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Subaru Forester v Hyundai Santa Fe

Discussion in 'Information For Newbies' started by 6speedmanual, Feb 8, 2015.

  1. 6speedmanual

    6speedmanual New Member

    Hi all,

    I'm a newbie. Don't own a 4wd but thinking of getting 1. I would really like to take it to Mungo National Park, Fraser Island, Tasmania, Kakadu, Bungle Bungle, Wolfe Creek and maybe Cape York.

    Comments please...
  2. Aaron Schubert

    Aaron Schubert Moderator

    The biggest problem with 'soft roaders' is the lack of clearance. If there is a good chance you will be driving on soft beaches, through mud or any rock work, you are better off looking for something with a bit more clearance.

    These will do light beach work without a problem, but I don't believe they have low range, and will struggle with big ruts (often on soft beaches!)

  3. devo73

    devo73 Banned

    Well the new tv ad says the Subaru outback can go anywhere, so the forester must be awesome...i would get 1 of those :)
  4. Albynsw

    Albynsw Well-Known Member

    That category of vehicle will restrict where you can go in a lot of places and you will find yourself pushing the boundaries of its capability.
    If you are seriously wanting to get to some of these areas you may want to consider a more suitable vehicle first up rather than looking to make another change in the near future.
    If you are going to stick to some of the milder stuff they will be fine
  5. Toddyh

    Toddyh Well-Known Member

    I owned a modified X-Trail and took it all round the place including Central Australia. It did a lot of what I wanted all be it not as easily as something with low range. I've since upgraded to a Challenger and it's no contest. So much more capability and confidence off road.

    Either vehicle will get you to all those places it's just a matter of which way you want to go and what you want to be able to do when you get there. Cape York for example you drive drive the development road the whole way easy, but I don't think either vehicle would be very happy on the Old Tele Track. Fraser the same. Either will do 90% no problem, but that last 10% is where the Island is at its best.
    Gavo likes this.
  6. Aaron Schubert

    Aaron Schubert Moderator

    Is there any particular reason you singled these two vehicles out?

    What about a Vitara, or SWB pajero?

  7. xtrailer

    xtrailer Member

    Of these two vehicles the forester is lighter and has 220 mm clearance v 185 mm for the Santa fe.
  8. mikehzz

    mikehzz Well-Known Member

    Out of those 2 cars the Forester is the best off road option. I'm in the Subaru Club and been on plenty of trips in all sorts of terrain with Foresters in the group. The Subaru 4x4 system is pretty impressive and you can get a lift for most models. Put on some good all terrain tyres a few sizes larger than standard and away you go. I've only been on 1 trip up to Stockton with a Santa Fe in the group and it went better than I expected but it was too low to the ground to tackle anything moderately hard in my opinion. A good test for a soft roader is Little Bald Hill in Abercrombie River National Park. It's very steep and quite rough these days but Foresters make it up ok, although stretched to the limit. You need to be an experienced driver to do it in a soft roader though.
  9. 6speedmanual

    6speedmanual New Member

    Yes. 1 is from Korea and the other from Japan. They also tick the boxes. The boxes being that they will go places that my 2wd sedan won't and with the seats down, i can put a mattress for 2 :p

    Will the Vitara or Pajero tick those boxes ?
  10. Albynsw

    Albynsw Well-Known Member

    Unless you specifically want a soft roader for other reasons I would be looking at a more 4wd orientated vehicle so as to not limit your scope and opportunities to goes places
    littleGem likes this.
  11. Toddyh

    Toddyh Well-Known Member

    The Pajero is the only one you have mentioned that will tick those boxes plus have proper low range gearing. For off road ability it's the pick of your selections so far.
    Gavo likes this.
  12. abw

    abw Well-Known Member

    I made the mistake 4 years ago of buying a softroader, a Toyota Kluger, thinking I'll just be doing a bit of light 4wdriving. And it was suprisingly capable offroad. As I became hooked and started to take it places it probably shouldn't have gone, I started to becaome nervous I'd break something. So a year later I traded it in on the Pajero and lost probably $12K in the process. There is a reason your typical fourby is half a ton heavier than an equivalent size softroader. A good chunk of that extra weight goes into heavyweight components and chassis. If you intend on taking a vehicle along thousands of kilometres of corregated roads, then I think it would be smart to buy a heavy 4wd. Same goes for any 4wdriving. At some point you need to be recovered (snatch recovery that is), and overstressing a lightweight chassis is not a good idea.

    Having said that, I think far too many people buy 4wds and never use them for their intended purpose. Instead using them as shopping trolleys/people movers. By comparison to softroaders, they are heavy, handle poorly, and are harsh.
    bricat and underdog like this.
  13. tankbloke

    tankbloke 4x4 Earth Contributer

    If that is the case, I am a little surprised at the options you mentioned.
    As an all wheel drive, I could certainly recommend the Forrester, the missus has had three,( had to update every three years because of the ks she was doing at the time), and never had one issue with them.Would of bought another, but she got a job closer to home and got a Subaru XV this time.
    The Forrester was surprisingly capable in the light stuff, but I was never allowed to see what it could really do.:(
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2015
  14. JC807

    JC807 Member

    my mate has a Forester, in manual they came with low range.

    i took him to Yellow Rock, you should have seen the smile on his face.
  15. tankbloke

    tankbloke 4x4 Earth Contributer

    Didn't realise that. The bride can only drive an auto. That is why I always buy manual 4wds:D
  16. Toddyh

    Toddyh Well-Known Member

    It's only a slight reduction. From memory is a 1.4 whereas a full 4wd will be more like 2.
    Gavo likes this.
  17. jessestack

    jessestack Member

    Yeah it is a pretty useless low range if they're anything like the Outbacks low range. I had a manual 05 Outback and it's (not very) low range combined with their motors that are designed to rev and therefore have now low down torque meant it struggled to turn the tyres in a bit of soft sand with out stalling or burning the clutch. I sold it and bought proper 4x4 for that reason.
    I'd say the auto with torque convertor would probably be better than manual. Or better still just get a "proper 4x4" or split the purchase price and get a small hatch back for the daily and an old GQ for the tracks. Would probably be the same price and both guys would do their jobs better than the forester.
  18. Superdad

    Superdad Well-Known Member

    for what it's worth, I agree with the sentiment that if you want to get into 4x4, then you are going to get to the limits of an AWD pretty quick and either get frustrated or break it. The places you mention in your OP mean you really should get a good 4WD and not an AWD

    Answer these questions and I'm sure you will get a lot of suggestions
    Budget? Define your idea of cost: is it how much car actually costs or is it depreciation over say 5years?
    Are kids anywhere near horizon?
    Is fuel econ a big concern?
    Between trips, what sort of driving will the car be doing? Will it be your daily drive? Where?
    Do you want a new car for any reason (tax write off, work rules etc)
    Are you mechanically minded?
    Other key concerns other than fitting a mattress in the back?
    Will it tow stuff and how much weight
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2015
  19. Aaron Schubert

    Aaron Schubert Moderator

    I reckon you need a good idea of what you want, long term. Before you buy a car, decide on the probability of whether you are really going to get into 4WDing. Go out with mates, and see how you like it!

    Bear in mind, you are on a 4WD forum, so people are going to be pro 4WD

  20. muc the truck

    muc the truck Well-Known Member

    I think the vitara is the closest thing to a soft roader I would take some of those places mentioned and even a pajero and crusier will scrape its arse on some of the tracks .
    expect some major vehicle depreciation taking a soft roader to those places.

    you should get a older vehicle . consider what others have said . even a v6 jackaroo (avoid the 4jx1)with rear seats removed gives you 2100mm of leg room with a false floor to sleep . You can stil find them with around 100,000kms on the clock . you wont suffer so much in the way of vehicle depreciation because its worth stuff all anyway.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015

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