Advice on first proper family 4WD

boobook

Well-Known Member
LOL At the beginning of that video, there is one oil stain on the ground under the Discovery's gearbox. By the end of the video, there are 5.

The guy is demonstrating the Traction Control settings for 4 types of slippery terrain that Land Rover owners experience

Sand, Mud, Rocks and Oil Slicks.

:)
 

AusTraveller439

New Member
ok so at a closer look I'm learning the difference in the forester and outlander 4wd systems. It seems that the forester splits
I've been on a lot of tracks with a lot of soft roaders and the most important aspects of whether they can handle themselves in difficult terrain are the driver and the tyres you can put on them. Many fall down in the tyre department because you can't get a decent sized tyre to fit in an AT. The best soft roaders I've seen are the Land Rover Freelander 2 and the Forester. The Forester has Symmetrical All Wheel Drive which sends power to the wheel that needs it no matter if it's front or rear. It only gets my vote because you can get a lift for it that allows a decent tyre size. A friend has one with a 2" lift and from memory it only allows something like a 235/65/17 tyre. The Freelander 2 can go to a 245/70/17 without a lift. I've driven both those cars in the conditions you have mentioned and they are good although I did have to tow an unlifted Forester out of Abercrombie River NP once because it hit a rock too hard underneath. If the Outlander has rims bigger than 17", and tyres with a profile lower than 60 then it will be ordinary even if the traction is good because it will hit a lot underneath and rip sidewalls on sharp rocks. Also check it's not like an X-Trail where the centre diff only stays locked up to a certain speed then automatically unlocks which hurts you on sand dunes.
I've always had an all wheel drive softy plus a low range 4wd up until now. I used to like taking the softies to many of the places the 4wd could go, and they'll mostly go there but there's a lot of scrapes and under carriage crashes along the way and they can really struggle on anything steep. In a lot of cases on steeper rocky fire trails you can't crawl like you would in low range, you have to hit it a bit harder to get some momentum which causes more scrapes and crashes.
Sorry, I can't recall having an Outlander on a trip. I've had the likes of Rav4, CRV, Sportage, Sorrento, Tribute, CX5 and others I'm sure. Most lack either a centre diff or a decent awd system and most have wheels and tyres that aren't suited to anything worse than a gravel road. To be fair, most were also driven by noobs who thought they had bought a 4wd and ended up very disappointed. :) If the Outlander centre diff stays locked and you can get a 65 profile AT tyre that will fit then I reckon it may be ok.
So it seems like with soft-roaders it's all down to asking "how does this car split power in a tricky situation?"
- the forester ALWAYS is splitting power to front and rear evenly (or 60/40, besides the point) and even when 1 wheel comes off the ground the ETC will cover for that anyway.
-In comparison, the outlander has 3 options: front wheel drive, AWD which distributes power to all 4 wheels, and "LOCK" which splits power 60/40
Being a soft-roader, obviously neither have low range, so yeah there is some struggle when it comes to needing to crawl over rocks, steep hills etc. Although reading a review on practical motoring, the forester has X-mode which apparently does a pretty good job for helping to get up steep hills.
for anyone interested, here's some detailed info on the 4wd systems in each car
and a review on the forester: https://practicalmotoring.com.au/car-reviews/2015-subaru-forester-diesel-cvt-review/

Overall, it sounds like people in general are pretty supportive of the forester, even those in the "real 4wd" community who might bag out other soft-roaders. And since they're a nice cheap car, I guess my next question is: are there any badges, years etc which specifically are/aren't good enough? Kinda like how with the triton I had the GLX-R which had super select 4WD and factory rear diff locker, whereas other badges don't. So yeah, just wondering then if i can buy any forester I see or if it needs to be a specific one and if there are any to avoid?
 

AusTraveller439

New Member
I’ll just leave these here.





I have had a few subarus and currently have the new forester, and we have had it in some ‘fun’ places. If anybody in an outlander would like to play, and if the wife lets me haha (her car) I’ll gladly meet up anywhere. I don’t know about the Mitsubishi but the Subaru is getting panel damage before it is stopping. Been there, done that, repaired the damage, hence why she might not want me to play in it. I’ve seen some atrocious testers drive these suvs and they can make them look as good or as bad as you like. Like any suv, setting the electronics correctly is most of the battle these days.
The Sube isn’t our primary 4wd but I’d happily take it around Oz, doing national parks and outback tracks along the way. It is by no means hardcore, but it isn’t going to lie down to an outlander either. They have 220mm clearance from factory (triton mentioned above has 190mm for comparison), and Ironman have a full long travel 2” lift kit available. Payload is up to 700kg. With the lift and some tyres there isn’t many places you wouldn’t take one. Having said all that if I was after a primary tourer, it would be neither the sube nor the Outlander but I have different needs and wants.
jeez well the slip test videos make the decision easy!! Outlander can't handle having diagonal wheels without traction, thanks but no thanks to that. Forester it is
 

discomatt

Well-Known Member
LOL At the beginning of that video, there is one oil stain on the ground under the Discovery's gearbox. By the end of the video, there are 5.

The guy is demonstrating the Traction Control settings for 4 types of slippery terrain that Land Rover owners experience

Sand, Mud, Rocks and Oil Slicks.

:)
Or more than likely , or I like to think, air cond drain , as we all know you and I can look at the same thing and have varying opinions :)
 

mikehzz

Well-Known Member
I seem to recall there used to be a problem burning out clutches on the manual Foresters. I haven't seen the latest Foresters in action, the last was a model from 2-3 years ago that had no issues doing the Hay River track and Simpson desert and didn't need to be helped anywhere. It's the one with the 2" lift and slightly bigger tyres. I think the drive train is common across all models and specs but don't quote me on that. I'd be very surprised if X-Mode was only in the top spec models.

Remember, when you start driving this type of car you have to drive differently off road to the Triton. There's a bit of a knack to it that you have to get used to. Maybe the Subi specific forums would be a good place to start?
 

cam04

Well-Known Member
Definitely join the off-road foresters groups on FB etc. Like any brand there are guys who devote their lives to them. Yes, models differ somewhat per the page you linked above. Like any car, a few well placed modifications will transform them. Being monocoque, they block lift easily and cheaply, then a slightly larger set of all terrains goes on and half the battle is done. Ours is bog stock but it is not our first option for touring otherwise I’d go straight to the Ironman long travel suspension kit and all terrains.
I’d shop that budget against some slightly larger options - the Freelander 2, the older challenger etc and see what your dollar buys. You should be able to drive away a brand new base model forester for $36k if you have budget creep. I got mine for less but that was pre covid pricing. Why there is a D4 Landrover linked above I have zero clue. Not even on the same planet and if one shows up in your price range, run like hell. FYI they use the same multiplate electronic ‘diff lock’ as the subes use as a fore/aft centre diff. The diff lock is like a $20k option on the rovers though haha.
 

discomatt

Well-Known Member
Why there is a D4 Landrover linked above I have zero clue. Not even on the same planet and if one shows up in your price range, run like hell. FYI they use the same multiplate electronic ‘diff lock’ as the subes use as a fore/aft centre diff. The diff lock is like a $20k option on the rovers though haha
Because the thread has LR content and interest from the OP, because the roller test for other cars was posted so its a comparison.
For the record the actiev rear diff option was $1060.00 from LR not 20k , thats just more incredible but typical LR BS posted, but amusing just the same
 

cam04

Well-Known Member
Because the thread has LR content and interest from the OP, because the roller test for other cars was posted so its a comparison.
For the record the actiev rear diff option was $1060.00 from LR not 20k , thats just more incredible but typical LR BS posted, but amusing just the same
Your levels of paranoia must be hard to live with. Good luck with that. Clearly haha doesn’t mean what it used to. Haha.
 

nitrobrent

Well-Known Member
Definitely join the off-road foresters groups on FB etc. Like any brand there are guys who devote their lives to them. Yes, models differ somewhat per the page you linked above. Like any car, a few well placed modifications will transform them. Being monocoque, they block lift easily and cheaply, then a slightly larger set of all terrains goes on and half the battle is done. Ours is bog stock but it is not our first option for touring otherwise I’d go straight to the Ironman long travel suspension kit and all terrains.
I’d shop that budget against some slightly larger options - the Freelander 2, the older challenger etc and see what your dollar buys. You should be able to drive away a brand new base model forester for $36k if you have budget creep. I got mine for less but that was pre covid pricing. Why there is a D4 Landrover linked above I have zero clue. Not even on the same planet and if one shows up in your price range, run like hell. FYI they use the same multiplate electronic ‘diff lock’ as the subes use as a fore/aft centre diff. The diff lock is like a $20k option on the rovers though haha.
Does the group only exist on FB , never seen a Forester offroad?
 

AusTraveller439

New Member
yeah cool. I was gonna join a subi forum anyway (to answer your question Nitro: no there are forums not just fb groups). I'll definitely look well into it. And if they're doing simpson's desert no problem, they'll definitely be fine for everythin I want once I put a small lift and some A/Ts on it.
I seem to recall there used to be a problem burning out clutches on the manual Foresters. I haven't seen the latest Foresters in action, the last was a model from 2-3 years ago that had no issues doing the Hay River track and Simpson desert and didn't need to be helped anywhere. It's the one with the 2" lift and slightly bigger tyres. I think the drive train is common across all models and specs but don't quote me on that. I'd be very surprised if X-Mode was only in the top spec models.

Remember, when you start driving this type of car you have to drive differently off road to the Triton. There's a bit of a knack to it that you have to get used to. Maybe the Subi specific forums would be a good place to start?

As for driving style, I assume you mean that I'll just need to be significantly more aware of how I approach some tricky stuff. In my triton I could brute force through anything if I really wanted to. If you're not referring to just being more considerate in my driving, what do you mean, if you can at least give me a a starter idea?
 

mikehzz

Well-Known Member
yeah cool. I was gonna join a subi forum anyway (to answer your question Nitro: no there are forums not just fb groups). I'll definitely look well into it. And if they're doing simpson's desert no problem, they'll definitely be fine for everythin I want once I put a small lift and some A/Ts on it.


As for driving style, I assume you mean that I'll just need to be significantly more aware of how I approach some tricky stuff. In my triton I could brute force through anything if I really wanted to. If you're not referring to just being more considerate in my driving, what do you mean, if you can at least give me a a starter idea?
Tiny things mate, that get the best out of the various AWD systems. When you've got things locked in a normal low range 4wd it's mostly slow and steady, but with exotic AWD traction systems then you learn when to keep the revs up and how much momentum is just right. It's all a learning curve and you definitely do have to be more sympathetic to the car, but on the other hand you're sometimes hitting an obstacle a little faster so it's a balancing act. When you see it done well it's a real art form. It's quite rewarding to get the soft roaders into some places because it's a lot harder to do.
 
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