand?

Bad Goat

New member
I'm looking for a replacement for my 1997 outback. It needs to be able to transverse about 20 miles of loose, but mostly level sand. My 97 could do this with me, dive gear and a dog. But that was about the limit without risking getting stuck.

How are the 2015+ outbacks? Are they better at delivering power to the wheels needed? My 97 front wheels always seemed to spin well before the rear.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
I'm looking for a replacement for my 1997 outback. It needs to be able to transverse about 20 miles of loose, but mostly level sand. My 97 could do this with me, dive gear and a dog. But that was about the limit without risking getting stuck.

How are the 2015+ outbacks? Are they better at delivering power to the wheels needed? My 97 front wheels always seemed to spin well before the rear.
One thing is for sure the AWD system and all the electronic traction management stuff is light years more capable than your old Subaru. Your old Subaru would get stopped in a typical crossed up situation where front rear opposite tires spin your dead in the water. The new Subarus use pretty cool tech that brakes each wheel to stop spin which then pushes power across to the opposite side which makes them pretty impressive in challenging traction situations. The gearing as always is the only down fall they don't really have super low gears to help power through really tough stuff at slow speeds which puts alot of demand on the torque converter pair that with the new systems that will cut RPMs to preserve the transmission and I'm sure there are situations people can find where they just lack the gearing and the power to push through even if the tires have plenty of traction.

I haven't found that yet with my 2010 2.5 CVT but some others have reported situations where they cant get the car to power up a dune or climb and it wasn't spinning tires either just simply stalled out the transmission and triggered the nanny to limit rpms etc. Which case it seems like you back out and take a run at it keeping rpms in the 3500 or higher range to get the power to the transmission and keep things turning and power through to avoid stalling the transmission again etc.
 

WMDunkin

Adventurer
My 2010 wrx goes up and down assateague beach just fine. I do have a subtle solutions lift and larger tires. In two year I only got stuck once by my own doing not the car.
 

Bad Goat

New member
Thanks for the replys. I'm still a little nervous, Googling 2014/2015 subaru i find a lot of videos/pictures of late models subarus stuck in sand.

Edit *to bad I can test drive on the sand dune!*
 
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Dake21

Adventurer
Thanks for the replys. I'm still a little nervous, Googling 2014/2015 subaru i find a lot of videos/pictures of late models subarus stuck in sand.

Edit *to bad I can test drive on the sand dune!*
Well if your older one can make it, why the newer one wouldn't? However, by "improved" you mean "I want to go in more extreme terrain", like sand dune, Do yourself a favor and get something with an actual transfer case and is light weight. Suzukis are the best in soft sand.
 

FromRaleigh

Adventurer
New vehicles are a lot heavier than old ones, so if the capabilities hadn't improved then a new one wouldn't have performed better than his old one.

Sent from my HTC6525LVW using Tapatalk
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
New vehicles are a lot heavier than old ones, so if the capabilities hadn't improved then a new one wouldn't have performed better than his old one.

Sent from my HTC6525LVW using Tapatalk
You think 300lbs more matters much with all the improvements in engine power and AWD system? I kinda doubt it. by the way the current Subaru Outback weighs less than a Chevy Camero no joke.
 
J

JWP58

Guest
My Crosstrek did pretty well in the Sandhills last year. I just kept it in 1st with the revs high.
 

jf1sf5

Observer
This is how a Subaru behaves on the sand…easy !

[video=youtube;h2K_yoqxLkw]https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=h2K_yoqxLkw[/video]
 
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tanglefoot

ExPoseur
A Subaru is probably hard to beat in the sand--it's probably about the ideal street-legal, production vehicle for sand. Anything can get stuck in the sand (sand rail, tracked tank, Rolligon, etc) (okay, maybe not a Rolligon) but as far as street-legal vehicles go, a Subaru is probably about your best bet--fairly light and responsive, excellent AWD system... If you get into trouble, just air down the tires.
 
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