By on July 2, 2014

green subaru xv crosstrek hybrid

Jeep may be the first thing to come to mind when the idea of going off-road comes up in conversation, but when taking a trip from Los Angeles to that secret pool/art installation in the middle of the desert, you might find a Subaru waiting nearby.

Autoblog reports the automaker’s vehicles are the third most off-roaded in a 2013 J.D. Power study, where 29.5 percent can be found departing the highway for the trail; only Ram and Jeep bested Subaru at 30.2 percent and 31 percent, respectively. Subaru’s director of corporate communications, Michael McHale, added that owners of his company’s offerings were “190 percent more likely to do outdoor activities than other brands,” meriting those treks off the beaten path.

Regarding individual vehicles, the Outback sees the highest use in the dust and mud at 34.7 percent. Meanwhile, most Jeep Grand Cherokee owners prefer the high street over high peaks, with only 21.1 percent deciding to experience just how “trail-rated” their SUVs are. The Outback is also among Subaru’s top three best-selling vehicles in 2013, sandwiched between the Forester and the XV Crosstek as the automaker celebrated its sixth consecutive year of record sales; 424,683 units were sold in the United States alone that year.

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19 Comments on “Subaru Behind Jeep, Ram As Most Off-Roaded Automaker...”


  • avatar
    billfrombuckhead

    Renegade will punch Subarus ugly face right in it’s nose.

    How about those Junes sales stats? Mopar uber alles, again!

    What about those GM dealer ghost towns doing better than Honda?

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    It they’d only make a decent smaller mini-van, ala Mazda MPV or Mercury Villager size. The Tribeca completely missed whatever mark they were aiming for. I also think they’d do well with a prettier Baja, maybe with less doors but more bed.

    I’m so tempted to trade my ’13 Outback in for a ’15 – the additional available tech (blind spot warning, cross traffic detection) is highly useful. But trading a car in that quickly is not prudent, and the oath I signed in blood to join the Subaru cult will cause me to be shunned.

    Oh well.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Only vehicles sold in Australia can truly be called off-roaders. None of these vehicles are any good, except the versions sold in Australia. Jeeps are for hairdressers, of which Australia has few. Australian hair is naturally beautiful. If it’s not a diesel, it is no good for off road. Everything must be diesel or it sucks. Australia, even our washing machines run on diesel.

    • 0 avatar
      Nicholas Weaver

      An XV pickup would be cool: 2 doors, 2 seats, and the rest a decent sized bed. Even with the worse aerodynamics of the pickup profile, this would probably give a >30 MPG pickup for ~25K. It could take a real bite out of the Taco.

      It wouldn’t be as hard-core an off-roader as a Taco (an XV doesn’t have the approach angle, its good mind you but not as good as a 4×4 Taco), but it would be a much better day to day truck.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Interesting. I’ve never seen a Subaru out on the ORV trails. By “off-road” they must mean soft-road.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      “190 percent more likely to do outdoor activities than other brands”

      Is because you must go outdoors to apply the COEXIST sticker to your car, and also to put your bag of fair trade organic coffee in the back.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I always felt judged by other drivers when I was in my green 97 Impreza wagon. It wasn’t a nice feeling.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Awd and off-road aren’t necessarily the same. Then there’s this:

    youtube.com/watch?v=jmfbsUJRe14

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Last summer I was mountain biking on what I thought was an old logging road, with big rocks, extremely steep grades, huge washouts – in short I was terrified much of the time navigating this “road” on my full suspension bike at very low speeds. This “road” finally dead-ended at a mountain cabin, where I found the owner doing yard work next to his completely stock Subaru Forester. I couldn’t believe he was able to navigate that road in a Subaru, but he did it every weekend, and I gained a lot of respect for the off-road abilities of the brand. The worst part for me was having to ride back the same way on that very scary driveway.

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    I’m surprised that the number of GC owners who venture off-road is as high as 20%. I would have guessed this number to be in the low single digits. Of course off-road could mean gravel-road to some.

    A neighbor recently put an expedition rack and pizza-cutter KM2s on his almost brand new GC, they don’t look quite right, maybe it is the lack of dirt, dings and pinstriping that makes them look out of place.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Any metric that has 30% of Subie drivers venturing offroad, involves a rather liberal definition of The term.

      Im surprised Ram is meaningfully above the other pickup makers. Is it just due to Ram selling less to fleets and worksites, and more to personal use customers like hunters and ranchers?


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